Technology is the driving force behind the expanding business market. It enables businesses to develop and design applications to perform a number of complex tasks and processes. With the emergence of technologies like Cloud, it has become extremely easy for businesses to collaborate and work on a single application despite geographical disparities. Due to this growth and development of information technologies and frameworks, organizations today can develop and design any sort of application or system to expand their business productivity and profitability.
However, with the advancement in technology, making the right technology choice for developing even a small application or a website can be a bit like a minefield for the businesses. Organizations mostly consult a technology service provider since they rely on their years of experience of working with a host of technologies. For evaluating and selecting a technology for building applications for clients, service providers typically point out their opinion by considering the following three things:
- The complexities of developing an application in a particular technolog;
- The amount of coding required in a particular technolog; and
- The logics and features supported by a particular technology.
When an organization approaches a tech service provider to narrow down the technology language or framework choice, they simply follow the above mentioned practices or go by gut feeling and experiences of working in a particular technology. However, many a times they tend to make wrong choices since they ignore the client’s business perspective and provide opinions that are based on above plain logics or experiences which may not always turn out as desired.
Although it is rightly said that technology service providers are aware of the usage and features of most of the technologies, which is why they can be the best possible guide to suggest the best technology to be adopted, it is not always true since they see things from a development perspective. One wrong selection can make the client’s application go haywire.
The Art of Proposing the Right Technology
For every service provider, it is imperative to be precise before proposing a particular technology to their client in order to avoid later headaches or rework issues.
Being in the business of providing technology services for more than 14 years, we at Cygnet Infotech have extensive experience in providing technology consulting to clients. We have been consulted by hundreds of clients to analyze and propose the optimal technology for varied applications and solutions and have successfully helped them in getting close to their development requirements.
With our years of experience of providing technology consulting services, we have prepared an exclusive guide for other counterparts involved in providing technology consulting services which will help them drive innovation and move their focus from development perspective opinions to business-specific opinions. If you as a tech service provider want to land on the exact pitch of proposing the right technology to your client, here’s the guide you need to follow which contains the list of the basic keys to propose the right technology to your client.
1. Get on the same page with your client!
It may sound simple, but this is one of the most critical areas for the service providers. Often there are many scenarios where clients and service providers fail to exchange their ideas, in which case they end up selecting the wrong technology.
Take the time to understand and document key goals and objectives of the clients. It is important to sort out what kind of solution a client is looking for. Ensure that you understand the objectives and deliverables of the client. Don’t hesitate to ask questions like:
a) What business they are into and what are they trying to achieve through the specific solution?
b) Which are the pain-points that the client is trying to overcome through this solution?
c) What sets their business apart from competitors and what problems are they solving?
d) Who are their ideal customers and how they want the design to influence them?
e) What they don’t want in the application?
This would at the end help you understand what they expect from the solution and what are their basic requirements from you as a service provider.
2. Set the parameters – Budget, Application functionality and Timeframe!
Technology is a significant “financial” investment for the businesses. Therefore, the budget would be at the top of the list of the clients and, being a service provider, it is crucial for you to understand how much a client can realistically afford to spend.
Once you’re aware of how much the client is ready to pay, the next step is to know about their actual requirements. Does your client need a simple application that can help them carry out simple business calculations? Probably not! Try to know the “Target audience” that is going to actually use the proposed solution. One of the biggest mistakes that service providers often make is that they show clients all the bells and whistles without even understanding whether the specific features or functionality would actually work for the client or not. Ensure that you gather some basic requirements like:
a) What kind of features client actually wants in the solution?
b) What about the security aspects, scalability, multi-platform compatibility and design? c) What are the additional functionalities required?
d) Asking for examples that relate to their functionalities
e) How client envisions the finished project?
Once you’re aware about the basic requirements, the last thing you should ask is “timeframe”, which is nothing but duration required to create entire application or solution for the client.
Most of the clients are in a rush to have tailored solution on board within a short time span, but it is your responsibility to know their requirements and provide them with a realistic timeframe for the proposed solution.
3. Break down the requirements from the development prospective
Once you’re aware about how much client is ready to pay and what are their critical requirements in terms of functionalities, features, scalability and security, it is time to break down the requirements from the development prospective.
a) Break down the actual requirements into logical modules based on the business logic. However, don’t think of implementing any actual logic at this phase.
b) If you found modules too indefinite or unclear, break them further into groups of independent modules.
c) It is better to show how the technology will work for the clients by creating diagrams or use cases showing the relations between every module.
4. Evaluate and identify the kind of solution you’re going to provide.
Of course, requirements gathering and logical design plays a significant role, but it is imperative for the service providers to identify the core modules on which the system or solution is dependent. Once you identify them, separate each of them and elaborate in more detail to have a clear picture of what exactly each module will do in the solution. This will help you choose the most suitable solution type that will fulfill the client requirements:
a) If requirements of client are nothing but a product transaction, or a marketplace, then eCommerce solution will the most suitable.
b) If the requirements are all about content management and delivery, then CMS (Content Management System) is the right choice.
c) If the requirements include data processing/computing and various inputs from different sources, then it is all about using some basic framework. Moreover, you can use frameworks when clients have certain requirements that are impossible to fulfill using conventional solutions available in the market.
5. Research, research and research!
Of course, there are plenty of criteria that can be considered when identifying features and product options from the different development platforms or tools. However, there are a few specific things that you should weigh down when it comes to choose the specific technology, such as:
a) Overall customer experience
b) Ease of use/usability
c) Ease of implementation
e) Total cost of ownership
These evaluation factors are fulfilled by almost all the platforms designed for online business intelligence and analytics applications. However, one should not forget that each software application or development platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. Apart from all these, it is important that you consider different development approaches that best addresses the unique requirements of the client. Following this guide would surely help you come up with the right kind of technology solution for the clients.
Choosing a right kind of technology solution for your client is a daunting task, but it is not as difficult as it looks like. One of the most important things you should keep in mind is to understand core business problem and goals clients are trying to overcome. Manage a clear and unbiased perspective and ensure you get in touch with the clients to identify their business needs and deliver optimal technology solutions that can help them fulfill their critical business needs and deeds on the go!
Boni Satani is associated with Cygnet Infotech which offers software development services. Visit our website for more information.