Building the right tech stack for your business is the first step to its success. The technologies you choose will serve as the digital foundation of your business and will impact your business’s capabilities, the effectiveness of processes, and every other aspect of its operations.
However, most businesses require various technology solutions to support business functions such as customer relationship management, sales, marketing, accounting, employee performance management, project management, human resources, and more. It’s crucial that you choose technologies that integrate seamlessly to eliminate silos, streamline your business operations, and improve overall performance.
This is what makes the tech stack building process very important. Since it will form the backbone of your business and thus impact the customer experience, it’s crucial to keep all business requirements in mind before choosing technologies.
Let’s look at some best practices a company can follow while building a winning tech stack.
1. Understand your requirements
Before building a tech stack, understand the expectations. What does your business require to support core operations? Who will be using what technologies? How will employees interact with these tools?
When you chalk out your requirements, you’ll gain a better understanding of the scope. Accordingly, you can choose the right technologies to solve the problems at hand. While a small and relatively simple tech stack may work for some businesses, others require a set of sophisticated tools and software solutions to support their varied business processes.
You might need a complete set of technologies such as an order management system, employee performance management, an online marketplace, a social network, etc. There will also be many integrations and functions to consider, as well as future growth.
2. Create a roadmap
Before building the tech stack, it’s important to map out not only the current but also the future technology needs and expectations. List your requirements and find suitable technologies capable of handling each one. Note down their features, prices, and other factors that might affect your decision. You can get peer feedback and assessments from analyst companies such as Forrester or Gartner. Companies like Argano can also help you identify the right technologies and build a digital foundation for your business that supports your operations.
Just listing your requirements (possibly in a simple spreadsheet) and noting potential technology solutions for them can help you identify the best tools for your business.
3. Consider integrations
Are the new technologies compatible with the old ones you’ve been using? Evaluating a potential tech stack must include evaluating integration between the new and old technologies. While the new technology might be exciting by itself, it must also integrate well with your existing tools and apps.
Your new technology might offer management, automation, and virtualization features. But if it doesn’t integrate easily with your existing tools, it will increase the cost and delay the timeline for implementation.
4. Include all stakeholders
Once you’ve scoped the specific technologies that suit your needs and considered their costs and timeframes for integration, it’s time to identify the stakeholders.
List everyone who will be involved in the process of integrating and using the new technology. It’s a good idea to communicate with them regarding their expectations. Get their feedback and consult them regarding the product usage scope. If they can actively participate in the evaluation or enablement of the technology solutions, it’s even better.
Depending on the size of your organization, you can also consider a technology council that consists of members from different departments so all the stakeholders can stay updated and provide their opinions regarding the new technologies.
5. Convey the project limitations to vendors
When your use cases and objectives are clearly defined, it will minimize the risk of getting a technology you don’t really need. However, it’s still important to consider technical and process-related limitations. When you communicate your limitations and pain points to vendors, they may be able to suggest a more relevant product according to your needs.
When you get the demo of another product from the vendor, make sure you consider legal restrictions along with the security offerings of the new technology before making a decision.
After you’ve selected the technologies for your tech stack, there will be a waiting period when the papers are signed. This waiting time can be minimized if you’ve already scoped out the project size, partners, and budget.
By this time, you have a perspective on the process of building a functional tech stack. This will give you an idea of how to prepare for additional technology acquisitions in the future.