Exploring AppDev capability at CGS

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CGS’ AppDev capability is focused on application modernization, architecture, technology, and integration transformation. To better understand the impact of our AppDev work, we spoke with members of the team to hear how their efforts are driving innovation across the federal government.

Can you share an example of how app modernization supports federal agencies in achieving their missions?

Sarah Granade, Manager: An agency we support was having difficulty responding accurately and promptly to requests for information concerning critical logistics information. The information needed for responses was captured manually and stored across hundreds of thousands of paper documents. Each time a request for information was made, the agency had to spin up a team of analysts to sort through the documents to find specific pieces of information. This process was extremely time consuming and led to slow response times. Capgemini has taken a multi-step approach to resolving this issue. The first step was to design and build an automated process for capture and storage of the information. This initial step allowed for queries to be performed in a matter of minutes for responses to data requests that may previously have taken a week or longer to compile.

Capgemini is now modernizing this automated logistics application by introducing an open-source, web-application. This application will provide a single, consistent, maintainable source of data for over 2,500 locations for the agency. The app will greatly increase the ability of the workforce to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively by keeping the focus on the user throughout and ensuring a consistent experience across devices such as laptops and mobile phones.

Thanks to the efforts of Capgemini over the past 10 years in support of the agency, this logistics system is and will continue to be relied upon at the highest levels of government for reporting and analytics, and will continue to enable increased data integrity and availability, as well as enhanced business intelligence reporting capabilities.

How have you helped your clients implement an API-first strategy? What has been the impact for those clients?

Lini Abraham, Senior Manager: A client faced an increasing need for integrating cloud-based SaaS solutions with existing systems and services, such as across multiple Salesforce orgs for which users had to be provisioned from an enterprise active-directory system. The client had many point-to-point integrations using various technologies and applications on legacy platforms.

Capgemini used an API-led approach to unlock data from the enterprise active-directory system. This data, accessed through APIs, was consumed to provision users in Salesforce. This approach simplified the architecture and eliminated the point-to-point integrations and reduced license and operation costs.

Furthermore, Capgemini implemented a C4E (Center for Enablement) for oversight on API design, standards, and tools. We set up well-planned API design and naming standards for ease of discovery and reusability. We also set up a CI/CD pipeline that was critical for distributed development and a centralized deployment process.

How do you embed UI and UX principles into your work and why is this so important?

Christine Horab, Senior Consultant: There are many important guiding principles when it comes to UX/UI, but there are three I would like to highlight. I always find myself repeating, “listen to the user, they are the key to a successful product.” Simply put, the product being developed should address what the user needs. For example, when creating a product, the team should avoid adding features the user did not express interest in. Doing this could result in an unnecessarily complex product for the intended users. It is also important to note that engagement with users should not stop once development starts. User feedback is the most useful tool to know what areas of a launched product are lacking and how they can be improved.

Another principle that plays an important role in UX/UI is to maintain consistency. Users want a product that makes their life easier. If there is a lack of consistency within the interface, users cannot easily complete a task without figuring out where to navigate to next. Elements should maintain consistency across the entire product.

For example, a user knows that to submit their work they can scroll to the bottom of the page and there will always be a submit button on the lower right-hand side for them to complete their work.

The final principle I would like to highlight is something you may have heard a time or two before – communication is key. Not just with the users, but also with developers and clients. Keeping all channels of communication open ensures that the final developed product addresses user and client needs.

For all Capgemini Government Solutions blogs, Click here.

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