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Think Big, Execute Small: Achieving Scalable Business Growth with Modern Application Development

In any organization, strategizing and executing tech initiatives to hit business milestones requires two fundamental human elements—team collaboration and trust. Two consulting pros epitomize these elements: SafeNet Consulting’s President Kelli Schnieder and HealthEZ’s Vice President of Information Technology Chuck Stern.

Kelli and Chuck share a history of teamwork, collaborating on multiple projects while Chuck was a consultant at SafeNet. Working together fostered mutual trust as they cooperated to meet and exceed client goals. The fact that Chuck also was a referee at Kelli’s son’s basketball games only added to that personal trust (unless Stern called the young boy for traveling).

After departing SafeNet, Chuck took the IT helm at HealthEZ – a specialist in self-funded, flexible, benefit-rich healthcare plans for companies and their employees.

Photo of Chuck Stern and Kelli Schnieder sitting at table facing the camera and smiling.  Photo of Chuck Stern and Kelli Schnieder sitting across from each other at a table in studio with cameras.  Photo of Chuck Stern and Kelli Schnieder sitting across from each other at a table in studio with cameras with large SafeNet banner behind them.

Kelli and Chuck had a recent opportunity to discuss how human smarts collide with application intelligence to yield monumental business gains. For any company considering an evolution from business-as-usual to business-for-tomorrow, the two offer some good old-fashioned advice for harnessing the power of modern application development.


When Chuck took his post at HealthEZ, he first wanted to wrap his head around the company’s technological status quo and the rationale for how they got there. During this process, he quickly identified inefficiencies and “pain points” in HealthEZ’s IT reality. His initial step is the same one that all decision makers must take when forging ahead toward modernized application development.

After achieving a clear picture of your organization’s present status, it is time to look into the crystal ball and realistically define where you want your company to go and which obstacles exist in your journey toward achieving your goals.

Are your pain points related to departmental silos that stifle streamlined collaboration? Are there deficiencies that negatively affect internal and external user experiences? As you collaborate with your team to identify weaknesses in your operational flow, research solutions, discuss and brainstorm, the end vision in the crystal ball will come into focus.


It’s tough to let go of old ways, but you can do it. Commit yourself, your teams, and your company to taking the journey toward modern application development. Deep breath and go!


Remember those pain points from number1? They’re those identifiable hiccups in your tech chain that require routine support. They eat up time and money that can be applied elsewhere for enhanced productivity and profitability. These are the first areas of focus for you on your modernizing journey. Chuck warns, however, that too many organizations address their pain points with band-aids and shortcuts. Resist the temptation. Whether your pain points require DevOps for integration or automation, Agile applications, Sprint-based coding, cloud-based security, or other modern digital solutions – ensure you deliver the right fix vs. the quick fix.


The success of your organization relies upon a myriad of things, from leadership and your culture to strategy and technology. Naturally, it would be best to focus on every aspect, but you must always keep your eye on the customer experience ball. If customers have negative interactions due to your technology, then even the best leaders and culture cannot undo that. So, as you evolve toward modernization, continually gather customer feedback and analytics to ensure that user experiences (both internally and externally) are intuitive, useful, and engaging.


Security is essential for any business or service. Chuck is acutely aware of this fact because the confidential nature of personal health information is so critical. An example is related to government regulations surrounding the No Surprises Act. It requires that certain data, often in files surpassing 1.5 terabytes, be made public. HealthEZ’s IT systems needed to integrate flawlessly with secure cloud-based solutions to handle the gigantic files.

Modern applications exist for data safety in your world that can tailor to your needs. So do your homework, talk to experts, and security integration will be well within your reach.


Chuck calls modern application integration a “journey.” One that requires a clear road map and a methodology that he calls “Think Big, Execute Small.” This simple approach demands that you see the big picture at the onset of your journey – where you are and where you want to go – and then tackle each leg of the journey in small, thoughtful, collaborative steps.

Kelli and Chuck agree that modern application development ultimately requires one magical thing: talent. From SafeNet Consulting and HealthEZ to your organization, finding the best people to collaborate with and innovate will guarantee your successful journey toward seamless modernization.

Is your team starting or in progress with a modern application journey? If you are looking for ideas or a partner to help with your journey, SafeNet Consulting is here to help. Click here to learn more about SafeNet Consulting’s modern application development offering, view client case studies, and contact us.

Watch the recording of Kelli and Chuck’s LI Live show below!

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(877) 930-3636

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Milwaukee, WI 53233
(877) 930-3636