Think of a software company. Now give me the 5 words that come to your mind.
Software. Application. Development. Codes. Geeks. UI. GUI. Computer. Web. Mouse. Clicking. Double-clicking. Computer screen. Keyboard. Hard-drive.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I covered all your guess in the line above. There’s a 72.8% probability that I did, and yes, I just made up that percentage.
Even a year ago, I myself wouldn’t be necessarily associating business, process (re)engineering, business strategy and other fancy business-y terms with a software company. And now, as I write this piece from a quiet workstation in Zurich- I understand how short sighted we can be.
Let me take a step back.
After switching from an MNC, even when I told my friends that I work in a software company, many assumed that my employers are just another outsourcing company; one of those companies that mindlessly develop generic/obscure modules at dirt-cheap prices. To be honest, that’s how the Bangladeshi IT industry grew. I can see this industry imitate the garments industry- another industry where we lie at the bottom of the whole value chain. True, these industries continue to grow, but in order to thrive, the key ingredient is missing.
Business orientation. Bam.
At SELISE, we’re a big fan of a certain Hubert Österle, and his 3 layered approach to a problem. For the less curious, in a nutshell this basically dictates that you to look at the strategy layer first. With a solid strategy, now you cross check to see if the right processes are in place. Only then do you move to the last layer, where you must evaluate if the right systems (i.e. software) are in place.
There is often a common inclination to sell a software as a solution to everything. While in some cases this still rings true, in most cases it’s just a short-term fix, and encourages similar myopic focus on features that might not even be relevant anymore in the future. Selling only software, as I have realized, is also tremendously boring.
I think this is where SELISE has been so great. We’ve had to work hard for this, but we’ve slowly gotten to place where we’re truly integrating with our customers to become their partners. We’re no longer content with just being zombie coders, and have learned to add value to the other layers – both strategy and processes. We love taking on challenges in its entirety.
And it has been wonderful.