There’s never been so much choice but what’s the right choice for your business, your users and your customers? And how do you make that choice? We look at why consultancy should form the first step on any software project.
Why is software consultancy so important?
Investing in new software is not cheap. Whether you’re looking to build (or upgrade) a bespoke database, customer relationship management system, client portal, app, website, or a more comprehensive business system, you must invest to get the results you want.
However, in addition to a better user experience/more agility/digital transformation etc. these results should also include sizeable returns on your investment. Why ‘should’? Because, without the right experience and expertise from the start, it’s easy to miss that goal.
Software delivery is a tricky problem to approach because, distinct from a lot of other large-scale delivery processes, the software code is not readily visible or digestible behind the resulting end-product.
Despite a difficult few years, the UK’s level of business software investment is estimated to increase by 3.6% during 2022-23, to reach £41.3 billion. Investment is great, but it must yield a return.
Consultancy should be considered as an integral part of a new software project, rather than an add-on or ‘nice to have’. Below, we’ve summed up our top three justifications for this approach – and three of the reasons our clients have thanked us for this over the years.
You can learn from real-life experiences and get a reality check
Review sites like Clutch and TrustPilot can provide help and guidance when choosing a product, and 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review, according to one finding.
However, every business is different. What works well for one may be a disaster for another. As such, a bespoke approach is needed. If a consultant with experience across different industries and projects can compare past approaches – what has worked well and what hasn’t, that provides you with a new insight.
There’s value in talking to peers and reading online reviews, but this should be conducted alongside – rather than instead of – working with software developers to gain consultancy. In addition to offering tailored advice, a software development company providing who provides consultancy can share real-life experiences from businesses and solutions to challenges which best align to your own.
Whoever you talk to should provide frank, honest and direct guidance, aka a reality check!
You get the software you need, not the software you thought you needed
When looking at a feature-level it’s possible to overlook alternative viewpoints or different ways of achieving an outcome. Investment should be dictated by the needs of your company and the desired outcomes – for software users and the future direction of your business.
A software consultancy firm will work closely with your team to establish your needs now and in the future, and advise you on the products and approaches that are the best fit. In some cases, we’ve worked with clients and concluded that they didn’t actually need a new product at all, saving them a lot of money and sparing them software-buying regrets.
Independence and objectivity: avoid mis-selling by sales reps
Our consultants may have preferred technology or conceptual approaches, but their decisions will never be dictated by the sales commission behind these. Dealing direct with a sales team, on the other hand, means you’re receiving ‘support’ and ‘advice’ from a sales rep with a vested interest.
A product that sounds too good to be true often will be. Many sales reps simply adopt the ‘yes to everything’ approach. As such, getting objective, tailored and experienced guidance from a consultancy-led provider, really stands out as informative and strategically helpful.
Buying new software and/or migrating systems is a big step for any business. We’ve looked at just a few of the reasons in favour of working with a consultancy-led software development firm. Yes, there are costs involved, but these should be factored into the overall spend of the project and in many cases will ensure budgets are well-spent and deliver long-term ROI. So, when making such a significant move, ensure that quality consultancy constitutes your first step.