Engaging with customers in meaningful ways has become a central theme in customer retention. For example, IBM sights the importance of delivering “personally relevant and rewarding experiences” as a key rule of engagement with customers. Engaging, by definition, requires a nimble response-time. Otherwise the customer moves on to another supplier who is more tuned in.
When your business processes are deeply embedded in legacy systems, it can be challenging to build quick, responsive processes that connect to them. Adding a connection to a mobile app for quick responses to customers implies rethinking the entire process including the enterprise software and architecture – from disaster recovery, through networking & security and deep into data definitions – all to enable connections between legacy and mobile software (Our next blog will go into more detail on the alternative approaches to add connections).
While going through the full process may prevent a quick response, enterprises may find a middle ground. Rather than choosing between good practices and quick response time, here are five Agile principles that can help you have the best of both worlds:
- Stick with the standards. Your agile-mode tools must comply with well-established standards so they will be able to continue to integrate all components into your architecture down the road.
- Favor convention over other configurations. When working with an Agile approach, best practices are better, even if they require the use of a different approach than the one you are used to. Agile is about speed of delivery and the ability to perfect it later. Best practices and conventions, like other standards - such as XML or JSON, provide a standard solution that others can also support.
- Whenever possible, automate. In addition to saving time, automation enforces standards and best practices and prevents human errors. When considering an agile-mode tool or product, the more automation it provides the better.
- Use a single comprehensive solution rather than combining different solutions. An agile-mode tool should provide a complete solution, not just a part of it. With a streamlined, comprehensive Agile-mode tool, you can to move from a requirement to a complete solution quickly, avoiding process complexities and implementation delays.
- Limit the number of people involved to a single user or team. This eliminates steps for getting permission, definitions, configurations and setups. By using best practices that have been pre-checked and pre-approved, you don’t need to go through the entire security threat evaluation process every time you expose something to the web. At the same time, it is important to protect data security. So keep security in the loop, but minimize the number of people involved when implementing and deploying an agile-mode solution.
How does your business maintain its legacy systems but still stay tuned in to its customers needs? Tell us in the comments below.
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