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Adaptive software, low cost digitalisation

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

Guest writer: Sander van der Meer, Director Customer Success, Cognite.


Application expenditure will increase by 8.6% to USD 381 billion in 2017, according to a recent Gartner prediction. This indicates an equal rise in application development costs and headaches. As summarised in this McKinsey research, 45% of IT projects go over budget and 56% deliver less value than predicted, with software projects running the highest risk. In short, investments and risks are high, exacerbated by dependence on external providers translating requirements into new application releases.

How to become digital at a low cost without being dependent on external partners? The new technology of adaptive software will enable independent low-cost application changes through adaptive functionality access at a fixed fee. Application changes will require little to no programming knowledge and will be immediately available. This empowers organisations to take full control of their enterprise digitalisation. It is your choice to be a leader or be disrupted, according to the final sentence in this Deloitte report.

This leads to three major advantages

1. Huge cost reductions when adapting applications

2. Increased speed when implementing application changes

3. Immediate and problem-free use, including unlimited adjustability



Application Development - Ownership Transition


Most of the applications created in recent decades have used hard-coded software. This has been followed by the DevOps wave, a methodology for speeding up hard-coded software changes and implementation. Even though successful when applied correctly, DevOps is still based on hard-coded software, with all the costs and risks that involves. The latest development, however, has been the emergence of so-called low-code platforms or pervasive software, which offer great flexibility and enable organisations to build their own applications.

Adaptive software is a low-code platform that delivers high adaptability using a minimum of programming knowledge at a low cost. Organisations gain greater control of their applications because they have direct access to the adaptive elements; Custom Fields and SmartFlow.

Several ready-to-use applications are available for a recurring fixed licence fee that includes access to the adaptive elements. Each organisation can therefore tailor these applications to its unique way of delivering products and services.


Adaptive software will have a significant impact on the digitalisation of organisations by offering huge cost reductions and time savings, as well as an increase in organisational agility and workforce motivation. This technology is lifting digitalisation to a whole new level.



Shifting Focus from Internal to External

Creating value for your business

Using adaptive software reduces investments, time, money and management attention. It enables a shift in focus from internal to external, freeing valuable resources to generate more revenue, develop products and services, and the enter new markets.




Explanation of Adaptive Software

Terminology

Understanding the terminology associated with this new type of software is a prerequisite for its successful use and implementation in organisations. Using the same adaptive software terminology enables a mutual learning process between the administrator, users and management. All the terminology and functionalities used in this whitepaper correspond with the adaptive software delivered.


Adaptive software elements

The combined use of Custom Fields and SmartFlow makes the software adaptive. Custom Fields enables a customer to add fields with predefined text or choices a user can select. SmartFlow enables the automation of workflows by the setting of parameters and the defining of functionality. This results in received emails triggering parameters causing, for example, the automatic setting of application fields.


Interfaces - maintenance of the adaptiveness

Each of the four Interfaces Ticket/Task, Agent, Customer and Contact gives access to the responsive elements Custom Fields and SmartFlow.



Adaptiveness: Custom Fields

Custom Fields has four different types to choose from: Checkbox, Input, Switch (on/off) and Select.


Custom Fields – Select example

Enhancing business excellence

Used when business is expanding globally, and the different registration of sales per business region is required.

First the administrative data for Custom Field is defined. This is to maintain and control the parameters in the responsive software. This data is not visible for users.

Secondly you define the Item names (the different business regions) in the Select menu. When a user opens the business region menu these Item names become visible. In addition, you can add Functionality to every Custom Field, for example activate “obligatory”, requiring the user to make a selection.


API option

It is possible to fill a Custom Field type with Item names from another database. This enhances the integration of data from various databases. We also encourage customers to use the Information Architecture approach.

Click here for more details.


Custom Fields use - Database connection

All Item names selected in Custom Fields are registered directly in the database, irrespective of the number of Custom Fields created. The Custom Field is visible in all tickets when activated, including historic tickets. For all historic tickets, one Item name can be selected. Individual tickets can subsequently be adjusted manually, if required. A Custom Field can be Deactivated but, to prevent data corruption in Tasks/Tickets and databases, it cannot be deleted.


Custom Field visible in the user interface



Adaptiveness: SmartFlow

SmartFlow enables the automation of workflows by defining parameters and selecting functionality in so-called Triggers.


SmartFlow - Trigger explanation

An administrator defines parameters and functionality using Triggers. The choice of parameters depends on the business definitions and the data coming from external databases or applications. The functionality is selected through predefined choices available in every Trigger.

To maximise the effect of SmartFlow, the administrator should work closely with the business. To fulfil this role, an administrator needs additional competencies, as explained in a previous article about New Roles in the Digital Era. The new name proposed for the administrator role is Business Process Expert.





Enhancing business excellence

The automation of tasks leads to a quicker response to customer queries, which improves your customer service and the overall reputation of your enterprise.


Trigger example

Parameter definition

An email is sent from another application we call T26. T26 always generates a new email with 7 unique digits in the subject field. For this reason, we define the actual Trigger between 6 and 9 digits, visualised in the code bd{6,9}b. Other Trigger parameters are also defined, like the T26 sender email address.

Functionality selection

We select default functionality to be activated when an email is received.

The Trigger can connect to any application field, for example to set an Item name automatically when an email from T26 is received.

Both the functionality and parameter settings of every Trigger can always be changed. In addition, the trigger itself can be deactivated and/or deleted without any impact on the data or the other applications’ functionality.



Recommendations

Adaptive software makes “thinking through the change” a prerequisite for a successful digital transformation. Adaptive software applications can also be used without impacting the business immediately. While an organisation uses the basic application functionality, a step-by-step transformation plan can be rolled out, enabling learning on the go, while building your digital organisation.



Summary

Adaptive software is a low-cost, low-risk investment that delivers a high degree of agility, empowering organisations to implement businesses excellence and delivering business results.


Guest writer: Sander van der Meer, Director Customer Success, Cognite - Data Fusion


Writers: Fredrik De Vries CEO / Bård Øvrebø CTO, Dynamic Integrations - Software-AI development

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