To digitally transform business operations, organisations will build and/or buy capabilities that help differentiate themselves. This may require the creation of new applications, the re-factoring of existing applications or the adoption of 3rd party SaaS solutions; most likely a combination of all three. The journey is never ending (unless you get it so badly wrong, the journey ends for your company!)
While digital transformation will help address the critical business challenges, new IT challenges are created in its wake. For example, how do you integrate these new applications into those that already exist? How can IT quickly expose functionality such that can be re-purposed and delivered to meet future requirements? How do you avoid confusing the end-user with yet another user interface?
The accepted approach for the last three decades has been to embrace some kind of componentised application architecture in which business services can be exposed and integrated with one another via a broker or a bus. The problem is that while this is great for simple well-defined business processes in which user interfaces can simply be automated away, most real-world problems require human input and hence user interfaces (UI).
For example, in call-centres, advisors often hop between 15+ applications, in some Wealth Management institutions, analysts need to select from a portfolio of 400+ applications! Without the tools to simplify the user-experience, operational costs will grow, error rates will increase and ultimately business outcomes will suffer.
What is needed is a way to minimise application hops and allow the rapid deployment of newly built or acquired capabilities without increasing the UI bloat. Sounds simple, but history tells us otherwise.
In recent years, many organisations have attempted to resolve this issue through the development of new do-everything user interfaces either built from scratch or by extending the dominant application. These projects often lead to the creation of monolithic applications that are fragile and costly to maintain. Worse still, the UI often represents up to 60% of the total effort to build an application – throwing that away doesn’t sound like a good use of IT budget. Headless eCommerce is another approach that has grabbed headlines, but that simply requires you to build the UI from scratch. Doing this with applications designed as ‘headless’ is fine, in-house and legacy applications will make this a non-starter.
Thankfully, there is a solution. Glue42 provides a desktop integration platform, that focusses on the entire User Experience. We call this UX Integration. This makes it possible to glue together the essential applications for each user journey, sharing data and context between them while at the same time preserving the integrity of the back-end systems. This is achieved through the exposure of applications, specifically their user interface, such that they become re-usable within the frame of a new tailored application. This is a complementary to any back-end integration techniques and will help solve the digital transformation dilemma.
Reusability is available to end users via window management functionality; this allows them to build their own composite applications for their specific tasks. It’s also available to developers through APIs that provide data sharing and method discovery so that components can be scripted and respond dynamically what is currently deployed on the desktop. Deploy a new component and the existing applications can work with it.
The consequence to the business is that not only do operational KPIs improve (such as reduced handling times, error rates and training effort) it will also indirectly help on measures such as revenue per customer and customer satisfaction.
Glue42 customers have achieved these benefits while at the same time reducing development cycle times by more than 50%. Desktop User Interface (UI) integration is a rapidly growing market and one that is being deployed into some of the most mission critical environments possible.
Glue42 is a subsidiary of Tick42 – a rapidly growing software vendor and services organisation whose mission is to treat the user experience as a first-class citizen when integrating applications.
Glue42 Desktop has been deployed into some of the most extreme mission critical environments and is currently licensed across 12,000 production instances.