In the fast-paced business landscape, success hinges on the ability to be flexible with technology. Regularly assessing and adjusting your systems is vital to staying responsive to evolving needs and strategically positioning your business ahead of the curve.
Here are five essential tips* to help businesses recognise when it’s time to part ways with their technological systems.
- Resistance to Change: If your technology team is hesitant to embrace changes, it’s a red flag. Well-designed software systems should be modifiable. However, time constraints or lack of opportunities for careful planning can hinder proper design. If changes are consistently avoided due to dependencies, it may be time to consider a ground-up approach for a more risk-mitigated solution.
- Spiralling Costs and Time Estimates: Modern software should accommodate changes, even unexpected ones. When the cost and time estimates for simple changes escalate, it’s indicative of technical debt. For instance, in 2011, software systems faced challenges updating hardcoded configurations during the national VAT rate change. If your system struggles with unforeseen changes, the accrued technical debt might necessitate a fresh start.
- Bugs Outpacing Features: While bug-free software is a myth, an imbalance between bug occurrence and feature delivery rates signals a deeper issue. Poorly invested systems lead to shortcuts, resulting in non-extensible and hard-to-maintain code. Persistent regressions hinder the delivery of new features, causing more bugs than tolerable. This scenario demands attention and potentially a revaluation of your technology stack.
- Niche Skillsets and High Expenses: Recruiting increasingly niche skillsets can lead to rising costs. Rare skillsets often indicate a shift to more modern technologies. Dependence on niche skills creates resource scarcity, resulting in higher operational expenditure. Transitioning to recognised, common skillsets not only reduces costs over time but also ensures a stable and better-supported technology estate.
- Engineers Indicating Limitations: When engineering teams assert that certain tasks cannot be accomplished, it’s a signal to take notice. Budgetary, time, or technical constraints may be hindering progress. Technical limitations may indicate a need for a more radical approach to progress technical delivery. Re-platforming, at least in part, might be the necessary solution.
“Efficient technology is the backbone of business success. Regular upgrades not only solve current challenges but also pave the way for long-term growth, ensuring sustained competitiveness and adaptability in the dynamic digital landscape” Mark Hesketh, MD Codiance.