Modern tools need modern methods

Date: 2023.11.02

Category: RPA

How IT can break out of the guild framework

Most people think of IT as one of the most modern and innovative sectors, but while this may be true at the level of tools, there is still room for improvement in methods. The new concept of BCA offers an opportunity for companies to move from a 'guild' framework to an 'industrial' one during the application or software development. In our latest blog post, we explain how this is possible and why it is worth a try for everyone.


Digitalisation and the use of digital tools and solutions have become a basic necessity for companies. But the fact is that when a company needs an application, it has a relatively limited choice. One option is to buy it from the market, from an external supplier, which of course implies a dependency relationship. The other option is to hire a bunch of "digital day laborers" and determine what kind of product you want to get at the end of the project.


"When it comes to creating an IT solution, it can be compared to the way craftsmen worked in  the 15th century. They also used tools that were modern by the standards of the time, but they worked in a guild framework and their working methods were very far from industrial. Today, when we talk about application development, we are essentially working in a guild environment, using modern tools. The only way to improve this situation is to formalise tasks and make the roles work together as effectively as possible. From requirements management to planning to the organisation of handover, a coherent methodology and modelling toolkit is needed. Precise measurement of colleagues' time spent on tasks is very important, so that lessons can be learned and the methodology and tools can be continuously improved. Remember, what cannot be measured cannot be improved.  The question is, what will make a difference?”


If a firm relies on suppliers, internal efficiency gains are not expected because the contractor who wins the contract will use his own familiar methodology and it may not be in it’s interest to innovate in a way that is easily adaptable to the client's environment. And if it uses temporary staff, it is not the job (and, admittedly, not always in the interest) of the organisation providing the people to do the job to improve the efficiency of the task.


We recognised that there was a potential to go up a level by combining the two approaches. We innovate, and we can use the resulting solutions over and over again. This way, we can help our customers even if it is better for them if we provide a business solution and knowledge alongside the basic platform, and even if they are better off by using the knowledge they already have," said Péter Boros, Managing Director of it4all Hungary Kft., a BCA Group company.


Focus on microsercives


The SmartBit platform created by the company is open source and can be used by customers to build a business solution on top of it. The company's concept is based on microservice architecture. Although this concept has been around for decades, the evolution of IT has now reached the point where professionals and organisations are beginning to understand why this approach is important.


The concept is to create a number of reusable microservices or modules on the base platform. This can not only speed up the software or application development process itself, unlike the current approach, but can also be a very useful tool when a small part of the program needs to be updated. "If you have a large software, with thousands of features, chances are that it will need to be constantly modified, which means that you will need to release new versions of this feature-rich software frequently. If it is a mission-critical application, then of course you have to check that all the other functions are working as expected in addition to the modified functions, which obviously means a significant cost. If the software is well decomposed into microservices, if you want to modify a single module of a large system, you only need to check that it works well on its own. Plus, there's the added benefit of not having to shut down the whole software" adds Péter Boros.


Currently, there are about 30 modules available on the SmartBit platform created by it4all, but this number is constantly growing with the expansion of the customer base and new developments. Experience has shown that an average software can be created from between 10 and 50 modules that can be stacked together like LEGO bricks. "The customer articulates their business need and we can tell them how many modules we have that can be used to get started and build it more efficiently than starting completely from the stove. We have an advantage over other providers because we don't have to start from scratch, and it's good for the customer because they don't get a boxed product that they can't manage later by breaking it down into individual functions, but a flexible, well-structured system. And the open source code and open source licence of the platform ensures that there are no legal or technical obstacles to further development," said Péter Boros, outlining the benefits.




The cooperation between it4all and its customers starts with consulting and education. The company is often approached by people who want to rethink IT in a company, and it is necessary to clarify the principles they want to follow. At both it4all and BCA Group, we have considerable expertise in development, data consolidation and automation, and are therefore able to help clients effectively decide "where to go from here".


If a company is embarking on a project, the next big step is to clarify whether they want to use the platform, or only part of it, or only the methodological knowledge accumulated by the service provider. If someone decides to use the SmartBit platform, they will look at whether there are already previously created microservices that can be applied to that customer, speeding up the creation of certain functions.


"If a customer defines a type of business functionality for which we have modules, we can have a system up and running in weeks or a few months. The big advantage of this approach is that the result is a very understandable, systematically built system and its code," adds Péter Boros.


BCA Solutions GmbH

Zeltner Eck Building, Zeltnerstraße 1-3 90443 Nürnberg, Germany

+49 911 88197070

BCA Hungary Ltd.

Office Garden, Alíz u. 3., 1117 Budapest, Hungary

+36 1 205 3976