This post addresses software consulting for the users or clients that engage software consultants to empower decision making.
To remove the confusion in this oft used term, the focus is on high end consulting towards software architecture, design, technology strategy and the capability to convert business needs to software specifications. Businesses sometimes think of consultant as engineers hired mostly to just fill a gap in the development teams. I am not referring to that, I am referring to consulting that empowers the leadership team.
Specialised software consulting helps software teams (of the client) to understand what needs to be done in the context of the larger picture. It also helps the leadership in knowing what can be leveraged from existing investment as well as new development requirements. it’s a great way to evaluate and exercise options when internal teams are already occupied. Seldom is it understood that leadership itself sometimes needs a broader view and outside software experts such as Information and Solution Architects, Business Analysts, Database experts, Technology Strategists, etc. can help.
With so many new ways that technology is impacting business at the top and the bottom line, there are ideas that need sifting through, validations, proofs of concepts, prototypes, user stories, API availability, etc. It can be daunting for the regular office bearers to take them all and still function at their expected best in the “current” scheme of things. They do need to own it and external experience and expertise can provide that luxury at the cost and timeline expectation that gives them an upper hand in transforming the business practices with the use of technology.
Some of the initiatives that consulting teams could help with are:
- Enterprise mobility for various functions individually or together like sales, service, product development, internal communication, customer engagement, Learning & Development, etc.
- Collaborative applications that use social features, gamification, group interactions, etc.
- Cloud based initiatives for new applications or moving existing applications to the cloud
- Analytics in its various forms for reporting, understanding trends, providing constant inputs to stakeholders, evaluating against benchmarks, etc.
- Training and eLearning initiatives that need unique software applications and yet tied into the enterprise learning setup
- …. And so much more in the realm of Digital Transformation, Enterprise Appications, Customer Engagement
The external team takes barely any resources of the client. They would interview likely users (beneficiaries and idea generators) to understand the need. They would draw up a schematic, plan activities, conduct necessary software engineering, showcase iterations, etc. till there is a clear path to move forward in turning the idea into an implementable solution specification. All this without having the clients team to break a sweat.
The better the best practice and processes foundation, the better the efficacy and time management. This is what excites experienced software experts. They understand enterprises and the software setups therein. They know the trends, emerging technologies and balance it with knowledge of major frameworks to provide a best of “all” world solutions.
Engage a team of software experts as consultants for a tiny idea / problem scenario to see the difference they make at levels that matter to you.