In a recent interview with Business Intelligence Group (BIG), I was asked to define AgilePoint’s ideal customer—the type of organization that can benefit the most from AgilePoint NX. It was an interesting question, and one worth formally responding to for anyone who happens to be looking for a powerful way to build responsive business apps fast.
AgilePoint NX’s Sweet Spot
The type of customer that can most benefit from AgilePoint NX is a medium to large-sized organization that is struggling with mounting technical debt; managing a portfolio of legacy, on-premises systems that it wants to migrate to the cloud; and facing a backlog of custom development projects, each of which needs to result in an application that is responsive to devices, browsers, and evolving business requirements.
Mounting Technical Debt
Most organizations have IT departments that are responsible for creating interactivity across line-of-business systems. Writing code in any number of different languages against application API’s, a programmer can expose features and/or data from one system to users of another system. Likewise, another programmer might be coding interactivity across the same two systems but for a different group of users having an entirely different set of requirements. All of this hand-written code is brittle, being susceptible to version changes in related applications, and requires ongoing maintenance, which maintenance is tantamount to interest payments on a debt that can never be repaid.
AgilePoint NX allows organizations to create technical assets rather than debt by creating interactivity across line-of-business systems using easy to build and understand application models. These models utilize loose couplings between applications and can be built without writing code.
One challenge that IT departments face is migrating on-premises systems to the cloud. One aspect of this challenge is timing. Some organizational departments may have already made the shift to cloud-based business apps, such as Office 365 or Salesforce, while other groups in the same company may be heavily reliant on legacy, on-premises systems, such as SharePoint 2010/2013 or SAP. For many companies, there will be a virtual rat’s nest of legacy code written to augment and interconnect these on-premises systems, which code can’t be replicated for cloud versions of these systems.
AgilePoint NX’s unique architecture enables organizations to create interactivity between on-premises systems and cloud-based systems. For example, someone could make an addition to a list in SharePoint 2010, which could trigger an AgilePoint NX-based process. The process could call an activity from Office 365 or maybe Salesforce, and then, later, call an activity from an on-premises version of SAP, and so on. The key advantage, here, is that AgilePoint NX provides a stable migration path to the cloud that allows organizations to move at their own pace.
New App Development
Many IT departments have a mounting backlog of custom application development. These custom apps need to interact with line-of-business systems and need to be responsive to devices, browsers, and, ideally, evolving business requirements.
There are many platforms that enable development of lightweight mobile apps. AgilePoint NX, in contrast, enables the rapid development of enterprise applications that run seamlessly on mobile devices. Furthermore, because of AgilePoint’s unique architecture, application updates can be made during runtime. Furthermore, AgilePoint NX apps can be configured for different use cases and can be configured so as to be self adaptive to changing business conditions via programmatic feedback loops of data originating in other applications or machines.