3 keys for building successful digital services – How a visionary CIO helps a company to survive in times of disruptiv change

by Michael Ghezzo

Bence Laczkovich CEO at Virgo International Ltd. about agile and lean product development and the role of the CIO.

What are the expectations customers have these days and in which areas do companies have to act to meet these expectations?

Today, clients understand that digital product development is far more complex than simple software development. They are looking for partners supporting them through their entire digital product development process. That sometimes means that we are getting involved in the elaboration of the business model itself.  Or in the pitch of the idea and concept to potential investors. This kind of ‘IT-coach’ role perfectly fits us: we are trained to deeply understand these concepts. Additionally, for us as evangelists of the agile methodology, empathy is a minimum requirement. 

What are the 3 most important keys to success with innovative digital services and products?

(1) The Lean approach is a key factor. For any concept-phase we strive to create a viable product to help validation of the concept itself.

(2) Continuous analysis and scrutiny of pre-set assumptions is a key factor as well. E.g.: the deep understanding of customers’ needs and the capacity to change direction if needed.

(3)  Understand that an unsuccessful project or concept is not necessarily a failure by itself. One should be able to let (it) go.  Agility and successful product development are about being able to react to the truths of the world – whatever they are.

What can the CIO do to make his company successful in times of disruptive Change?

The more the business models are based on innovative ITC solutions, the more visionary a CIO becomes a real engine for the success of his/her company. The best contribution of a CIO to success is proactively searching for new solutions.

As changes aren’t fully predictable nowadays, a flexible, IT-related organisation can contribute more to any emerging business requirement. Portfolio management and the ability to prioritise are both key elements. Understanding trends and the ability to manage frequent and overwhelming challenges is a must.

We at Virgo Systems strongly believe that with an agile background it gets easier and more effective to face all these challenges.

How should a development process for a cool e-commerce solution look like?

The goal is clear: fast and comfortable shopping opportunity for customers. Therefore, we must think as customers do. Mobile application is a must, not an option anymore. Supported by state-of-the-art search engines and collaborative filtering we build such a high user experience and such an easy and safe way of buying, that users are converted immediately to returning customers just from the very first purchase. Agile methodology helps a lot to better understanding what is in customer’s mind. 

What role does Virgo play in creating sustainable solutions for its customers?

From a technological point of view we create architectures ready to handle disruptive changes. Structures are being developed by always keeping in mind that refactoring cost has to be minimal. The foundation has to be solid: one must opt for technologies which will exist in 5-10 years from now. Therefore, an intelligent mix of stability and innovation complement each other as key factors of sustainability.

From a business point of view one has to have a clear vision where his/her company is supposed to be developed in the future, but while en-route one must always keep in mind the ability to adapt continuously to the new needs and requirements. Being agile benefits pretty much this ability.

Meet Virgo Systems Ltd. at the 9th Confare CIO SUMMIT – April 6/7th 2016 Vienna.


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