Technological Solutions: Between the Uncertainty, the Need and the Result

"Technology has become an essential point in the commercial, economic and labor world,

day by day more companies need technological solutions that speed up their processes, can market their products, facilitate their users the acquisition of their services and that at the same time do it with friendly platforms that satisfy their needs”.

However, despite the obvious need to generate digital solutions that allow for greater efficiency in their processes, there are many gaps in the way the acquisition of these types of services or products should be approached. The adaptation process between digital buyers and sellers has been going on for years, but because the current pandemic took the world by surprise, it generated a boom in the industry and the inevitable acceleration of the process.

Companies that were forced to innovate found a market full of offers that differed in many aspects, but with the same promise in relation to the product. Now a series of frequently asked questions are generated: how do I select the best supplier for my business? can they deliver on their promises? are they charging me the right price? how do I avoid incurring cost overruns?

The first thing to mention is that the best supplier is not always the one who offers the lowest price, this criterion is unreliable at the time of choosing, since sometimes companies, and especially freelance developers, underestimate the importance of the project, which causes at the time of delivery a great frustration in the client, loss of time and money.

This also reveals a lack of experience on the part of the company or developer, since they do not know how to estimate the scope of a project, implement all the needs and result in a poor, incomplete, late, or no product. Ideally, the process in which a supplier is chosen should be, first, demonstrating their professionalism. Clear and effective communication is essential, this reveals the experience you have, at least regarding customer service.

As a company looking for a service or technological product, you also have a responsibility and start with an investigation of what you want, what you need, and want to ask with references if the objective can be achieved. Then, check the work done and see if it is aligned with the needs and requirements.

It is important to understand that the development of a software product is the result of customer needs, the experience of the company, product or person, the research of a market, the analysis of the competition, the needs of the buyer or end user, among other factors that are not random. In this sense, it should be borne in mind that, when choosing a supplier for the development of a product, the supplier should take into account the above.

Additionally, see their internal organization, what methodologies they implement, how they have helped to solve the doubts I have, what solutions to my needs they have offered, evaluate if their communication has been good, agile, assertive. Basically you should find in the provider a point of confidence and relief, because from now on a long term relationship will be created.

In short, we must focus the search on the experience, solidity and support they can offer. Now, regarding prices and the way to negotiate with the supplier, there are several contracting modalities, the most common are: fixed price, or price for the work team, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

In the case of the fixed price the client will know how much money he is going to invest, and any risk of error (underestimated, or overestimated) will have been transferred to the supplier, however, the supplier will not be flexible to those changes of ideas, vision, or requirements of the application, so, this works very well for small projects and that are technically well defined.

As the project grows, its complexity increases and following this line will surely give a flavorless end to the exercise as it may result in something that was not exactly what you had in mind or even worse, a product totally far from the initial expectations. This does not imply that the supplier is the “worst in the world” as it is usually associated, but that the project contains so much detail that it is practically impossible to know its real importance at the time of the request for quotation against which the developer or development company, had few days to study it in a global way, and on which it assumed a risk that was unpredictable and of such magnitude that it was impossible to bear it.

On the other hand, and as a consequence of years of dissatisfaction associated with the sale of software at fixed prices, new methodologies called agile arrived, which imply that the buyer pays for the ideal team of experts for the development of its technological solution and that is dedicated exclusively to it. This allows, on the part of both suppliers and clients, to minimize the risk of miscalculating the scope of a product.

By paying for a development service and not for a product for which you only have an idea and which in principle is only in the buyer’s head, it improves the experience of finding the ideal path to reach the goal. In the agile methodology the project is divided into stages (sprints) which allows the client to generate changes to be implemented in progress and not at the end of an extensive process, additionally allows the active participation of the client in all sprints.

A disadvantage arises in this way of working and is the fear of not knowing the price for the whole project and thinking that the supplier will take advantage of it; however, the opposite occurs, since the supplier previously projects the ideal time to carry out the initial idea and every so often it is evaluated if this estimate has been fulfilled, in this way as a client, you will be in a situation where periodically it is determined if the process is fair, adequate and correct, leading to the renewal of the relationship for each stage.

In conclusion, the actions and choices depend on the risks and level of commitment that you want to assume as a customer. The recommendation that comes after years of experience is to hire dedicated teams with suitable professionals who can guide the client, being at the same time flexible to the new needs that may be generated in the process, this, using at all times the agile methodologies that allow for periodic monitoring and adjustment to the changing needs that every technological product entails.