How Software Value Can Impact Competitive Positioning

Mike HarrisSome might argue that a CEO should not be concerned with software development initiatives; instead, they should be focused on more strategic aspects of the business. I do not argue that the CEO is the visionary of the company and should turn to his/her executive team to manage the details; however, today, software is entwined in almost every aspect of an organization and can significantly impact the success of a business.

CEOs need to be focused on guiding his or her team to gain or keep a competitive advantage. In today’s technology-dependent business world, software is typically leveraged to enable businesses to be more efficient and effective, helping to lower costs and increase profits. Therefore, if the CEO’s vision is to be the lowest-cost/highest-value provider of a certain product, for example, and a software application needs to be developed to allow them to streamline a process to be able to offer their product at a lower cost while still providing greater value to their customers, then the CEO will be very interested in how quickly this software solution can be developed.

Time to market can be a critical factor in gaining a competitive advantage. In the rapidly changing banking industry, for example, banks need to continually offer new products and services in order to retain their existing customers and attract new ones. Most of these new offerings are driven by software. If they are unable to develop a software application quickly enough to beat their competitors, then they run the risk of losing customers and prospects.

If the CEO understands the business value of a software application and that it will help fulfill their vision, then they are likely to also be concerned whether or not it’s being prioritized appropriately so that it can be developed, implemented and brought to the market as quickly as possible to maintain high customer satisfaction and competitive advantage. 

How involved is your CEO in your software development initiatives?

 
Mike Harris
DCG President & CEO

 

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
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About DCG Software Value

We provide numerous materials about ourselves and how we can help our clients. But, sometimes it's best to hear it straight from the top.

This video, from our CEO Mike Harris, explains, in his own words, who DCG Software Value is and why we're in this business.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to Mike directly at m.harris@softwarevalue.com. Of course, if you're looking for more information about the company, you can download our Corporate Profile or check out the About page of our website.

 

Written by Default at 05:00
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CMO and IT Collaboration = Higher Software Value

Mike HarrisChief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have become one of the most frequent internal customers of IT departments in recent years. There has been an explosion in the use of technology by marketers as they have had to turn to online channels to reach their target audiences.

Digital marketing techniques, such as: interactive websites, mobile marketing, videos, email campaigns, search engine marketing/optimization, among others have become instrumental for marketers to get their messages in front of the right audiences and achieve their target revenue goals. 

In addition to the numerous digital marketing practices, there has also been a significant increase in the use of marketing automation tools, such as Hubspot and Pardot, to manage all of the moving parts of a marketing program; and also in CRM solutions, like Salesforce.com, to help maximize the relationships of customers and prospects. Furthermore, marketers are relying on analytics to better understand how their programs are performing. With these tools, they know what’s working, what’s not working and are able to adjust appropriately throughout a campaign.    

As a result of this heavy reliance on technology, CMOs have had to turn to IT frequently to help determine which solutions best fit their needs. Whether purchasing a COTS solution or building a software application from scratch, the IT department can help the CMO clearly understand the technologies available to meet their objectives and maximize the business value from their software. 

To reap the most value from a software solution, the CMO and IT department need to collaborate. It is essential for IT to clearly understand marketing’s business requirements and ultimate goals in order to deliver a software solution that meets their value expectations. 

CMOs and IT are encouraged to utilize a methodology such as the 5-step Value Visualization Framework (VVF) to ensure they have a clear directive to discuss, define, measure, and prioritize their software development initiatives. The VVF process enables marketing and IT to jointly set goals, make data-based decisions and measure against those goals.  It drives greater alignment between IT and marketing through a common language about value and priorities; and can drive IT’s continuous alignment with marketing’s end objectives. 

What collaborative methods do you use to align your business units and IT?


Mike Harris
DCG President & CEO

 

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
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Software Vendor Savings

Tony MannoDo you engage with software vendors to do your development? If so, then you know the drill. You provide your vendors with detailed requirements and they come back with a price for the project. But how do you really know whether you’re paying a fair price, and what’s your basis for negotiation?

If you could quantify the unit value created by the project, and know the fair market rate for those units, then you would know what you should pay for the project. You would be in a strong position to negotiate a fair price with your vendor.

Function Point Analysis can provide that information. It is a technique for measuring the functionality that is meaningful to a user, independent of technology. Function Point Analysis is governed by IFPUG, which produces the Function Point Counting Practices Manual. This manual is used by all IFPUG-certified Function Point Analysts to conduct function point counts. IFPUG is an ISO standard for software measurement.

Industry standard rates for the development of function points are available. Armed with the function point count for the project, along with the market rate, you’re ready for a win-win negotiation with your vendor.

Additional Resources:

Looking for more information? Check out these publications:

  1. An introduction to Function Point Analysis, including what it is and who would benefit from it. Download.
  2. DCG’s Function Point Analysis services. Download.
  3. DCG’s Software Vendor Savings offering. Learn more.

 If you need more information on how to use Function Point Analysis for evaluation and negotiation of vendor pricing, or if you have general questions about function points, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m always up for a discussion!

 

Anthony Manno, III
Vice President, Outsourced Services

t.manno@softwarevalue.com

 

Written by Tony Manno at 05:00

Measurement Roadmap

A complaint we hear a lot in this industry is that IT struggles to prove its value to the business. One of the easiest ways to combat this is to align IT directly with the goals of the business - but how do you do that? The key is measurement.

No shock coming from us, right? Measurement. But, without metrics you can't accurately report on your actions, and you simply can't provide comprehensive insight into how IT supports the business.

Our Measurement Roadmap outlines metrics that match up to the technical and organizational goals of your business, facilitating effective, real-time monitoring and decision support.

Measurement Roadmap

The bottom line is that IT can't prove its worth without a mechanism to measure its worth. Find the right measures for your organization and satisfy all stakeholders.

Written by Default at 05:00

"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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