What are the keys to success in implementing technology and software in your company?
Whether you run a pharmaceutical, trade marketing, logistics, security, services, or other company, the use of software and technology today is no longer an option, in fact it can become the factor that defines who will be the market leaders or who will close their doors in the coming years.
The mere fact of deciding to implement technology can be difficult and frightening, and if the decision taken is not the right one, the process can result in a costly, long and traumatic experience.
Whether you are looking for software to control your medical visitors, manage your sales, improve communication in the company or conduct censuses and coverage of your products in the market, the choice of alternatives should be taken with great care and preferably with expert advice.
Define in which area of your company needs technology
Generally among the first technological implementations made by companies, and rightly so, are those related to financial and billing areas. (The purpose of this article is not to touch such areas since there are many and very good options depending on the item and the country).
The dangerous thing about these first implementations is that the administration usually thinks that having a “cheap”, functional and relatively stable accounting system is the only technology they need.
But what about the other areas of the company where resources, assets, personnel and even the company’s core business are involved?
Areas such as sales and customer control, logistics of visits and deliveries, routes, personnel management in the field, information processing, trade marketing and even occupational safety, are often neglected, and the common thing is to abandon these processes for not knowing how to deal with them optimally.
A recent Salesforce study shows that more than 70% of companies worldwide continue to use pen and paper to perform key tasks in their business.
Hire Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) instead of developing the technology internally or externally
Unless you want to be like the Peugeot company that throughout its history manufactured from salt shakers, ammunition and today’s cars. The best thing is to focus your efforts, resources, time and money on the core business of your company, which is certainly not software development.
One of the most costly mistakes we see in some companies, especially the largest, is to underestimate the technological development and think that an internal team of engineers can create the tool successfully. Although this is not the rule and surely there are companies that do it very well, our recommendation is to leave technological development in the hands of experts.
Some factors that make in-house software development a bad idea:
- Internal development teams, whether large or small, are heavily burdened with requirements from different areas. It is very difficult for them to develop a system with enough focus and depth to cover all use cases.
- Since the team must understand the requirements, learn the processes, design the structure and develop the system, the time of iterations to reach a final version can be too long, which in the long run is more costly for the company. Internal development can take up to 2 years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- The development of a good system involves a lot of research and constant communication with the end user, within a company this can mean the need to interview from the staff on the streets to the general managers. Generally these people are focused on their work and it is very difficult for them to set aside time to meet with the technology team.
So, the best alternative is to sub-contract a company for the development of the system? a software factory?
A technological outsourcing company or software factory should only be hired in situations where there are no solutions in the market and when the requirement is too specific.
For example, a pharmaceutical company could outsource its technological development in case of needing production models, chemical calculations or specific cost management; but it is a very bad idea to outsource the system if what the company needs is a CRM to manage its clients or a software for their medical visits.
Let’s not forget that like an internal development team, a software factory has several teams of engineers working for different clients. These, as mentioned above, must learn, study the processes, design the system and develop it for delivery. An external development, like an internal one, can take many months and cost thousands and thousands of dollars.