After several years of helping clients unchain themselves from poorly informed technology decisions, we decided we’d create a quick guide that lists the most common and most expensive of those mistakes. These are in no particular order and are all equally important to consider when you are deciding how best to implement your technology budget.
The bottom line is this: It is often better to hire an organization that has already solved 95% of the more challenging aspects that these 5 mistakes represent. This is very important information!
#1 Hiring Technologists Without A Lot Of Experience
For you to meet your technology milestones, you need to have people available with very specific skills. When you are starting your project, you need certain disciplines that you need less of when you are in actual development. Once your project goes into production use, the skills required to maintain your ecosystem are, again, different. It sounds like you might need to hire a lot of people, doesn’t it?
Building a technology team is more than just hiring Project Managers, Business Analysts, or Software Engineers, or Testing Engineers. It is about placing the correct resources into specific aspects of your project across a timeline, while also looking at the holistic needs from and architectural standpoint as well:
- Salaries & Benefits,
- Development and Production Infrastructure
- Maintenance and Revision Scheduling.
- SDLC processes (Software Development Life Cycle)
If you need to quickly ramp up for a project and you already have a technology team, you know that hiring worthy talent is a painstaking process. Imagine placing all of your time, energy, and budget to the actual project work instead of spending what could be weeks and months finding the right people for the team.
House Trevethan can help you hire resources that will fit your project needs because we have taken the time to vet and select the best Collaborators available.
#2 Buying Off-The-Shelf Systems That Create Bigger Problems Than You Already Had
You’ve decided to go with the most robust systems available. That’s great! You have a best-in-class CRM, an amazing eCommerce system, and your fulfillment system would make Amazon envious.
There’s just one problem. They don’t talk to each other.
The result: Your carefully hired line employees will have to spend their days in a perpetual process of what we call “Swivel-chair replication”. Typing in one system exactly what they just entered in another system, before typing it in yet another. This is an error-fraught manual process that will absolutely impact quality, deadlines, customer experience, and employee turnover in one of the most crucial areas of your business.
House Trevethan can help you succeed! If you already have the systems in place, we can help you. We have deep experience in seamlessly integrating systems and providing an upfront view of everything your employees need to be efficient.
If you’ve not purchased systems yet, spend a little time talking to us about our systems selection and systems integration experience so you can be armed with the information to avoid this costly pitfall. House Trevethan can consult with you on your plans, offer advice and a proposal, create a Road Map to Success, and help your project succeed!
It doesn’t make sense to have your carefully selected staff performing low-value replication between systems. You hired them for other skills!
#3 No Actual IT Strategy
This is a big one!
But we hear it all the time, “We just hired a couple of web developers and started building it.”
And whether it is for a single website or a highly complex application – it can work for a short period of time; and then you implement the next update and suddenly you’re dead in the water. It’s just two million lines of code (Eeek!) that does – well – nothing. Many of our clients have coded themselves into a corner.
But that’s not even the most crucial problem!
Failing to lay out a detailed technology strategy means you have no idea how much technology is going to cost you. Furthermore, you don’t have appropriate strategies and processes for:
- Business Continuity and Recovery
- Date Backup
- Storage Strategy
- Systems Life-cycle Strategy
You can’t just decide how much to spend on any of the above; you have to know when and why. Without those two key components, it’s not whether your technology will fail you; it’s when. And rebuilding it is ALWAYS more expensive.
#4 Didn’t Start Planning Until It Broke
This is an extension of #3, but it is unique in that it can happen at any point in a company’s life. We’ve seen clients in business for 12 years and their top-of-the-line website (in 2002) just quit working.
That may be an extreme case, but without a clear maintenance strategy – and the right team to tackle it – you are putting your business at risk.
Unfortunately, many business do just that when they take an, “If it’s working, don’t mess with it.” approach. When you are doing it right, you’re continuously maintaining and improving the process.
Technology is always changing; and there are always better, more efficient ways to accomplish your technical tasks than there were when you first implemented your solution.
Staying on top of current technology reduces your business risk and ensures you are in a position to surpass your competitors.
#5 Selecting Infrastructure That Is Either Too Large Or Too Small
Selecting the parts of your technology ecosystem that will support your growth plan and beyond takes more than just researching on the internet. We’ve seen startup companies spend thousands of dollars on a system they will likely never use. We’ve also seen growing companies go cheap playing catch up with their infrastructure needs.
There is a fine line of decision making between shepherding your funding and strangling your productivity. There is an equally fine line between a decision that leads to a robust infrastructure capability and buying something you’ll never use before it empties the bank.
The biggest pitfall is buying platforms that can “do everything” before you have a well-defined idea of what you will be doing with it and how it will be done. Whether it is a CRM, Marketing Automation, Order Processing or tools internal to the business, the journey is fraught with pitfalls, missed deadlines, and undefined challenges when the map is unclear.
A systematic approach to assess, define, design, and implement the perfect technology ecosystem can often be the difference between success and failure. House Trevethan offers consultation that can include planned proposals and roadmapping to ensure your project goes well and within your budget. House Trevethan is a trusted partner in your project from beginning to end. We also offer maintenance and constant communication and support.
A Final Thought
Not reaching out to experts when you need them is like giving yourself surgery. It’s painful and it’s not going to end well.
We’ll be the first to tell you – technology is hard. Planning, resourcing, creating, and implementing technology solutions is one of the most challenging aspects of any 21st Century business. But it doesn’t have to be a business-killing, demoralizing, and stressful process. House Trevethan can help you avoid the common pitfalls and challenges associated with planning and implementing a project or process.
If you are ready for strategy planning that will help you and your business succeed, Contact House Trevethan Today For Your Complimentary Consultation!