Back in September 2018, I wrote a blog post about conversations that I had with several chief technology officers in and around the Chicago area. I learned a great deal from speaking with these executives about how information, technology and content influence their teams; how they help foster growth in leadership and networking and how they truly are the driving force behind being comfortable with constant change.
So here we are almost a year later, and that last point—the comfort of being uncomfortable—resonates more loudly than ever before.
Technology and information leaders are constantly in a state of flux. It’s a challenge to place a big bet on one technology for fear that it’s out of favor 36 months later. Caxy’s approach tries to reduce focus-specific technologies and puts emphasis on solving the right problem. This addresses problems in the here-and-now, but also addresses future growth cycles.
What’s more, business leaders are demanding that development companies like Caxy help shape a strategy for what lies ahead. It’s imperative that we carve out time to think strategically while also thinking about the speed to get things done, so leaning on partners is often a path to getting ideas that work fast. CTOs and CIOs need to go back to their C-level brethren within their organizations to show what impact technology has, how it helps others do their jobs better and how it creates a competitive advantage.
Unfortunately, many companies choose inaction over taking the leap.
Caxy is in the problem-solving business as much as it is in the technology development business. With this in mind, I wanted to “respond” to my last post by highlighting how we can make technology leaders feel more comfortable with their discomfort—and in doing so provide an overview of what we expect of clients in forming a successful client relationship.
- First, we think about the relationship of the client’s real needs with the approach and technology chosen. I have never been as proud of my team of developers and operations people as I am today. They do such a great job of listening to clients’ problems and then responding with the right development solution--sometimes advocating for a much smaller, more reduced scope. Above all else, we have found more clients at-ease because they know our people “get” what they want to do and trust us to partner with them to find the best ideas.
- Caxy looks for “experienced buyers” of our development services—so we often challenge clients travel on the discovery journey with us to reexamine the assumptions they have brought to the product. Too often, we start a relationship with a direction based on false or untested assumptions. When we get through discovery, clients can be surprised to see that they want to reload a different version of their original idea now that they have the data.
- Last, we push clients to pull back on the initial versions of technology initiatives. We’ve found the biggest cause of software projects failing is trying to do too much to please too many people all at once. It’s scary. They will have to go back to stakeholders, sometimes even the CEO, to say that they aren’t getting that feature this year. But it’s the right call and gets them into the market faster with the tighter, better product.
Inevitably, CIOs and CTOs strive to ensure their development partner is just that—a partner. Caxy looks at client engagements as partnerships, as each side gets out what it puts into the relationship. I am proud of the partnerships that we have now. I am confident that we will have more partnerships that fuel “comfortable discomfort” in the future.