MagenTys know the trend in large companies has changed – almost irreversibly. No more are they outsourcing large parts of their IT to massive System Integrators (SI’s) and expecting half yearly releases of code. When IT was seen as a commodity, which went to the lowest bidder, this was the case. But now, more than ever, IT is your strategic advantage, whether you are in retail, finance or you are a taxi company. If you do not believe this is the case, you will not be in business long. Traditional models have been and will continue to be broken; moving slowly in the face of change is suicidal – only topped by doing nothing. The move back toward in-house IT teams is to ensure that Intellectual Property (IP) is not held within traditional SI’s, but in the companies that employ them to do a job. Additionally, SI’s have limited interest in helping companies move fast, despite what they may claim. They are set up to offer low cost operational models (such as offshore development centres), which are typically far removed from the end user and will always mean greater misunderstandings, more re-work and a longer delivery cycle. The longer a project takes, the more money these vendors generally make. The more arduous these contracts are to obtain and maintain, the less competition they will face from potential rivals, who could offer an alternative to this model.
Government departments are now realising that this affects them too. Outsourcing large parts of their IT to System Integrators (SI’s) rarely translates into speed of delivery. IT is also their strategic advantage. It means they can reach their audience (ie. everyone) quicker and service them in the manner they want and have become accustomed to.
This ‘lightbulb’ moment and the fact that the government has successfully introduced a new model for government procurement contracts, in the face of pressure from small business and internal government stakeholders, means that we are on the verge of an exciting time in the UK. Disruption of traditional procurement will mean that the government will be able to obtain the services from SMEs who have never been able to offer them before. These organisations, such as MagenTys, generally have specialist skills and more often than not, sit on the bleeding edge of the industry. This, coupled with the fact the focus is on internal capability, means more skills will be sought around coaching, upskilling and providing shorter term ‘real’ consultancy. Not the valueless ‘bums on seats’ model currently provided, which does little but line the pockets of large SI’s, whilst draining IP and more importantly taking time.
I recently had a colleague present a talk on ‘Speed is the new black’. What he means by this is that speed is sexy, it is ‘in’. I agree, it certainly is in. But speed without quality is just accelerated rubbish. Speed and quality is actually gold – not black. So our mission at MagenTys is to deliver better software, faster. How do we do this? We automate as much as we can, from builds to deployment, through to testing. But we also focus on the really important stuff. The upfront communication and collaboration that is integral to building a beautiful product, in as few iterations as possible. We want to limit our engagements with clients to 120 days, purely because we don’t want them dependant on us and vice versa. We also have a unique type of consultant (or geek) who needs to be constantly challenged, so to keep it interesting, they need new challenges and new toys to play with. Of course, clients will always have us back for new projects, but we are firm believers in being enablers. If we can enable a team to own it’s IP and deliver value to customers quickly, we have achieved our goal.
Marketing Executive at MagenTys