Software Vendors: Control IT Governance With Mendix
Maintaining control of the entire lifecycle of customizable software and applications you build is critical for every software vendor. Whether it’s a well-meaning customer accidentally breaking something during implementation, customers looking to make changes that will hinder future upgrades or looking to make customizations past what a standard COTS solution can provide, concerns about IP, security, and access, or anything in between, there are potential IT governance pitfalls throughout the lifecycle that can harm your solution and your relationship with your customer.
On top of that, every hour spent fixing mistakes or duplicating work is time you’re unable to spend collaborating with customers and innovating to build the best possible future-proof solutions. In other words, you’re not maximizing your ROI.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation like this and wondered if there was a better way, read on.
A utopia of governance
The idealized way to maintain control lies in these critical areas:
- Simplicity: How easy is it to implement safeguards around critical components? Then, how easy can you make it for clients to implement, deploy, and upgrade?
- Repeatability: If you have a process that works, how can you then repeat that across many or all of your builds without having to hand-code everything over and over again?
The answer is a platform that bakes control and governance in from the beginning, meaning that most of the tedious work is already done, so that you can focus on innovation, collaboration, and differentiators.
The answer is Mendix.
Mendix: Speed up, work together, maintain control
The Mendix platform is designed to help developers get and maintain control over commercial software solutions. Protect the customer, streamline integrations, and make composable, scalable, and easy-to-understand applications.
Here, though, control doesn’t have to mean 100% standardized. We provide a lot of the starting points (think of it as governance in a box!), but vendors can still customize to meet their needs and their clients’ needs.
One of these is the Control Center dashboard. You can see the total app landscape, what version they’re on, and who’s involved, among many other features.
But governance continually changes, so we evolve alongside it with each release. Let’s look at a couple of brand-new features from our newest release, Mendix 10, that make governance and control more straightforward than ever.
Enter the Mendix Solutions Kit.
Solutions Kit acts as a starting point for development, meaning that much of the work is already done. Governance and control considerations? They’re there. Security and permissions? Absolutely. Workflows and microflows? Already included.
But the best part is that all those pieces are customizable for specific needs. And those pieces can all be picked up and reused in other builds, so the time gains become exponential.
A significant benefit here that helps vendors remain in control is locked modules, which are precisely what they sound like. You can control access, hide microflows and contents, and only show the parts of the data model that you want to show. This helps you protect your ever-critical IP and your applications from accidental breakage.
Think of it this way. Mendix provides the platform that enables this controlled adaptation. You can build your solution and offer it as building blocks for your customer. Your customer can then take those building blocks to add on, connect pieces together, or customize to their choosing.
Upgrade paths can be confusing for vendors and customers. When looking at potential changes to models, extrapolating out what those changes impact and could impact down the road is tough to visualize. Or, at least, it was before Mendix Adaptation Insights.
Now, orgs can better understand the impact of potential changes, whether looking at the overall experience or down to individual modules and document microflows. Heat maps are visual and simple to understand, which means another layer of control.
Apply this thinking to something like upgrades. Traditionally, upgrades are time consuming, resource consuming, painful, and hard to control. Adaptation Insights removes all of that, allowing for continuous upgrades. If you wanted, you can visualize changes and upgrade at the end of easy sprint. Staying up to date makes staying in control simpler than ever before.
Even better? Adaptation Insights also helps with the following:
- Collaboration: More information leads to more informed decisions.
- Implementation: Help customers understand the implications of changes before they happen.
- Value: Every customer is important, but is a particular change the best one for a specific client? Now you can understand effort and outputs better than ever.
- Co-innovation: As you see what innovations your customers are making, you can apply those learnings to improve your own product.
Control your app landscape, control your future
When you lose sight of what’s happening in your app landscape, you lose control, efficiency, time, and customers.
With everything we do, Mendix aims to move app development to the next level and make it easier for vendors and developers to get and stay in control of governance. Mendix 10, including Solutions Kit and Adaptation Insights, represent some significant steps for us, but they’re absolutely not our last.
Mendix makes keeping control faster and easier than ever before. If you’d like to learn more or are interested in chatting about the Mendix ISV program, reach out! We’re here to help make your low-code journey a success.