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Keeping it Simple with KISSFLOW

As a "Citizen Developer," I Can Now Create New Workflow

I've written before about an ongoing software development project with which I've been recently involved. Its complexities continue to challenge a development team with architects, programmers, and project managers in Chicago, Silicon Valley, and the Philippines.

But we're able to keep one aspect of this project simple, thanks to a cloud-based solution from Orangescape that runs on the Google Apps Engine (GAE). The program is called KISSFLOW - the "kiss" here plays off a familiar expression and means "Keep it Simple and Smart."

KISSFLOW has been invaluable so far in allowing us to bring clarity and simplicity to a previously convoluted way of doing things.

As a consultant for the project, I'm tasked with analyzing the current workflow of an existing small business and, for lack of a better word, fixing it. Existing processes involved numerous people, scads of paper forms, compliance with local, state and federal agencies, and a workflow that often doubled and tripled back on itself.

KISSFLOW cuts through this fog and is allowing us to visualize and streamline existing processes, conceive new ones, and implement a new workflow.

I, Citizen Developer
Although I've had exposure to several programming languages and approaches over the past 25 years, I am not a professional programmer. Orangescape's KISSFLOW allows me the freedom of being a "citizen developer" (ie, a business-side developer) while giving our team a simple way to hew and bring forth what we have in mind.

Down the road, we're aware that Orangescape, through its other products, provides a path to Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and private clouds, should we move in any of those directions. This is critical, as we plan to keep developing our workflow solution until it not only works for us, but can be a viable product that will integrate with MySQL and be sold to small businesses everywhere.

For those who think cloud technology hurts job creation, the opposite has been true in our case. Even though we're still in the early stages, our development so far has allowed two part-time partners in the firm to finally retire - they now have confidence that the business can run without them - while creating several new positions that are allowing the company to grow at a fast clip so far this year.

The company's CEO has been planning to expand into new locations for some time. He is now able to do this with the firm's much-improved workflow.

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Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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