Service-Oriented Development, the best of both worlds

Should you start thinking, as an IT Director, in terms of Service-Oriented Development rather than Application Development or even Commercial Software; if you really want to meet the challenges of today’s new business requirements?

The question is worth asking no matter your line of business. Surprisingly, even though we have been praising new development methodologies such as Agile Development and other development tools and fast development approaches for more than a decade, the fact is that the majority of large and medium-sized enterprises are still moving forward with long-term expense heavy IT projects, leveraging notorious platforms such as SAP or Oracle or commercial software.


Custom Development adapting to IT legacy systems, not fighting them

We strongly believe that Custom Development can and should adapt to IT Legacy systems.

As an IT Consulting firm offering Custom Development Services, we have developed over the years the knack for analysing and recognizing the minutiae of IT legacy systems and designing different communications protocol to exchange data with them.

Of course, if you ask IT how to go about addressing new challenges, they will probably go with the systems and technologies in place. It’s a question of comfort and risk management because it is not usually appreciated to add other systems and applications to the existing IT environment.

But the thing is, that’s not always the best course of action.



You need to develop a new application?  Fine, do you have a Business Case?

100 times go back to your work, again, again and again… and so it goes also for your Application Development Project and your Application Development Business Case.

The fact is among all enterprises, budgets are getting scarce and their distribution is getting rare as well. When it comes to application development project, we clearly see where it starts but not necessarily where it will end and not always in a good manner for that matter; which leaves bad memories and a bitter taste in the mouth of too many C-levels.

Although the initial motivation to start an application development project seems legitimate in the eyes of CMOs, CIOs or CTOs; their Application Development Business Case not always adequately supports it. The general idea is always to increase revenues but maybe we can add some rigor to it since you’ll have to sell your project on the inside and validate your Application Development Business Case.

Your challenge consists mostly in answering a few questions and validate your initial assumptions. So, here’s a basic pathway and a few useful arguments.


When should you migrate to Windows 10 in terms of technology? Part 1

Windows 10 represents a new technology paradigm; so, how can we identify those triggering factors that call upon adopting rapidly and migrate to Windows 10 in terms of technology?

Considering the role played by and the scope of investments made in IT systems and applications in terms of competitiveness and growth for the enterprise, there is no doubt that any new or significant technology movement must be taken seriously.


Analystik is 30 years old today. I feel like telling a story; interested?

That’s right, Analystik celebrates its birthday today, that’s 30 years old… not bad, hey?

And still today, Analystik is perfectly aligned with its original mission, that is Custom Software Development but God knows how different we now go about it, in the execution…

When first starting we went from developing self-sustained and task-oriented Dos and Windows applications to Software Suites automating most or all critical business process of organizations to land today into Web and Mobile Web solutions communicating information in real time with systems within organizations.


The Decision of a Custom Software Development – 3rd Myth

Evidently, considering the massive investments required and made in IT today, purchase decisions and suppliers selection must go through Finance and sometimes even through, Board of Direction. The decision of a custom software development for an application application falls under this type of investment and the weight of this responsibility is a myth, in our opinion; the 3rd myth in our series of custom software development.

Therefore, in this context of collegiality decision-making, nobody bears on its own the weight and responsibility (the shame) of decisions, sometimes dire of consequences. And this concept of shared responsibility is becoming somewhat a generalized entrepreneurial culture in Western societies, for the better and the worst. A great many thinks that the reign of commercial software reflects such an era… and entrepreneurial culture.

Tell me what motivates you…


The cost of Custom Software Development – 2nd Myth

Of course there were horror stories with the cost of custom software development before the New Millennium, and there will be others. But since the New Millennium though, the crown of horror stories often goes to Commercial Softwares under license like Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, etc., to which many large corporations and Governments have given humongous mandates (often outrageous purchase orders).

Evidently, the vast majority of commercial softwares’ exaggerated costs and deadline overruns come from integration and personalization; services normally de facto included within the cost of custom software development mandates but which we don’t always measure accurately the impact when buying a commercial software… since everybody else has purchased it, right!


The true nature of Custom Software Development – 1st Myth

The New Millennium has witnessed the splendid triumph of « best practices » and « quality control » concepts, in almost all fields of activities. And most of all, best pratices and quality control have come to define the true nature of Custom Software Development in particular and IT in general, Communications and Information Technologies, which have accelerated their broadcasting.

2000 à 2010 – reminder

  • Web democratization, as well as Web design and programming jobs
  • Communications, Sharing & Implementation of Best Practices
  • Democratization of « best practices » concept in custom software development


Who defines the concept of best practices, broadcast it and why?

Expert firms such as Gartner, Forrester, KPMG, Deloitte, etc., that counsel large corporations and assess the evolution of standards within different industries to take their pulse, which is quite useful for investors and shareholders as well as for managers. It helps decision-makers to weigh their enterprise against their industries and to get to know the necessary means to keep the pace with the competition.


Myths of Custom Software Development – Introduction

To better circumcise this series of articles aiming at enlightening the myths of Custom Software Development vs Commercial Software purchase and integration, we thought it would be useful to revisit the evolution of software development.

Myths of Custom Software Development

Let’s remind us that before the turn of the New Millennium, when a company wanted to automate a process, it would have to either use internal resources or an external firm to develop its application.


IT dilemma, of course! Tailor-made mobile Application?

Last week, we were discussing The Eternal IT Dilemma; tailor-made software development or commercial software solution?  How about this dilemma from a Mobility perspective; how does it go about Smartphones and Tablets? Does enterprises go for a Tailor-made mobile Application?

The vast majority of enterprises that put into play a Sales Force are thinking about integrating Mobility to their IT development or among the needed IT solutions.  The laptop seems to be getting slower and slower to get started and not always easily « networked »; which can be accounted for the fact that more and more representatives leave them at the office and fall back to their Smartphones, even to get strategic information much needed for outdoors client activities.


The eternal IT dilemma: commercial software product or not?

It’s the burden of all enterprises at one point or another; we often meet with business prospects which have very precise business needs and requirements, and that are confronted with multiple options as much in terms of technology as finance, and this story unfolds itself on a landscape of functionalities and satisfaction.  Let’s put things out just the way they are: contrary tocommercial software product, custom-made development frightens a lot of people, because commercial software product is concrete to start with which is both more appealing and securing for a decision-maker.  But when you take a closer look at it, you’ll see that reality is not that simple.

We will try in this post, and as much as we can, to identify the pros and cons of both IT options: custom-made software development or commercial software product.


HTML 5: custom business application or off-the-shelf software?

hAs we mentioned in our previous post, it’s clear that, mostly for economic reasons, companies want applications that are “ready-to-mobilize”. The demand is there: 75% use standard applications and 20%, custom business applications. Further, we continued on to show that developers see positive opportunities for both options. Off-the-shelf as well as custom-made business applications…

One in the hand, is better than two in the bush

Recently however, a senior mobile developer confided to me that he had seriously considered dropping some mobile development platforms. Because customers were just not ready to absorb the costs of cross-platform development. Instead, in order to save money these clients were asking him to select THE platform (or sometimes two) with the greatest reach and potential, to evaluate the costs for it and to eliminate the others! While this is understandable, it’s not necessarily an elegant solution and very often proves problematic because there are few companies or homogeneous target audiences that use only one model of mobile device, let alone a single OS.


Mobility: custom or off-the-shelf business applications?

Two articles on enterprise applications coming from the same publisher,, caught our attention recently. They’re interesting because they appeared less than a week apart and were in fact contradictory:

Mobility for business: complex business applications are slow to gain acceptance

In the first article based on a Forrester study, it says “the use of specific business applications is still limited and trails far behind the adoption of email or calendaring functions.”…



A Custom Mobilized application and productivity of an enterprise

This is the third opus of a series of posts and comments published by « Enterprise Mobility Matters » which will be the subject of a “parallel blogging” experiment with Analystik, editor of the « Productivité + » blog, onto which you will find a reply to these posts and comments.


Why Develop a Customized Mobility Application?

We have ended our third post with this conclusion: “Now, can a Smartphone contribute to optimizing those processes critical to mobile workers productivity?  A true leader will immediately proceed by analyzing its critical business processes and assessing their optimization potential with Smartphones. He will have in no time put into place metrics to ensure the productivity gains are at the rendezvous!!!”


And while analyzing your critical processes, a question may erupt at the top of your mind. Shall I develop a customized mobile application?


The question is quite simple and the answer is as simple, since the « required-to-be- mobilized » function is not available within the mobile applications park, you will most probably be facing one of three situations calling upon a customized mobile application:


  • The business function to be mobilized is in fact part of a custom-made application

Ex: ERP which was custom-made for your enterprise can be mobilized. It will be available to any smartphone compatible with some restriction.


  • An activity executed on the road can now be automated, thanks to Smartphones capabilities

Ex: technicians are now using BlackBerry’s instead of paper forms.


  • New-generation Smartphones increased capabilities let us anticipate some internal business functions to be mobilized.

Ex: An enterprise CRM advanced functionalities such as access to strategic data mobilized.

The smartphone power helps to get mobilized application

Let’s mention, to make our point, that today’s Smartphones technical specs (BlackBerry Storm, iPhone, Treo Pro) are quite impressive for such little devices:

  • processors from 400 to 600 MHz
  • screens up to 480×360 pixels
  • memory cards up to 32 Go
  • 3.2 megapixels cameras.

Let’s not forget that at the turn of the Millennium, a lot of people were working with desktops just barely faster. Hard disks were not at 1 Go yet and desktop digital cameras were still quite exotic!


From the moment your business operation specifics require the development of a customized mobile application, you will have but only two choices:

  • Smartphone embarked application
  • Web application calling upon your Smartphone Internet capabilities


Which is which, how to choose between developing an « embarked » versus a « Web » mobile app?  What follows is more of an analysis guide than a comprehensive list of evaluation criteria.

5 development steps


1st step

  • The first point to assess the “criticality” level of the application to be mobilized.  Must this application run at all time and at all cost, in an uninterrupted fashion in order to ensure the enterprise or the workers productivity?  If so, then without any doubt you must develop a Web app onto which your Smartphones will hook themselves.

2nd step

  • Secondly, security is a serious matter to take into account.  Can you keep embarked data, or transferred data or data captured on the road on the device without any risk for either the enterprise or its clients’ security?  If not, then a Web app is your best solution again.

3rd step

  • The nature of the application to be mobilized is also not to be neglected. Is this application processing much more data than it is providing?  For example, verifying the quantity of a specific item in inventory demands a lot of processing but delivers only one data; thus, the processing is done with data only available from the inside of the enterprise to which your Smartphone doesn’t have access, then…

4th step

  • Another important criteria to consider is the geographical environment of the mobile workers, do they always have good network connectivity?   If not, then you should capitalize on your Smartphone.

5th step

  • Finally, the nature of your operations or of the job on the road can tell you how to go about things.  For example, if your operations call upon functions such as taking a picture, a vocal note, downloading and/or reading a file, etc.?  Then, it’s a no brainer.


In any case, more than anything, your top motivation for developing a customized mobile application is the existence of a potential gain and the final justification should be the confirmation of the expected gain.  If there is an opportunity to do better or more or do the same but with less resource with the help of a Smartphone, then you shouldn’t hesitate!!!   The logic is quite simple, how or when will the development cost be compensated by the expected gains; in short, what is the ROI?

Denis Paul van ChesteinMichel Martel