There is no point in software innovation for its own sake; Software solutions that are intended to improve an organization and lead it to the front of their respective competitive industry must be effective in the long term as well as the short term. It’s often hard for companies to do this on their own, because they are buried in a heavy day-to-day workload.
Knowing this, we ask for permission to disrupt the status quo so we can help companies pause to take a long-term view. In this way we can work with our clients to create software products that future-proof their businesses.
Ways We Help Our Clients Future-Proof:
1. We invite* clients to participate in planning retreats, where we take time to listen to current issues and future plans. This step helps us ensure our ongoing strategy with our clients meets their changing business climates.
* ”Invite” is a very mellow word to describe what we do. A more accurate term would be “we insist that clients participate”, because no one understands your users better than you.
2. You may have read our previous article on Strangler Patterns, which describes how old legacy software can be slowly phased out in favor of newer, more efficient programs. Replacing a program bit-by-bit is usually better than doing a complete overhaul all at once, especially for clients that are using the old software on a regular basis. We help our clients future-proof by slowly modernizing their old application into an event-driven microservice architecture, which does still need consistent improvements (as any software program does), but doesn’t risk the whole system breaking when one small portion doesn’t function as intended.
3. We’ll be the first to admit that not every software team is ready for Cloud-Native Devops, but we strongly believe that this is the goal that organizations that are committed to future success must pursue. Integrating Development and Operations teams, whether internal or external to the company, is critical for the long-term success of any software program.
Specific Examples of How We’ve Helped Clients Future-Proof:
The cornerstone of our future-proofing process is our roadmapping workshops, which we conduct with every client. Our discussions revolve around identifying the end users, what is most important to them, and which components of the software program need to be worked on first. By compartmentalizing all work into three categories (Now, Next, and Later), we help our clients see clearly which areas need to be addressed immediately and which areas must be left for future development.
1. Worthwhile helped Guardian Protection Products prioritize their software transformation while working with Guardian’s in-house data experts to identify needs. By operating in a continuous loop of designing solutions, building them, and then observing how they operate, Worthwhile has delivered business value on an everyday basis in Guardian’s call center, with faster claim processing times allowing for a 17% reduction in labor and hiring costs.
2. Worthwhile helped Palmetto Air & Water Balance replace their on-site mobile app with a custom app called Air Capture, while also working with Palmetto’s entire team to design a new custom web app called Air One which manages the bidding, sales, fulfillment, and reporting of all of Palmetto’s work. Throughout the process, we maintained a user focus that ensured that both Air Capture and Air One made it easier for Palmetto’s employees to do their work more quickly and more accurately.
3. Worthwhile partnered with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture to build a new web app. Since deployment, the average time to compile a field report has gone from a manual effort over many days to a programmatic automated solution resulting in a report being generated on demand. The value to the MPS team that has been regained by these improvements allows them to redistribute their workforce into other critical areas of the business and take on more clients than ever before.
Some software engineering teams will build a client exactly what they ask for and come back time and again to fix it when it breaks no matter how outdated the program is, but not Worthwhile. We believe that future-proofing is an essential part of a smart and healthy software solution, no matter what kind of work we’re doing for our clients. By committing to a path for continuous improvement, we build trusting, enduring partnerships with our clients that guarantee a better future for their teams.
And, really, there is no other option for us.