Accelerating innovation through platform development for high-quality outcomes

Rajesh Kachroo May 28, 2019
Organizations in the business of consumer engagement, specifically Edtech companies dealing with the Generation Alpha today, face a constant imperative: how to innovate by adopting modern technologies in an ever-evolving digital environment. In my experience of working with organizations that work hard to stay afloat and relevant to their customers, the most successful are the ones that implement digital strategies to empower current customers and/or enhance business models or processes. Digital transformation is for the people and by a group of people coming together and it is not about one ‘I-know-everything” person. Most successful CIOs/CTOs have a well-articulated long and medium term vision, yet they focus on short-term wins for their sponsors and customers. While this is a recipe for success, executing this is far from simple. As per a Forbes article I read recently, out of $1.3B spent on Digital Transformation, around 70% have not reached their stated goals. To have a successful transformation, technology decision-makers need to start with some high-level strategy questions:
  • Discovery or the Business Case: How are the legacy platforms becoming a bottleneck in innovation, business flexibility, customer experience and insights, time-to-market or better decision making?
  • Cost-benefit Analysis: What will be the overall cost of the change versus benefit in quantitative terms? It is very easy to be misled by tagging benefits to qualitative improvements but let us say you will be able to get your budgets, the success. measurement also becomes subjective
  • Integrated solution: How would the proposed digital architecture cater to the business holistically and what is the time period required for executing the solution?
  • Functional architecture: How can the workflows, processes and technologies be simplified, standardized and automated? What components can be built vs what tools can be bought?
  • Technical Architecture: How modern technologies like React or Node and modern tools or data analytics, visualization or cloud technologies be integrated with legacy systems?
  • Roadmap: How can frequent releases of new features be a part of our development methodology while minimizing risk to operations? Do we need to have a sunset strategy, like for example customer and data migration in place for legacy systems?
  • Performance and user testing: How do we benchmark platform performance, reliability, and flexibility to measure change?
  • People: Often ignored yet one of the most important questions is if there is a pool of resources we can tap into to manage and support the upgraded platform going forward?

One of the revealing statistics on organizational innovation is nearly 72% of the technology leaders claim innovation projects on emerging technologies impacting revenues are most likely to appeal CEOs and yet only 18% of the technology budgets are focused on such innovations. Considering the above questions and many related ones can be daunting. Among other challenges is recognizing and coming to terms with the biases and capabilities of organizational resources whose knowledge and experience are required to formulate good answers. But standing still in the face of changing demand and a fluid environment is not a viable option. What is the best way forward? We, at Magic, are constantly thrown this challenge to help our customers in publishing and edtech space. Magic has developed an improvised IAR (Identify, Analyze and Recommend) framework, to provide answers to these questions and develop a plan for digital technology innovation. Nearly 10,000 man-years of experience of digital education products and platforms, and our transformed ‘platform-thinking’ approach, lays a great foundation to build upon. Our digital architects are not only developing roadmaps but also working hand-in-glove with the development and support teams to create seamless execution methodology and drive efficiencies. As a technology-leader, one is constantly juggling between three major areas – innovation, efficiency and support to the business. The key lies in the right balance and the onus of keeping the organization relevant in today’s world depends on this balance. The technology leaders of today are not merely executors of a technology strategy but are the gurus that drive corporate strategy. Partnerships are an imperative these leaders can’t avoid and therein, comes in the judgement of these leaders in choosing whom to align with.
Contact us to learn more about the possibilities for accelerating innovation, platform development, improving user experience, time-to-market and newer commercial models with customer insights.
Rajesh Kachroo

Rajesh Kachroo is a Sr. Vice President and Global Head for Business Operations at Magic EdTech. He comes with 24 years in consulting and business development experience with last 12 years in Media, Entertainment, Publishing and Education domains. He passionately advocates for use of digital technologies to improve learning efficacy