FASTER TIME TO MARKET USING LOW- AND NO-CODE SOLUTIONS
Helping our clients harness the power of their increasing investment and desire for low code or no code platforms for more rapid development and deployment of solutions, as well as lower cost and more reliable ongoing operations.
MULTI-MODAL SOLUTIONS TO QUICKLY SOLVE MISSION REQUIREMENTS
As federal organizations have evolved their solution development and deployment practices – moving from waterfall to Agile methods and introducing DevSecOps and Cloud infrastructure into their tool boxes over the past decade – so too have they more recently evolved the technologies at the core of their solutions. While Open Source custom development has been popular for years, many have found that the reward has not matched the cost in terms of speed of development/deployment, quality and long-term O&M cost. Enter the latest wave of low-code and no-code platforms, like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Dynamics and Pega, which have fueled investment from the government that demands new skills and capability to leverage them.
At steampunk, we have taken a very focused approach, blending the needed technical skills for platforms like Salesforce with our Agile and DevSecOps expertise to offer the best of modern development methods with rich configurable platforms for quick return on development investment. We combine this with our Human-Centered Design approach to bring our clients’ mission owners into the design and development to tailor these platforms to produce rich multi-modal solutions that quickly solve mission requirements.
Some of the areas we focus on in our Platforms practice are as follows:
- Platform Architecture and Implementation
- Platform Governance Strategy and Implementation
- Legacy to Platform Migration Planning and Execution
- Agile Development Process Implementation for Platforms
While Platforms make life easier in many cases because they are run as Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, either on premise or in the cloud – they still require know-how to enable scaling their use across an organization, and to enable growth in user volumes over time. If the organization, the administrative and user roles, responsibilities, and the features are not implemented with the future in mind, just like a custom-built solution, a platform can end up stove-piped and inconsistent. It can also expose security vulnerabilities if not integrated with the necessary security tools.
Certified Steampunk experts in each platform technology use vendor recommended configurations and approaches proven at some of the largest platform implementations to provide scalable, secure baselines. We are also able to help “repair” implementations that were not as fortunate at the outset, to reconfigure as needed and potentially migrate less than optimal environments to newly scalable ones.
Governance in the world of platforms refers to the need to manage and control the proliferation of platform solutions and standards by which they are used and implemented. A lack of governance was the cause for proliferation of many of the government’s legacy applications using tools like Microsoft Access, SharePoint and other “free” or unconstrained solution development that occurred in the 90’s and 2000’s. The price paid is a massive effort to identify, consolidate and migrate those solutions to more modern and maintainable solutions.
We bring a centralized approach for platform governance, helping our clients establish platform sponsors, simple but effective processes for platform selection when multiple possible platforms exist, and mechanisms for quick sizing and configuration depending on the expected user and data workloads.
Similar to promises of Cloud adoption, the easy part is typically the standup of the infrastructure and development of a brand-new solution. The movement of existing applications to a new technology platform or to the cloud itself is a much harder and time-consuming task. Having prior experience moving older applications to new platforms provides a jumping off point that enables a more predictable outcome.
Using reference architectures and migration methods that are endorsed by our platform vendor partners, our certified resources help to plan for migration, and then execute using an Agile approach to iteratively move and test the target solution.
Agile Process Implementation
Platforms gained in popularity in part due to the promise of “configuration only” or low-code/no-code implementation of applications. While these are certainly achievable promises, often clients incorrectly think that Agile development methods applied to custom open source application development won’t apply. While the tool sets are more nuanced or specific to a given platform, Agile principles definitely can and should be applied for all the same reasons they were applied to other development projects. To do this effectively, some simple steps up front can be taken to ensure the right “mapping” of Agile processes and techniques into the platform lifecycle.
Steampunk has the Agile-enablement expertise to get our clients’ platform implementations aligned effectively to their broader Agile software development lifecycle. Combining this alignment with an effective Governance strategy enables a much more full exploitation of the platform investment as an asset among a number of development strategies to be wielded for incremental implementation of certain types of mission or business functions.
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