Is software development too risky? Or is it essential? Let’s take a look.
How can software development mitigate risk?
We’ve been bouncing around the office the concept of risk and the different human attitudes to dealing with this ubiquitous feature of everyday life. On the one hand, someone might say, “I never take any chances” and we would call them risk-averse. And at the other end of the scale is the, “you have to be in it to win it” approach that we might describe as reckless. The reality, of course, is that everyone faces thousands of unforeseen hazards every day: from waking up with a sore throat to spilling coffee down your shirt just before an important meeting.
On those days, you often wish you had stayed in bed.
All any of us can really do is try and minimise our exposure to unwanted, unexpected events. Ironically, the real experts in risk management (typically those who have mastered the dark arts of the stock market) would tell you that the riskiest strategy of all is often to do nothing.
What is risk anyway?
When it comes down to a true definition of risk – pretty much everything that we do has some level of unpredictable outcome attached to it – for better or worse. There is very little that you can do, or not do, to avoid the charms and challenges of chance. In most instances, we don’t even acknowledge that randomness is at play – but now that you are aware of the idea, we can bet you start to identify it everywhere.
Cybercrime and software development efficiency
One of the most critical topics in the online and software worlds today (particularly in the commercial world) is dealing with cybercrime. For many small businesses, they feel like they simply do not have the budget to invest in a scenario that might not occur. They are prepared to risk everything (and that is no exaggeration in most cases) on the hope that nothing will ever happen to them. Well, the chances are that they are right and fate (in this case cybercriminals) will leave them alone. But that is like betting your house on a football team just because they won their last five matches… good odds – but a crazy risk.
Another form of risk is when a business chooses not to invest in software development that would improve their operational performance, time efficiency, sales conversions or similar critical business functionality because of the cost. This is another form of the ‘do nothing’ scenario mentioned earlier. Think it through objectively, however, and you will see that this approach means backing the wrong horse.
A time management tool will save you time and, by default, will eventually pay for itself. Software that helps improve your processes can cut production costs, save time and increase efficiency – once again, the investment is self-funding. Companies running old, clunky systems and servers are prone to a lack of available fixes, unsupported software, and various other black holes and vulnerabilities – this risk speaks for itself in terms of the potential cost.
You don’t know what you don’t know
There are dozens of horror stories out there of global businesses losing sensitive client data through not investing in tight enough systems. The truth is that some problems in life are difficult to fix because they are just so big. For most small to SME businesses, however, there are usually reasonably priced solutions that can make everything better – and safer.
Almost every time we sit down with a client to talk about the thing they think they want – we can offer them something that they never even imagined was possible.
Go on – take a positive risk and ask the question – you might feel like you have just hit the jackpot when we find you an answer.