(A light read on a heavy topic, optimized for busy executives)
Deploying large-scale software is a costly and risky endeavour. Being the decision maker for that kind of undertaking can involve a lot of stressful decision-making. But there are ways that you can avoid some of the risks and keep unnecessary costs to a minimum.
Here are five ways that leaders and teams that are taking on systems changes can reduce costs. Not just in dollars, but in the opportunity costs and potential stressors too.
1. Optimize Where You Can
Whatever the software solution you’re planning to deploy, start by taking a look at the rest of your tech stack. Check in with your systems administration team and make sure there are no holes in your proverbial ship.
How is your hosting solution performing? Do you have the capacity for the development you’re planning, or do you need to add space? What is your uptime like and what do you need it to be? Are there gains in performance to be had by partitioning or any other upgrades?
At the start, this one could actually end up costing more than the status quo, depending on your answers to the above question. But if you’re launching new tools into your existing environment, it’s best to make sure that your infrastructure is ready to handle the load. The alternative could be considerably more costly in the long run.
2. Build a Bridge
If you’re attempting to replace one of your enterprise applications in favour of more modern and user-friendly alternatives, try finding a middle ground first.
Using a hybrid integration platform, you can access the existing data in your current solution, and make it available to app developers to work with. It’s the surest way to mitigate the risk of the changeover, provide a consistent level of service with all of your existing partners and vendors, and get your new apps into your customers’ hands much faster.
3. Begin With the End in Mind
You know it’s time for a change, but to what? And how? Whether you’re going down the road of full replacement of your existing tech or looking to augment your current offering with an integration, start with a goal.
In fact, start at the end and work backward from your desired outcome. For example, let’s say you’re an airline who wants to provide a better end-to-end travel experience for your guests. Start from the afterglow of that experience. What was it that gave the traveler more value and offered a better experience for them? What kind of tools and features will you need to accomplish that feeling?
If you start from the most important place, the satisfaction of your end users, you’ll be better prepared to make critical decisions about what’s important in the development process. Will it delight customers? If the answer is no, don’t build it. Is it a game changer that could set you apart? If yes, roadmap it. You can spend yourself into a massive hole by developing solutions no one will use, or you can chart a course for the success you’ve already created in mind’s eye. It sounds a little woo-woo, but it works.
4. Use Open Formats
There is an argument that can be made for using proprietary software solutions. Leaders, especially in large organizations, feel more comfortable investing their funds in costly legacy players because they believe it offers them better protection from risk.
But that is not always the case and often proprietary solutions can pose the greater risk, especially financially. For example, you might be convinced that costly commercial solutions will offer better support, expertise, and ease of use. In actual fact, the number of talented software engineers capable of supporting a solution built with open formats is much larger.
The biggest players have a reputation for being bloated and you are beholden to their whims and costs. We don’t mean to suggest that it’s any grand conspiracy; it’s just the truth of the market. There is a less expensive, easier, and more secure way to build a better mousetrap. “Information wants to be free” is the famous saying, often attributed to American author Stewart Brand. In the context of the code libraries and technological functions that open source developers use every day, we wholeheartedly agree. And yes, you can create patentable technologies using open formats.
5. Make it Count
Simply creating a new technology integration is only half of the battle. If you want to help reduce the cost of it, you should make it count. Be the driving force behind the adoption of your new tech, so your investment is not in vain.
A successful software integration should be as painless as possible for your organization and be nothing short of transformative. When full-scale adoption takes place, you can view your costs as a worthwhile investment rather than overhead. And that’s the simplest way to keep something from seeming expensive.
Ask Us About Hybrid Integration Platforms
Want to learn about how you can use a middleware layer to build new integrations on top of your existing database solutions? To see a demo of how Avato can help you bridge your legacy software into a brighter future, faster, send us a note and we’ll get you scheduled.