What's holding your software development project back? Dispelling myths and providing solutions
How are your business-focussed New Year’s resolutions going? Have you explored the benefits of 2022 software trend, event-driven architecture? Embraced AI and automation? Or finally gotten around to finding out how blockchain could benefit your business? If not, you’re not alone; a reported 80% of us fail to actions our New Year promises.
Some New Year’s resolutions are admittedly more difficult to keep than others – especially when they seem to be major barriers to success. Cost, complexity, and a negative impact on customers are all commonly cited as reasons not to launch a new software development project. This project could involve anything from a new mobile app or website, to a customer portal, database or the upgrade of a legacy business solution. However, the ‘barriers’ cited above only exist with certain approaches to software development. With others, it’s easier to see these barriers as ‘myths’.
Don’t believe us? We’ve outlined the top myths surrounding software development, and explained why these shouldn’t hold back the success of a project – or prevent you from sticking to your New Year’s resolutions!
Myth #1: Projects risk going over over-budget and running over deadline
Many businesses fear that a software/app project will end up going above the cost (and take more time) than the original estimates provided by a software development agency. Unfortunately, there is some truth in this. On average, projects go over budget by around 27% of their intended cost. According to one estimate, on average, one in six software development projects will see a budget overrun of 200%.
At AppDrawn, we address these challenges by ensuring that designs are agreed with clients before work starts. This ensures everyone is on the same page and that sufficient detail has been agreed to prevent overruns. We also maintain a close and locally-based relationship with clients throughout the project. Any potential additional costs are identified in advance, and options for progression discussed with clients at every stage of the journey.
Finally, no budget is too small and we always adapt to clients’ needs. First and foremost, we’re here to deliver value, and we work with you to identify what this means to your business and how it can be delivered – on time and within budget.
Myth #2: Development teams and businesses speak different languages, impacting the outcome of the project
There is often a distant relationship between development teams and businesses, with development teams using technical language and approaches. This can complicate communication, especially if you, as a business leader or member of a senior management team, don’t have a technical background.
Furthermore, development teams are often contracted to create apps or software via written specs and wire frames, which are not always understood by everyone in the business. As such, the resulting platform may differ significantly from the brief – a major barrier to achieving what you want from a software development project.
AppDrawn overcomes this by always working from design and tailoring communications to the technical skillset of the client. We take the conversations, emails, sketches and data that clients supply and transform this into creative and detailed design presentations which everyone can agree on, irrespective of technical background.
Myth #3: Downtime between switching from legacy to new applications will negatively impact my business and my customers
Many businesses fear that migrating from a legacy to a new system will result in lengthy downtime. This will impact the business’s operations, productivity, and ability to serve customers.
AppDrawn helps to address this by ensuring that during a migration period, legacy systems can run side by side with new. For example, we worked with a fleet operator whose workforce operated 24x7, meaning any downtime (or even the risk of this) was a massive no. So, we ran systems in parallel for a short period and then had a single changeover moment without any interruption to the client.
Our approach to development projects also involves training, regular testing cycles and a period of dual-running, meaning operations team can be ready to go on changeover day with no further training. In fact, the changeover is often so seamless, you may not even notice it. “…Was that it!?” is a question we often hear from clients!
Myth #4: It’s cheaper to keep our legacy system than risk investing in something new
Many businesses think it’s more cost effective to keep using legacy systems than invest in business transformation and deploy new technology. However, maintaining legacy systems (involving backing up data, lots of time and resources invested in manual processes, patching, ensuring adequate security etc.) incurs significant costs.
A report last year, for example, found that half of all UK government spending on computers is dedicated to keeping old systems going. The government spends £4.7 billion a year on IT across all departments, and £2.3 billion goes on patching up systems, some of which date back 30 years or more.
We think it’s critical to be completely transparent about the costs of any deployment project. We therefore kick off projects with a detailed analysis of how a current system is being used, and the challenges and costs experienced by users and customers. We present these with the ROI of a new system or an upgrade, allowing businesses to see just how much they can spend – and, more importantly, what they’ll save in the long run. Once identified, overcoming these issues become core focal points or objectives for a project.
There you have it: the things that usually appear to be major barriers can, with a bespoke approach to software development, be dispelled as mere myths. Interested in learning how we can help your business? Get in touch!