Successful software starts foundations up

To use the analogy we started last month- consider your software build like you would your new house. First you get an idea of what your dream home will look like before going out and finding the right architects and builders to help you refine and deliver on that idea. In the same way software development starts by identifying your business requirements and then finding the right developers. When building your house, finding the right plot of land and building solid foundations will give you options for future expansion; adding new levels without having to start again from scratch. Doing things the right way from the outset, may not show instant value and it’s not glamorous, but it is certain to save you effort, money and give you greater options in the long-term.

So when considering the architecture of your system; it is important to make sure that the software meets both the immediate business requirements and ensure that most potential future alterations can be effectively implemented. Here are Synetec’s top things to consider when contemplating the future-proofing conundrum:

What are the end goals?
Your software is most probably fundamental to the operation of your business. We’ve heard numerous instances where even the smallest failures have cost a business thousands of pounds in lost revenue.

The key is to make sure you engage your developers in the ultimate end goal, to ensure they understand the potential future scope and application of your system. Understanding the vision and ensuring there is never a detachment between the business objectives of the project and the development, is vital to ensuring you get a solid and adaptable software system.

Retrospectives will cost you more
A crucial part of establishing the end goals and business needs, is that often the underlying technology can be far more complicated than it may appear. What may seem like a quick fix- can in many instances cost you thousands.

There is of course a big difference between trying to retrospectively build in functionality that was missed as opposed to an update. Our advice is however the same; get the basics right by building strong foundations from which you can more easily adapt and expand in future.

Development should be a long-term partnership
You need to know your developers capacity to deliver long term support, improved functionality and upgrades on a regular ongoing basis. Remember that changing your software developer can be both a highly inconvenient but also potentially costly exercise that could bring substantial delay; particularly if your requirements are urgent or business sensitive.

If you do decide to engage new software developers, you need to be confident that that they are both reputable, financially stable and committed to continually investing in their own peoples technological development. To learn more about choosing your software developer visit our Insiders Guide.

You can never entirely future proof so strike a balance
Software built on proper planning and a strong understanding of potential future business needs is one thing but it is IMPOSSIBLE to entirely future-proof for every scenario. So don’t waste your time and money trying to factor in every possible scenario. The key is to find the balance between good forward thinking and not trying to predict the unpredictable.

George Toursoulopoulos is a financial technology specialist and Director at Synetec, one of the UK’s leading providers of bespoke financial services software solutions. George started his career with US-software giant EDS, becoming the youngest manager in the company’s history and has since gone on to lead Synetec where he has continued to deliver world-class solutions for a number of the UK’s most prestigious Hedge Funds and Family Offices. George is a regular conference speaker on the implementation of technology within the financial services industry with a particular focus on delivering ROI and improving key business drivers. George has lectured on Microsoft development and has served as a director on numerous company boards.

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