Time to move from IT to BT

Pradeep Henry , India

Time to move from IT to BT My 90s idea and approach for User Assistance (UA) development, which I shared through my book, is standard practice today. Unlike UA approaches that were available back then, this approach pushed the traditional UA writing boundaries and targeted "improved software usability" as the goal.

My second innovation, which has been used in 175-plus software projects, is a business process centric approach to design user interfaces. By entering the foreign territory of business process and keeping focus on its performance, this approach helped over 100 US companies win dramatic productivity payoff in the 50% to 150% range.

My third and most recent innovation is even bigger in terms of impact on the business world. And that's precisely what excites me. The innovation is a framework for the practice of Business Technology (BT). BT practice is fundamentally different from conventional IT methodologies in that the primary focus shifts from delivering quality software on time within budget to delivering business results.

What makes me to innovate? When I see things that miss the potential, I'm provoked. Right away I start working on better methods. Unlike a lot of people, I did not enter the software industry as a programmer and then work my way up. I chose roles that gave me the unique opportunity to see software from customer's business process and user perspectives -- things that ultimately matter to the company that invests in and uses software. These "new" perspectives showed me the missing potential. And I was provoked. I discovered that companies can get a lot more from software if software development was approached differently.

Every time a company brings in new software, it is probably adding another technology silo that does not fit with the overall business process where it is used. That's what could have happened when a US-based company engaged a software provider to develop a sales reporting software. Thankfully, that did not happen in this case. Instead, the company ended up with software and business process working together as one, resulting in -- amazingly -- improved sales! What is the secret sauce? Well, the provider used the BT approach.

My BT framework brings together business software and business process, enabling the creation of an integrated and innovative architecture. The resulting software and business process work as one -- to deliver higher-impact business results. The framework has been improved with inputs from Columbia Business School faculty/students, industry veterans, and thought-leaders. I have published articles relating to BT at Columbia Business School and Business Process Trends websites. I also have my own blog called The Practice of Business Technology.

Having observed/researched/engaged in some 500 global software projects, I know that the conventional IT approach must change to BT. I have the framework for BT practice. And I want the corporate world to benefit from it.

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