When the time’s right to reinvent rather than modernise apps

About the author:

Robert is Director or Engineering & Data at BoatyardX, an Ergo company. He has over 20 years experience designing, building and running digital enabled products across a range of industries. He has worked in a range of companies from startups and consultancies, through to the innovation sector. Robert heads up our Engineering, Architecture and Data groups across Ireland, Romania and Colombia and ensures we deliver on our value propositions to all our clients. He has in depth experience in software, cloud, devops, data and ai.

More organisations are starting to realise that the cloud is a great enabler for innovation, not just a more efficient way of running IT applications and services. It’s also one of the reasons why Ergo acquired BoatyardX at the end of last year, because of our expertise in developing pioneering software products in the cloud. It’s about rethinking and replacing what went before, building from scratch rather than updating old processes or carrying out a ‘lift and shift’.

What makes it possible is the reference architecture we use, open source tooling and best-of-breed technologies that are readily available to deliver core functionality. But what really makes it happen is the way we focus on aligning solutions to client needs, on innovating to ensure market differentiation and competitive advantage.

Start with a business problem

Where our culture fits with Ergo is that we always start with a business problem. It doesn’t matter if it’s a financial services company or an eCommerce business, the remit is often similar: they want to reach customers across digital channels and interact more effectively with them, whether it’s through a phone in their pocket or an application on a PC.

Some clients are established corporates; others more greenfield and entrepreneurial. An engagement with the first could be about scaling an existing product in a new way because the old way has hit a ceiling, whereas the entrepreneurial client might have a half-formed idea for a new type of digital service. Our role is to help them both realise their vision, however hazy it might at first appear. It often starts with a reality check on the risks and what’s technically possible.

Our aim is always to help clients achieve and exceed their goals. It’s a big call but we can do it because we know the journey – we’ve taken it many times – and have developed a process that ensures success. We start with our Discovery Framework, an iterative engagement that encourages clients to look harder at what they want to achieve.

From innovation to differentiation

The Framework is about giving clients the confidence to navigate the risks and arrive at the rewards they hoped for. Usually it’s about innovating to arrive at some sort of market differentiation, a daunting prospect for many businesses because their primary experience has been around using IT to run operations. Our role is to show that it’s possible to leverage technology to become a pioneer and the disruptive player in a marketplace.

How do we do it?  Typically it starts by looking at the new product or service in terms of  customer desirability, technical feasibility and commercial viability. You have to be sure it can deliver on the first point, that it solves a real customer pain point. Then it’s about our team specking the requirements to build it and making sure the outcome will make enough money to justify the investment.

A core principle in our approach is that software development is never a risk, it’s a carefully executed strategy for delivering pioneering innovation. Our focus on detail is carried all the way through to the design phase, which includes mapping customer personas to the planned product and making sure user journeys are seamless. A great customer experience is a BoatyardX priority with every project.

What we are really doing is addressing an age-old conundrum, the 80/20 rule where CIOs spend 80% of their time keeping the lights on and only 20% pursuing innovation. We see our role as making it possible for internal IT resources to stand over more innovative services, by deploying applications that will take the organisation to the leading edge.

Get in Contact 

If you have a new concept or existing product and are considering taking the next steps, we would love to discuss if a BoatyardX Discovery project can help you achieve your product vision. 



Reach out at  letsgettowork@boatyardx.com