Most businesses understand the need for technology. However, few realize the scope of what is required to get a good tech stack up and running. It’s not just about finding tools that can accomplish your goals. It’s also about finding tools that can communicate seamlessly and work well together.
In this article, we talk about how software excellence can boost your company’s performance, and what steps you should take to get tools that are right for your needs.
Defining Software Excellence
Having excellent software is not the same thing as software excellence from a business perspective. Good technology without careful planning is often more of a hindrance than a help — and an expensive hindrance at that.
The average company has more software than they actually use. They invest in technology that they think will help their employees do their jobs better and possibly easier. It often doesn’t work for a variety of reasons.
- The technology comes with a learning curve. Chances are, most businesses won’t want to pay their employees more to learn how to use a new technology. That’s well and good, but from the employee’s perspective, there isn’t much reason to work harder for the same amount of money.
- The tech isn’t emphasized from the top down. Without the proper emphasis from management technological adoption can feel optional. And, if you aren’t going to actively enforce it, optional is exactly what it is. Once again, if it’s easier for an employee not to learn a new skill, they probably won’t do it.
- It’s redundant. A technology may sound great on paper. It probably is pretty good. But business technology features can often intersect and overlap. Maybe your sales platform has similar features to your marketing or billing tech. Why would a staff member leap onto the new thing when they are comfortable with the old one?
- Your tech doesn’t stack. At its best, business software can feel like one big tool. Depending on the size of your business you may have many different software programs. However, if they can communicate seamlessly together, it will make it easier to optimize data implementation, and generally navigate the programs. Without this stackability, it’s often easier to ignore new tools entirely.
The first three issues can be solved with a little bit of managerial strategizing. Talk to your employees about what their tech can do and what it can’t. Find solutions that fill in the gaps. Once you get them, prioritize their adoption with scheduled training. This not only ensures that the employee is being paid specifically to learn the tool, but it shows them that you are serious about it.
The last consideration — software compatibility — is a little trickier. You are going to need to do a lot of research to optimize your tech stack and ensure that all of your tools line up in a pretty little row.
Once you get that going, however, you’ll be staring software excellence right in the face.
Why it Matters
So, that’s how you can get software excellence, but why does it matter in the first place? Your business was doing just fine before this technology came around. What is so important about getting your hands on it now?
One could, and probably has written an entire book on this very topic. Below we hit you with the rough cuts.
One of the best features of high-quality software is that it can automate tasks that used to take up a significant amount of time. Let’s say you’re a subscription meal service.
Actually, our business—
You’re a subscription meal service. Your company offers three different package tiers, and customers pay monthly to continue getting their deliveries. In the beginning, your billing department was able to handle invoicing and payment processing by hand.
It was fine. You had one hundred customers, and while it wasn’t nothing to get their invoices out, the department managed to do it on time every month.
Well, you’re growing fast! Congratulations. Now you have two hundred customers. Three hundred. Three thousand….
To keep up with the new demand your billing department will either need to grow exponentially, or forget about things like sleeping, or spending time with their family. Errors will be made. Invoices will no longer get sent out at a predictable schedule.
There has to be a better way!
Oh, but there is. An automated billing platform can handle invoicing automatically. Now, the same people who comfortably handled 100 invoices can take on three thousand with equal ease.
In a similar line of thinking, software also makes it much easier for a growing business to scale. The key to growth in business is to provide the same high quality of service no matter how big your company gets while also turning a profit.
A finely tuned tech stack allows you to get bigger and bigger while providing the exact same quality of service.
While even antiquated tech stacks will come with some form of cyber security, only newer models come with the best and brightest. It is particularly important to rethink your cyber security needs after a time of great growth.
What worked in your early days might not have the scope to cover your needs as a bigger company. As you look at new technologies to enhance your business processes, it’s a great opportunity to also reconsider your cyber security.
Finally, data. You want it. You need it. You’ve got to, got to have it. A good tech stack will record and process your data in a context that is easy to understand. Furthermore, it will safely channel that information so that is possible for anyone who needs it within your organization to view it.
This makes it much easier to forecast growth and strategize for the future. Without a great tech stack, data implementation is completely impossible.
Ok, you sold me on the importance of a good tech stack, but how do I get one? Sure, I heard what you said about what to look for but if we are being honest I’m not—
Very tech savvy? That’s ok. Most people aren’t. Understanding what technology will work for a specific business is a unique talent. If your business doesn’t have anyone who could be qualified as an expert, it may be a good idea to hire a business analyst.
They will cost money but they are less expensive than the cost of investing in the wrong tech. They will be able to listen to your goals and find a tech stack that communicates seamlessly to give you what you need. They may even be able to offer guidance on how to implement the new technological adoption.