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When to say "NO" to a new development opportunity?

Digital Transformation wave has taken the industry by storm and organizations are investing quite a lot on automation, integration, re-engineering, and more. Sometimes, department leaders are caught by the "FOMO" (Fear of Missing Out) syndrome and invest in latest technologies like IoT (Internet of Things) platforms, Blockchain frameworks, NoSQL

databases without a careful consideration of the interconnected applications. There is nothing wrong in experimenting in R&D but the challenge comes when it is pushed to production. Innovation is key for growth and success in any endeavor. It is also important to validate the business requirements and put it through an evaluation process. Sonline has designed the CREATE framework that helps organizations evaluate their automation needs, new requirements, process changes and map it to their Enterprise Ecosystem.


What is CREATE framework?


It is an acronym coined to include different aspects of requirements study with various mindsets namely Consolidate, Re-engineer, Evolve, Adopt, Trash and Endure. Given the verbs are self-explanatory, let us look at specific examples of where they are very useful.

  • You would Consolidate if another application in the same ecosystem provides a functionality that is critical

Example - Zoom may be replaced with Microsoft Teams for web meetings

  • You would Re-engineer if the application and business rules are critical but built with technology that limits the use

Example - Lotus Notes based workflow applications

  • You would Evolve an idea further with critical stakeholders for organization wide roll out prior to a decision process

Example - Bespoke applications that can add value across enterprise

  • You would Adopt based on the market trends instead of reinventing the wheel

Example - Windows 10, Salesforce, Google Search

  • You would Trash an application that can cause potential issues even though used by some departments

Example - Any application that is identified to have known security issues

  • You would Endure if the alternate option is identified as part of road map and organization is working towards that

Example - Legacy ERP systems, Access applications, XLS with lot of macros


When to say "NO" ?


When you put the customer requirements into the CREATE process, you would uncover lot of insights. Sometimes, stakeholder may not have researched alternatives and we often save time by adapting an existing solution. It may require adding a new module or additional licenses. Recently, we helped an organization to customize their existing IT SERVICE DESK solution for processing HR / Maintenance requests and saved lot of budget dollars.


CAUTION - You may ask if it makes business sense to say NO..

  • Customer trying to develop a custom solution (reinventing the wheel) that is available in the market out-of-the-box

  • Customer wants to design a solution only because it is New Technology and it does not connect to existing ecosystem

  • Customer is investing in a solution that is tied to some legacy framework, proprietary technology without API, Web Services, etc.

  • Customer has made a decision without proper technology review

  • Customer is using a product that is license heavy (Expensive subscription renewals) and quality alternatives are available

  • Customer wants to enhance a product without API / Integration creating organization silos and would not help them in the long run

  • Customer is adapting a critical application that depends on single vendor and might result in business continuity issues later

Timely "NO" can go a long way to leave a lasting impression on customers and build a foundation of trust that stays for life time. You may not have closed a deal but can be at peace knowing that you did the "Right Thing"!


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