5 Steps to Picking the Right Technology
We’ve all been there… staring at a massive list of Google search results trying to find out which technology solution to pick. Between the number of paid reviews and complicated technology jargon, how does someone figure out the right software to get? Here’s the 5 simple steps you should take to make the right decision:
STEP 1 Functional requirements — Before you even start Googling technology solutions, first determine what functions you need. The best way to do this is through design thinking exercises to create user stories. Answer these simple questions: Who is going to be using this technology and what will they be doing on the application? As a simple example, you may be in a market for a learning management system (LMS), the users and functional requirements may be:
- Admin — these users will need to be able to manage what courses are available, fees, and teacher roster.
- Teacher — These users will need to be able to upload create courses, upload lessons into courses, and management enrolment.
- Student — These users will need to be able to watch courses, take tests, and store certificates.
Of course these are very simple examples but the more detailed you can get with your functional requirements the easier the next steps will be.
STEP 2 Non-Functional Requirements — The next step for is to identify non-functional requirements. There requirements relate to system attributes such as security, maintainability, scalability, reliability, performance, and usability. It is essential to define these requirements to ensure that whatever technology is picked is able to meet these non-functional attributes. Back to the LMS example, if your target market is most likely going to consume your courses on the move on mobile and you store payment information some functional requirements may be:
- Usability — device size responsive content to scale between desktop mode and mobile mode.
- Mobility — Optimised data streaming of content to reduce load-times on mobile data networks.
- Security — encryption and adequate security measures to meet financial data storage regulations.
STEP 3 Technical Breakdown — Once you have your requirements its time to perform a technical breakdown. This step is usually conducted by someone with I.T experience. Technology advisors would be able to read through your requirements and begin identifying the types of technical solutions you may require. For example, if the LMS requires enhanced security to store payment data, the advisor might recommend technical solutions that are Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliant. By doing this exercise, you will have a clear view on what types of underlying technology you may require from your SaaS provider.
STEP 4 Develop A Rubric — Once you have the above, you should have quite an extensive list of requirements that you need from a technology solution. In order to turn this list into a rubric, you will need to prioritise different requirements as there is likely no SaaS solution that can do everything you need perfectly. The best way to do this is to determine what requirements you need now, in 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. This will help to ensure that the solution you pick will meet the most urgent and beneficial requirements but leave room for optimisation.
STEP 5 Go to Market — With this rubric you can now go to market with confidence. When researching potential solutions simply check your requirements list and if the solution can solve the immediate requirements you’ve defined in STEP 4. If available, take a look at the the software’s features roadmap. For features that you defined in STEP 4 that are only required in the future, some of these features maybe in the roadmap for the software you are considering. Once you’ve checked out a few applications you can then simply compare which solution satisfies the highest number of requirements. If many of your must have requirements or not met, it could be that you need a custom application built.
Making the right decision on which technology can be greatly beneficial. By going through this slightly tedious processes you can save thousands of dollars and hours in the long-term. If you need help finding the right technology for your business try use the Discover page of Kinetics or reach out to our technology advisors.