Friday, January 18, 2008

Magic eDeveloper V10 and ROI for Start-Up Businesses

The economy has been showing signs of weakness. Despite this, thousands of entrepreneurs will be launching new businesses, even in the midst of a new economy. How does that affect software development? Building the software systems for these new businesses is a critical process and one that must complete in the least possible amount of time. During slow economic times Return on Investment is on the mind of every entrepreneur who has to sign off on a development budget to get the new business systems in place that will deliver their unique competitive advantage. So in today’s business climate, the emphasis is on rapid return on investment. The break-even point needs to be achieved at the earliest possible moment. Every cost has to be analyzed against the expected returns to arrive at estimated break even dates. So here’s my claim: “You can achieve ROI in your application development process faster and with greater assurance when using eDeveloper V10.”

Application development tends to occur in phases. For our purposes, let’s consider these four phases: Design, Build, Test and Deploy. In the harried environment of a new startup business, you need to have all four of these occurring almost simultaneously, but traditional computer programming tools do not allow this. All four of these phases require an investment of time, but if you can execute some of the phases in parallel, then you can get to the final destination faster. So testing isn’t something that happens at the end of a software process, it is an iterative process that occurs throughout the project. For this reason, it may be more useful to think of Design, Build, Test, Maintain not as phases, but rather as layers of the development task. The design layer tends to be front-loaded in the project, but some design occurs while maintaining the program. The test layer tends to be back-loaded towards the end of a project, but using sound iterative design principles, testing definitely occurs throughout the life of the project.Time is money is perhaps a cliché but critical when discussing the ROI of business software development projects for new businesses.

Application Development ROI calculations must put the emphasis on the investment that goes into dollars paid to the developers on the project; i.e. how many developers will it take and for how long? The sooner the project comes to a successful end, the faster the ROI for the project, and the sooner the new business can deploy their new systems and reap the benefits.

The time saved - hence the ROI - using Magic eDeveloper V10 is significant: typically from 4 to 6 times faster than that of other development technologies.
The table below is based on extensive market research and compares each of the four phases (layers) of the application development lifecycle for 3GLs (Third Generation Languages), 4GLs (Fourth Generation Languages) and Magic eDeveloper. If X, Y, Z, and W represent the time spent on an average 3GL application for each of the application development phases, research shows that generally 4GLs cut the time in half. With Magic eDeveloper even better time- savings are achieved. The productivity gains shown below are conservative calculations by Magic Software based on interviews with eDeveloper programmers, many of whom are quoted later.

In order to achieve rapid ROI, each phase of the lifecycle must not only be completed quickly, but must also have the highest reliability to ensure the fastest payback for the investment being made.
In going through the analysis of each of the application development lifecycle phases in future blog entries, I will detail additional aspects of Magic eDeveloper that result in further ROI increases.

Magic eDeveloper’s progressive development paradigm allows prototype applications to be quickly and easily created. The eDeveloper paradigm is often used to convince venture capitalists and other investors that achievement of a new start-up businesses goals for new business systems is in fact achievable. Without eDeveloper, some businesses might not even “get off the ground.” In addition, the ability to support applications over time despite changing business models, platforms, and standards is inherent in the Magic eDeveloper development technology.

Rapid ROI remains a key critical measure for every new business and is often the difference between success and failure. I’ll comment more on the savings possible during each phase of the application development cycle in later posts.