Software development is an extension of a business’s vision. Any software product that is not directly born out of the business vision has a low chance of succeeding. Why? All businesses, no matter how big or small, need a strategy to compete in their marketplace.
Technology should be a tool used to drive competitive advantage – the capabilities your business needs to keep ahead of competitors. If technology is not driving competitive advantage, then it is not contributing to the vision of the founder and/or shareholders.
A software product that is inspired out of a business vision, and directed by the competitive advantage it can give, can make a huge difference in a business. The possibilities with technology are endless. That’s where Unify Digital comes in.
Our motivation is to make our clients the leaders in their industries, because we know that if they succeed, we will too. As such, the hallmarks of our development are:
Agile software projects
1. Define the business objective. Any organisation wanting to solve a problem with technology must first translate the perceived problem into a clearly stated business objective that aligns with the company vision and business strategy.
2. Develop the metrics. Use the clear business objective to determine the most likely set of metrics in the business to use as a measurement of success. Any technology project needs to have some measure of accountability to gauge success/failure and business impact.
3. Validate the technology solution. Technology strategists need to assess the business objectives, and the perceived problem to determine, generally, if a technology solution is suitable and readily available.
4. Step back and cast vision. Take some time to look for other opportunities in, and around, the problem to add further value, or uncover other potential innovations.
5. Review the technologies and providers. Determine if the solutions or providers are out there, and make sure you have done all due diligence to ensure a project has every chance of succeeding.
Bonus tip: When interacting with external providers, take care to ensure all contract are win-win. Don’t think about the cost and outputs exclusively, also consider the clauses for intellectual property, contract exit, scope evolution, and other often overlooked parameters.
“The dual clock has definitely been the most impactful in the sense that it’s actually increased the operational efficiencies of the business by reducing the time of the auction, thus reducing the staff hours, and overall making for a better auction process”.
UFG – Auckland Auction Branch Manager
United Flower Growers had an optimistic vision: to dominate the flower industry, become the most effective agent for delivering flowers from the grower to the consumer, and empower the success of everyone in the supply chain. As a small auction house, the challenge was developing the technology they needed to be competitive on a shoestring budget.
UFG turned to Unify Digital to develop a long-term strategy to gradually implement technological advances to overcome the most pressing limitations in the business. Over time, the objective was to deliver capacity to sell more, deliver faster, and scale out across the whole country. By aligning the technology development to business strategy, there was a persistent and ongoing drive to keep moving forward, and think outside of the box to innovate and grow.
Over a 5-year period, UFG was able to leverage the technology advances to increase the throughput of their primary revenue generating business – flower auctions. They now have 5 branches around NZ, revenues more than 400% above where they started, and a passion to continue innovating, growing their capacity, and using technology to drive competitive advantage.
No. Artificial Intelligence has been with us for over several decades already. AI, simply defined, is any task conducted by a computer or machine that has the appearance of human-like intelligence. Last time you used a calculator to perform some calculation, or accepted a recommendation from a spell checker in your document, you were interacting with AI. How do you know if your business is ready to look into AI? Here are three considerations:
If your answers to some or all of these are yes, you’re in a good place to actually consider stepping into the Sci-Fi novel and see your business go to new levels of capacity, profitability and productivity.