In the first part of this post we covered the best technology investments a business can make if they are looking to leverage technology to get a competitive advantage. In this post, we will cover the main types of investments you should avoid in the majority of situations. Unfortunately, many people are swept away by the possibilities of software investment and don’t take as close of a look at the projects they embark on as they should.
When to say “no”
Too often does it occur that a client wants a certain thing that isn’t suited to their current need, and yet still, the vendor they reach out to goes along with the idea, without providing the client the proper framework for assessing whether that idea is valid. In this post, we will give you one tool to better understand whether you are being taken advantage of or not.
If the first thing you hear from your potential technology partner is that they can create something from the ground up that is 100% custom for you, then you should most likely run. There are certainly some projects that need to be custom, however, most projects can make use of re-usable components, off-the-shelf applications, and open source software.
The trap is that if the vendor is to go 100% with your requirements, then the need for custom development is almost always going to be there.
If you’re looking to build a first-time website, have a relatively small operation, and don’t need massive multi-language support or user personalization, and you’re being recommended an enterprise portal like Sitecore, then you are most likely being misled.
Most websites can be run on a platform like WordPress or Drupal. You can host such a website on professional hosting providers like WPengine or Pantheon and easily purchase a high-quality theme from a theme store such as ThemeForest by Envato. You can manage your domain name using a domain name manager such as Namecheap or GoDaddy.
It’s certainly true that perhaps you don’t have the technical chops to get a website like this up and running on your own, but if the budget for this exceeds $10,000 for only a handful of pages and nothing out of the ordinary for a website (ie: setting up a complex search engine, or detailed two-way integration with a third-party system) then you should re-consider your options and go for a second or third opinion.
Honestly, you should be going for a second or third opinion every time you decide you need to complete a project that’s going to majorly leverage tech.
Don’t go and spend on technology if what you have right now is good enough for your needs. Going out and improving a system just so you have something new and shiny may get you brownie points from upper management, but a technology migration from an old solution to a new one can often clash with users who are use to the current system.
Don’t get me wrong, if your current system is not good enough, in the sense that it’s maybe too time-intensive to use, is insecure, too slow, the cost of maintenance is too high, or other reasons of the sort then you may need to evaluate what your current needs are versus what outcomes are you going for.
Need help figuring out what that roadmap looks like for you? Our Kickstarts have helped both small business and large enterprises understand the next steps they need to take to make technology work for them.
The budget necessary is much smaller than a general IT project would cost, the main reason for that is the scope is focused on assessing the needs from multiple perspectives, and if time permitting, creating a beta first version that only has the most important feature available. We cover all the necessary bases for you to better understand what kind of lift is necessary for your project to be minimally usable (ie: what does it take to get an MVP out).
There are many reasons to forgo a technology investment, the above three are some of the reasons that make us cringe the most when we hear about how these projects have gone wrong.
If you have questions about this article or are at an impasse regarding whether to go with your investment or not feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat for free about your needs.