Alex Asianov co-founded DOOR3 in 2002 and currently serves as President. He brings nearly 20 years of expertise in operations management and analysis including business process engineering, systems architecture and integration, and project management of globally distributed software delivery.
DOOR3 is a one-stop digital solution partner to funded start-ups, SMEs and major multi-national corporations. DOOR3 focuses on and achieves business objectives through a blend of strategic guidance, user experience (UX) design, and highly reliable leading-edge, business-focused technology delivery.
BusinessInterviews.com: How do you manage to stay consistently ahead of the competition?
Alex Asianov: We listen to market indicators from a variety of directions:
– Our staff is our ears to the ground. We encourage our staff to bring ideas to the table about what’s hot, and what may become hot.
– Our clients sometimes express needs for which no named, buzzworthy solution exists yet. This tells us there’s an opportunity to get ahead of the market.
– External sources: industry literature, advisors, etc.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some key factors to keep in mind when it comes to creating applications that people will quickly adopt?
– Solutions must give the user something they crave, not just serve high-level strategic objectives
– User experience must be designed with the “don’t make the user have to think” approach
– Real users ideally are involved in the requirements and design. This not only ensures that you’re developing a product with the users in mind (valid for all solution types), but also creates at least some users with a vested interest in adoption (this is particularly important for internal / back office applications but may also apply to B2C or B2B front-office marketing or transactional solutions.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some emerging tech trends that you’re excited about?
– Wearable, location-aware technology, coupled with high-resolution motion sensing technology and ubiquitous (in our environment) digital information coding and sensing.
– Increasing demand for usable solutions by back-office staff; successes in the area of usable, designed back-office solutions might finally usher in a period of digital re-tooling (for efficiency) of back-office processes and automation within American enterprises.
– Direct human-machine interfaces; this is become less and less like science fiction with every few years of R&D, starting with implantable cochlear implants, direct brain-to-limb prosthetics, etc. In-contact lens displays are coming soon as well. Once this technology is proven in people with dire need, people with strong want will be next, and that’s when you will see true convergence of man and machine.
– Ubiquity of computing in our human chronology: the fact that people will soon be in the workforce who had talents since age 3 will make for social and technology demands and changes whose real scope is impossibly to fully predict, but it sure is fun to try!
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some ways that you help your clients plan technology to that it supports their future vision rather than getting stuck in past decisions and current limitations?
Much depends on the client; few firms are open to a real self-examination. For firms that are not, we try to sneak in excellence in the form of extensible architecture, a bit of requirements steering toward future-proofing (an exaggerative misnomer, but it’ll do for the moment), and user experience design. The firms that are more open and introspective will be the leaders in tomorrow’s markets, and with them we can work openly to:
– Improve the way business and technology interact and relate structurally, operationally, and attitudinally, ensuring that innovation is fostered at all levels and the incremental cost of building something right over the cost of just building something is understood and does not have to be continually sold.
– We go to the heart of the ask. What is put in words is often the tip of the iceberg. It’s all about what’s really needed and we work as hard as the client will let us to get the the true center of value and build toward that value.
– Model the real world. If you model all the degrees of freedom present in a real world system at the data level, you can then make the system handle anything that can happen in the real world later. If you don’t do that, when business requirements shift, you may be SOL (seriously out of luck). What most budget owners don’t understand is that the incremental design it takes to build in this kind flexibility, early on, while not cheap, is very low compared to the astronomical (usually prohibitive) costs of transforming badly designed but entrenched applications as the business shifts. Even so, the real cost of this error is not really in systems, it’s in the enormous opportunity costs and even existential risks companies accrue when, because of systems rigidity, they are unable to adapt as a business to their environment, evolving users, and competitors.
BusinessInterviews.com: Congratulations on recently opening an office in the Ukraine. Can you share how this office will be unlike traditional low-cost offshore providers?
We are building a premier product delivery capability, not a coding crew. We are identifying and rewarding true “product owners” who can code or design, as opposed to just the best coders or designers. We will not treat our Kiev colleagues as second-class citizens; we will share with them the fun and excitement of our premier projects and fun / extracurricular R&D work. The end result will be a near twin (certainly a close cousin) of DOOR3’s culture of excellence and focus on our clients’ business. A client who, for financial reasons, may work with DOOR3 Kiev or a US / Kiev hybrid team will certainly experience some of the bumps that come with globally distributed delivery but they will be working with an accountability partner incentivized to make them successful, not (as is typical for global outsourcing) an organization incentivized to simply bill hours.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some of your top tips when it comes to creating a successful User-Friendly Mobile Experience? Can you also expand on any common mistakes or issues that can easily be avoided?
This has been changing a lot lately, but here’s a still-relevant list:
– Don’t spend a year deciding between responsive, adaptive, native, and hybrid. Get good advice, make a call, and get moving. Every day matters.
– Make sure that as you spend money to keep up with a mobile market in flux that you don’t build so much diverse technology that maintenance costs become unsustainable for your business.
– Responsive design is a great tool, but it’s not an excuse to skip strategy. It still matters what your user is most likely to do in what environment on what device, and feature prioritization per device type may still be an important consideration.
– An app on a small device is not the same thing as a small app. Scale and cost vary with scope…so scope is your real point of control. Don’t look for bargain basement during design and implementation…. or you might become one of the many rescue missions we do every year.
BusinessInterviews.com: What important questions should businesses ask potential partners when it comes to carrying out their digital strategy?
– Explain the essential values that a software project should embody (or risks it should mitigate), explain your process, step by step, and then connect each software project value or risk to the parts of your process that support those values or mitigate those risks.
– How is your consulting firm aligned with the client’s success as a business? What values do you foster and how?
– If you only execute digital strategy we bring to you but don’t articulate your own, how do you maintain intellectual engagement? What’s your value-add?
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