A technology framework, which can be easily “customised”, sharply reduces the time-to-market for new digital solutions. During implementation, the technology partner can concentrate on the added value which is crucial for the company to differentiate from the competition. Document-supported processes in particular can be set out efficiently and innovatively.
Each innovation is unique. Yet the need behind them and the road to their implementation are often similar. As described in the previous articles, systematic creativity and methodical expertise can accelerate and optimise the innovation process, for rapid time-to-market and cost efficiency are crucial for launching an innovation. Nowadays, innovations are predominantly technology driven, but not every innovation necessarily becomes a new technology. Thanks to enhanced convenience, lower prices or wider range of functions, digital technologies in fact allow the creation of new products and services which either trigger or cover a customer need. To realise an idea like this, it is not necessary to innovate the underlying technology each time, since preconfigured technology frameworks can help save time and money. If the majority of technical foundations already exist, a technology consultant drawing from a pool of existing digital frameworks can concentrate squarely on the needs of his customer.
“The ideal technology partner supports its customers throughout the ideation process right through to its realisation. He guarantees efficiency by using preconfigured frameworks, which can be modified according to the customer’s needs.”
The advantage is that if the existing technology frameworks are simply adapted only to the individual application purposes, the effort needed purely for technical realisation and the implementation risks are reduced. Last but not least, customers also benefit from lower launch costs as the initial one-time investment into the tool set can be distributed and efforts only apply to the “customising” and roll-out of the solution. By fine-tuning and enhancing the basic framework, highly customer-specific new business cases can be developed from an existing basic idea. At the very beginning, the customer sees what options are provided by the “kit”. He can get creative by re-establishing it according to his needs or enhancing it with individual features. This is the development that the customer can take over by himself. However, it is more beneficial if he puts this responsibility on his technology partner. Through multiplying his framework, the partner is already experienced in customising and he has a routine within the adaptation. He knows what is feasible and if needed, by using his agile procedures, he can also execute the entire project in favour of his customer. The changes may be technical or business-related and range from appearance personalisation for the customer through technical integration into existing infrastructures or processes, to special functions for specific applications. (FIG. 5)
A further key aspect, namely security, can be added to the basic premise of recording documents, filling with content, updating and managing. The loss of sensitive printed documents is not only annoying but also carries considerable risks. Digital documents can be encrypted, access permissions assigned or blocked based on role and if in a worst case scenario the tablet is lost, the content can be deleted remotely. Collaboration can also be made considerably easier by this kind of document management: the documents are always up to date and can be amended at short notice, and can be released for general access. It should also be mentioned that as only a few documents need to be printed, this form of digital collaboration is significantly more environmentally friendly and cost efficient. Thanks to the ERNI framework, document management is rapidly applied and modified and – provided that the technology partner has the facility to do so – can also be quickly expanded with new features which can be developed and integrated cost-effectively on-site or in the near/offshore model, depending on the level of complexity.
Example 1: FROM A SIMPLE FRAMEWORK TO A CUSTOMIZED SOLUTION
A local authority realises that its way of handling documents is not cost-efficient: for each weekly management meeting, documents are being printed that are already partially outdated before the meeting even starts and need to be discarded immediately after. The company is aiming at a digital solution and we are contacted as a technology partner renowned for its digitalisation expertise. A cDocs framework developed in-house is presented to the customer governing the basic functions requested in advance. During the joint kick-off meeting, the customer realises that he can implement plenty of other worthwhile features to optimise the process on this basis. By making use of experience from moderation of an ideation process, a requirement profile of the extended solution is developed jointly with the customer. It re-establishes the process and makes it more efficient. While the partner is able to cover the entire value-adding process, also the requirements engineering, user interface design, project management, software development and the testing of the new, adapted solution is being taken over. The customer perceives the combination of online/offline access, remote access, automatic downloading of documents, and security elements such as encryption and remote deletion as especially important. It applies to the nature of the business activity: the local authority works with sensitive documents for decision-making processes and therefore undertakes to treat them in the strictest confidence. Version management, update potential and especially the traceability of the decisions taken are requirements which need to be taken into account. The decision finally goes in favour of a closed community solution, using a specific authorisation model. This addresses the specific security needs of the local authority.
“ERNI customised applications can meet three key customer needs: increased efficiency and security, lower costs and extensive individualisation.”
The existing framework is adapted accordingly to the requirements, then two-factor authentication, an access permissions model and a decision tracking tool are integrated and the customised solution implemented in the existing IT infrastructure jointly with the internal IT team. The issue with duplicated data management and taking on maintenance of the overall solution are solved as well. Consultancy for further process digitalisation within the organisation is part of the delivery. Only recently, the mandate for maintenance and consultancy has been extended by a further three years.
Example 2: SETTING A MILESTONE IN A DIGITALISATION STRATEGY
A private bank needs to make its top management meetings more efficient and becomes aware of our existing framework. Within just two months, from the initial dialogue until the contract signature, the solution is continuously tailored to the needs of the bank.
The main challenges which need to be overcome quickly and efficiently include a two-factor authentication for the bank’s security issues, the integration of a mobile device management solution and the alignment of the expanded framework to the global nature of the bank’s management board. For the bank, the already mentioned eBoardroom marks an important milestone in its digitalisation strategy; it projects a modern, innovative image and sets a cultural change in motion throughout the company. The next meeting of the management board is still held using both unstructured paper documents and the new boardroom tablet solution. Thereafter, just the tablet solution should be used. (FIG. 7)