Every Business has their own set of technology needs. It is very important that your software is customized according to the needs of the business. It is well said that one size does not fit all.
To understand the personalized technology strategy consulting process let’s take an example. Say you want to build a Lost & Found website, where both lost and found objects can be listed so that people can find their lost objects and finders and get rewarded.
Now let us list the major steps in Technical Strategy Consulting, and see specific examples on how it can benefit you.
- Technical Specifications– The first and most important step in the IT consulting process is to transform your business idea into a set of technical specifications requirements which describes in detail the requirements of the software application that you are trying to build. Here the expert Technical Consultant will work hand-in-hand with you, asking many questions, providing suggestions based on experience and latest IT trends. A few examples are as follows:
- Wouldn’t it be nice to pinpoint the location where exactly the object was lost or found and show it on a Map to the user?
- Gamification: This is a very popular trend in websites, to use the power of social gamification to increase gratification and in turn drive usage. In this specific case, the IT consultant could suggest using gamification to keep track of number of items successfully returned by a finder, rate them based on user reviews and tie in some monetary benefit to the top performers
- Mobile support: Since a lot of items are found while on the move, the IT consultant might recommend making the site mobile-friendly and using the GPS on phones to keep track of where items were lost/found.
- Architecture and Design– A software’s success is based on a wide range of factors such as performance, security and manageability. Software architecture is the process of defining a well-structured software solution that meets all its functional and business requirements. Its helps in chalking out a lot of structures like:
- What are the third party integrations that can be used and how they will work, e.g. Google Maps for pinpointing where items were found.
- For enabling gamification (as described above), what data model should be used – whether the application should use a regular Database or a NoSQL database (like Redis) along with batch jobs to calculate the scores in an offline fashion.
- How the searching and matching algorithm would work, and whether the application needs to use a search index like Apache Solr to enable faster search.
- Project Management– Project Management is often overlooked during technology strategy consulting but it can push any software to its fullest potential and play a huge role in its success. An experienced project manager studies the requirements in terms of technologies needed, size of project, budget, etc. and recommends appropriate vendors for both User Interface Design (UI) as well as actual Software Development, and helps negotiate with them (both in terms of man hours as well as rate) to make sure that you get the best software development experience at a reasonable price. He then monitors the entire software development lifecycle and makes sure that the application is deployed bug-free, in a timely and cost-effective manner.
- Testing – Testing is the process of verifying whether a system behaves in an expected manner or not. A lot of software development companies wait for the project to be 100% complete before they start testing, however, IT consulting experts believe that software testing should be started at an early stage and should go hand-in-hand with development. A bug/defect is much easier and cost effective to solve at an early stage.
- Deployment– After your application is ready, software deployment is what makes it available for everybody to use. It is very important to think about the future while making your deployment strategy like which platform are you targeting, how much traffic you are expecting, and which servers should be used. An expert IT Consultant helps you plan for today keeping scalability in mind for the near future. In terms of the Lost and Found site, some questions to ask would be:
- Is the site going to be used from various parts of the world? If so, it might make sense to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to serve the static content locally to improve the load time.
- What are the traffic patterns that are estimated in the first 6 months and beyond? This is used to determine server configuration and scaling requirements in the future.
As you can see, using an experienced Technology Strategy Consultant helps your software application deliver its full potential. So next time make sure to use an IT consulting company for all your business needs.