March 11, 2020

How to Select the Right Technology for Your Requirements?

Have you ever found yourself and your team kicking off the project with enthusiasm after receiving the project requirements and then losing the steam by the end of it?

Do you find yourself working late nights trying to deliver the project on time?

Have you lost your way in the process of completing the project, not knowing where it is heading?

These issues sound familiar, don’t they?

Most projects suffer due to a lack of proper project planning.

You can complete a project successfully only when:

  • You have a clear roadmap: You must have a well-defined process of how the project will lead from one stage to the next. Plan everything right from the custodians for each stage of development to being prepared for unforeseen emergencies.
  • You follow the best practices to a T: Create a list of best practices and conventions that your team will follow throughout the project. This will help your developers to create better quality software.
  • Your documentation is in place: Document the entire project plan and the processes that you will follow at each stage. Remember to update it regularly. So, when a new member joins your team, they can refer to it and complete their tasks without feeling lost in the middle of the project.
  • You have a well-trained team in place: Ensure that your team has experience in doing similar projects or have the right knowledge to work on certain technologies required for your project. In an agile culture, you may not have enough time to train your team members. A well-trained team can help you save training costs and time.

While these will aid in the smooth completion of your project, what will determine its success is the technology you choose.

Let’s look at a few aspects you must consider while choosing the right technology.

  1. Determine your budget: Before choosing a technology, determine your budget. Ask yourself questions such as, how much can you spend on technology? How much ROI can you generate from it? Answers to these questions will give you clarity on whether you must invest in that technology or look for an alternative such as open-source software to complete your project. According to Deloitte’s report, your industry will also have a significant impact on budget allocation. For example, the banking industry is known to spend the most on IT budget, while the construction industry spends less. You must take into account these factors while selecting a technology.
  2. Choose the technology stack: Once you have decided your IT budget, you must select the right stack for developing the software. In this stage, you must find out details about the end-user of the software, the domain, business context, and the time-to-market. For example, if you want to deliver the software quickly, you need to select a technology stack where you can easily plug and play existing modules. When you choose a technology stack, remember to keep the next versions in perspective too. It should be able to support the future needs of the business.
  3. Check the integration with other tools: In today’s connected world, enterprise systems are extremely well-connected. So, it is important to ensure that the new technology you build integrates with other tools and systems seamlessly. If it does not integrate well, then you might end up disturbing the existing systems, and that could lead to unnecessary hassles and downtimes. Also, consider tools that can work well in agile culture and accelerate the go-to-market speed. Continuous integration tools such as Jenkins can help delivery teams save efforts and time during every new update.
  4. Check for security: Security is of paramount importance when you choose a new technology. Ensure that the new technology is secure and complies with your company policies. You have to be extra careful when you choose an open-source technology. Check if any vulnerabilities were reported earlier, how long did it take to resolve them, did they disrupt the project in any way, etc. Acquaint yourself on how it can affect your project’s security before choosing it.
  5. Check for scalability: As your project grows, so do the requirements. So the technology that you choose should be scalable. It should be able to meet project needs, such as adding more users or processes without increasing the overall costs. Before choosing a technology, find out if it can scale and adapt to your software requirements. Also, check if it can be scaled vertically (i.e., if it can process more data and users on a server) and/or horizontally (i.e., if it can add more servers to the existing solution).
  6. Focus on the user interface: Getting your project’s user interface right majorly depends on the interface technology you use. You can use technology such as EXT JS, DOJO, or GWT, depending on your team’s expertise. Irrespective of which interface technology you choose, ensure that it provides a debug environment, remote debugging support, and allows customizations after deployment.

Once you choose the right technology stack based on these aspects, it is essential to get approval from your management. Getting approval early on will help you to accelerate the purchasing process. Be prepared to answer questions regarding the utility of the technology, its cost implications, the expected ROI, success metrics, etc. Also, ensure that your chosen technology is future-ready, so you don’t have to make extreme changes to your technology stack when your project requirement changes.

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