Why Tech Startups Don't Build Their Own Software

By: Aesha Singh


While tech startups are building software for their clients, they’re also using software internally for tasks like user management, productivity, task management, project management etc.

These tech shops create products for their end-users, but they don’t build software for their own use. You’ll ask why? Few reasons why tech startups don’t build their own software are:

Why don’t they build their own software?

1. Busy building for others

Since startups are always be busy developing software for their clients, it leaves them with little or no time to build software for their internal use. This is a classic, ‘the cobbler’s kids have no shoes’ situation. BUT the innovative ones find ways to build their tools and save cost by partnering with us.

2. They don’t have the chops – technologically speaking

It’s often the case that the existing team is highly-specialized. That’s why they’ll look for external help when building on new domains.

For example, if they’re only building Android based products, they’ll have Java experience. But they may not have experience with Swift & Objective-C which is used to develop iOS apps

3. Low or no Return on Investment (ROI)

For startups, or a matter of fact, for any organization, Return on Investment or ROI is a very important factor considered while investing in a project. So, a startup building its own software for internal use might think that there will be negligible or no ROI. Since the software will not be sold, but used internally, it might not be feasible or cost effective to invest time, budget and resources in developing such a software.

4. Support & maintenance of the software

Any software normally needs support & maintenance, and regular upgrades. This means you’ll be allocating some of your resources for constant upgrades, support & maintenance of these applications. This results in scarcity of resources for your clients’ projects, which will prove less cost-effective during the initial phases of a startup. So, the most feasible option for you is – either you buy the software or partner with us.

When you partner with us, all your needs viz. upgrades, support & maintenance, etc. will be taken care of by us. This relieves you from constant worries about the application and you can focus on expansion and revenue generation.

5. Revenue generation & Goodwill

Any startup would want to establish itself as an organization in the near future. To do this, its founders will focus on increasing business, generating more revenue, and creating their goodwill in the market by building quality software for other companies. This means more resources will have to be allocated to client projects instead of building one’s own software for internal use.

But, do all readymade software available in the market work as per the expectations or requirement? The answer is no. So, what can such startups or organizations do?

The answer to all these queries lies with us at The Sunflower Lab. While you’re busy building software for your clients, we can help you develop custom software that can meet your requirements and expectations. Our engineers at Sunflower Lab have expertise in various technologies and we have worked with all kinds of organizations small and large, and have built various types of custom software. Our range of clients includes companies from sectors like finance, healthcare, insurance, local governments, educational institutions, electronics manufacturers, logistics & transportation, packaging and various others.

We guide our clients right from the discovery phase to design and development of the software. Our designs are futuristic and simplistic that can help the end-users in using the software without giving in too much thought. We also offer support & maintenance services to keep your software bug free & update it with latest technologies whenever required.

Are you too busy to build software for your internal requirements? Contact us and our experts will help you build your custom software as per your requirements.

Related Posts

How ChatBots Are Helping Crush Competition in the Customer Service Sector

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors and electronics testing organization, has partnered with…

Real Estate Agents Are Closing More Deals Using These Essential Mobile App Features

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors and electronics testing organization, has partnered with…

3 Surprising Ways IoT is Revolutionizing the Education Sector

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors and electronics testing organization, has partnered with…

Get a FREE estimate for your project today.

Our team of experts will review your project and give you a quote at no cost.

Get a quote on your project!

IT Strategic Consulting

The Anatomy of a Great IT Strategic Consulting

Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel is the Co-founder & CEO at Sunflower Lab. He’s an entrepreneur, thought leader, and a problem solver. With more than 17 years of experience in the IT industry, he’s made it to a point where he can be called as a generalist who can contribute and lead in any technical discipline. For years he has led the Sunflower team to thrive on the challenging – the seemingly impossible tasks.

Introduction to Strategic Consulting, why is it necessary?

Strategic consulting emphasizes more on corporate strategy and is a branch of management consulting. Strategic consulting is concerned with the future of business and the impact it will have on its structure and overall operations. Strategic consulting is concerned with, whether the business should be expanded or not, or what new products or services should be introduced or if any services and products need to be revamped or stopped. This is how we can define Strategic consulting.

With the advent of various technologies like IoT, Industrial IoT, Mobility, Big data, Cloud Computing etc., the business landscape has drastically changed. And, so has strategic consulting. Strategic IT consulting has become a part of Strategic Consulting. Businesses today need to be on their toes to take advantages of such technologies and stay competitive. Strategic IT consulting should be aligned with organizational goals because it forms an integral part while defining the business strategy. So basically, these IT strategies need to be outlined in such a way that they are growth-driven.

What do we do at SFL for Strategic IT consulting?

We at Sunflower Lab have a team of experts who are into Strategic Consulting. We look at the company’s history and after understanding various aspects of their business viz. their competitors, employees, work structure and operations as well as their IT systems, we provide comprehensive IT solutions for their business which are growth-driven and progressive, and which will benefit the company in short as well as long term. For IT strategic consulting, following needs to be done:

SFL for Strategic IT consulting

1. Project conception and initiation

This phase is where the project is conceptualized and defined at a broader level. Research is carried out to decide whether the project is feasible or not and whether the project should be undertaken. Feasibility testing is done in this phase. Once feasibility testing is completed, project initiation document is created. It is also known as project charter or “Statement of Work” which outlines the purpose and requirements of a project. Once the project charter is approved, the discovery and planning phase begins.

2. Discovery and Planning

The discovery phase is very important for any project. Many managers make a mistake of omitting this phase and regret it later. In this phase, we work along with the team of the company and make an effort to establish the expectations of the project. This is where the problem statement is carried out and the requirements, expected solutions, and achievements are outlined. It is sort of a blueprint or a project story which will help in defining the goals, budget etc. Discovery phase can be looked at as a first sprint because this is where all the stakeholders and strategic consultants will know if they are on the same page with each other. It is about increasing the chances of success and reducing the chances of failure and limiting the risk.

The planning phase is where the planning activities are carried out which includes defining the scope of the project, defining the work breakdown in detail, defining a communication plan, budgeting, scheduling, planning resource allocation, planning the kick-off meeting and defining the staffing needs etc. It is an important phase because it ensures project completion on time and in the stipulated budget.

3. Requirement gathering

Requirement gathering is a process of gathering a list of all the requirements (viz. business requirements, user requirements, system or software requirements etc.) from various stakeholders viz. customers, users, vendors IT staff etc. It is done to define the problem or find a solution to the problem. Requirement gathering is done in the initial collaboration stage post which wireframes are developed. Requirement gathering can be done by various methods like using questionnaires, brainstorming, and interviews with top executives of the business, use cases and scenarios, prototyping etc. It is an important phase without which one should not move to the next phase.

4. Current state assessment vs. Future state assessment with Gap analysis

With the help of Gap analysis, the comparison is carried out between the actual performance and expected or required performance of a company. Gap analysis can help assess the current state of the company vs. the future state of the company. It also helps in understanding the generally expected performance of the company as per the industrial standards. Once the company’s performance is understood, the current performance can be compared to the benchmark or the expected future performance. The analysis includes assessing the current capabilities, information systems or software applications; resources etc. of the company and identify the gaps in them.

In IT and software development, the gap analysis can help document which functions and services have been accidentally eliminated or need to be developed, or which systems need to be upgraded or replaced. It also helps in defining the future objectives of the business, as well as business and IT strategies and the action plan required to achieve these objectives.

5. Preparing an IT Roadmap & Kick-off meeting

Preparing a strategic IT Roadmap is an important part of Strategic consulting. It defines the deliverables and major initiatives required to achieve the future state for a company. The IT roadmap also defines the technological architecture and its components which include hardware, software, IT infrastructure as well as the support & maintenance required. The scope of an IT Roadmap includes various things like:

  • Organizational design: It identifies the skill gaps in employees and defines the staffing needs and skills required in employees to achieve the target.
  • Applications portfolio: It defines the technical architecture like the hardware and software or OS, communication platforms, ERP, CRM etc. which will be used to achieve targeted future state.
  • Service management and IT Best Practices: IT Roadmap helps in defining the types of IT services and the work groups required to deliver those services. This roadmap also helps in defining the best IT practices to be used within the organization for IT operations, governance, security and risk management, development and innovation. Without a set of best practices and IT roadmap, no organization will succeed to achieve its desired future state or objectives.
  • Once the IT Roadmap is defined, we hold a project kick-off meeting. We bring the team together to define their goals and tasks. Once the goals are defined, the tasks are assigned to the team and we move on to the next phase which is execution & control.

6. Execution & control

After defining the goals and allocating the tasks, strategy execution takes place. Strategy execution is an important step because, if this step is not carried out properly, there will be consequences which might need to be reprimanded. So the strategy execution needs to be controlled and monitored. The company will require a strategy control system to measure the performance of tasks being executed. When tasks & progress is monitored, it leads to effective strategy execution and control. Monitoring and controlling can be done through progress reports and by setting benchmarks. This leads to the achievement of targeted results and one can also know about the deviations from the benchmarks. This phase is known as change management.

7. Change management & reporting the progress

The change management plans will define the roles and activities and also help in controlling the changes during the execution and control phase. A change management plan is important because it helps in keeping a tab on the effect of changes on the project during the phase of execution and control. It helps in controlling the cost, scope, quality, overrun in the schedules etc.

Progress reporting needs to be planned and it should be done at specific intervals. Progress reports can be prepared weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, bi-monthly and yearly. It depends on the type of goals set and the tasks being performed. Major goals which will affect the business both in the short and long-term should be reported on a regular basis viz. monthly. This can be done with the help of a dashboard so that we know if the business is performing as per the defined goals or if there is any deviation.

So to say, with all the above steps, an additional support & maintenance is also necessary for all the software and applications being used by a business as per its IT Roadmap. A regular support & maintenance activity will ensure the upkeep and health of the applications and software being used along with regular bug fixes and upgrades, which is very important for any business to gain a competitive edge in the market. So to conclude, Strategic IT Consulting or Strategy Consulting forms a very important part of any business and we at Sunflower Lab will be glad to help your business go through these changes efficiently.

You can contact us at +1 (614) 664 – 7674 or visit our website www.thesunflowerlab.com

Related Posts

Guide To 7 Best Tech Stack 2023 for Software Development

Employee expense receipt management is the perfect process for RPA because it is logic based and redundant. Let’s

Why Outsource Java Development for Business Success in 2023

Employee expense receipt management is the perfect process for RPA because it is logic based and redundant. Let’s

8 Challenges Affecting Software Project Management

Employee expense receipt management is the perfect process for RPA because it is logic based and redundant. Let’s

Let’s talk!
We’d love to hear what you are working on. Drop us a note here andwe’ll get back to you within 24 hours

strategic partnership

How To Create Win-Win Strategic Partnerships

Tips how to make strategic business partnerships happen and what you need to do to create an upper edge during negotiations to drive home the best deal.

Startups and SMEs often need help to grow. Complex and highly competitive market scenarios make it difficult for any single small-scale business to survive the marketing onslaught induced by the corporate and other powerful players. Deterrents such as a paucity of funds, limited resources, lack of essential business knowledge and time constraints can prevent small organizations from proliferating and justifying their existence. However, even after considering all the difficulties and stumbling blocks, businesses still have to survive and are required to churn out profits despite all odds to keep the stakeholders happy and interested with further funding activities. How can small businesses achieve this?

A way out is to forge strategic business partnerships with bigger players in the market and create an opportunity to grow your customer base. The main thought behind building an alliance is to create a true synergy between the two entities and make one plus one equal five instead of two. However, gaining new customers is not the main reasons for forming such partnerships. The focus can be to streamline operations, develop a new range of better products having a higher business value in the market, improve upon your services quality, or simply outsource certain tech activities to reduce your operational overheads and enhance your ROIs.

Here’re are some tips to get you going.

Look beyond what’s on the table

Businesses fundamentally operate upon the scarcity-abundance principle. On one side there’s a need to consume a particular product or service in the market, and on the other side there’re people wanting to fulfill that demand. You could be from the “consuming” side and desire reduced buying costs to improve your margins. Or you could be from the “supply” side and push for higher selling costs. For a partnership to form it is imperative that both the sides benefit from the alliance. So you might be required to compromise upon certain aspects to make your partnership happen.

Evaluate yourself in a proper manner

People enter into partnerships when they feel they lack in certain business aspects and need help to grow. Typically, in such scenarios, the party initiating the partnership often feels it doesn’t’ have enough value on its own and is therefore inferior. It plays upon your psyche and hinders you from pushing forward your advantages and KPIs during the negotiations. It’s guaranteed to burn you in the end since the other party is most likely to capitalize upon you lack of aggressiveness. So it’s advised to value your plus points, however small they might be, and be very honest with yourself and the joining party regarding what values you bring to the negotiation table, why you’re interested in the partnership, what you can offer and what you expect to gain. It also does not mean you need to hash out your business plan or change your vision or objectives to “suit” the alliance – You need to be clear about your business journey and have confidence on your products. Don’t devaluate or rule out yourself just because you have less to offer.

Understand your potential partner’s needs

If you need someone, chances are the other person might need you too. The very fact that the other person is ready to listen to you indicates there’s something for him or her to gain from your partnership. So carry out a discreet search and try to find out why the person’s interested. It could help you gain valuable insights for negotiations. You could also use this information to present lucrative proposals to further strengthen your deal. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the person on face why he or she wants to connect with you and what he or she hopes to gain from the partnership.

Have something in common

You can’t form a partnership unless you share something in common. It could be business needs, a vision, talent or almost anything. Business people come from different backgrounds and have their own strengths and weaknesses. Best partnerships are formed when mutual weaknesses are understood and accepted by both the parties and a passion is created to achieve large milestones.

Don’t rush

Haste makes waste. If the meetings are going OK and the other person is responding positively don’t try to save time by hastening the process. People need time to think and evaluate. When pressed, they might resent or feel uncomfortable to go ahead with the deal and decide to quit. Ideally set up follow-up meetings to address next steps to engage with the person. Judicious and thorough planning is the key.

Expect to be uncomfortable

Business negotiations are not a Sunday picnic with the family. The other side is likely to press upon certain negotiation aspects to gain the upper edge and expect you to compromise which you obviously don’t want to do. Therefore, while thrashing out the details on table, expect some push and pull. Many people feel uncomfortable with disagreeing with things. Don’t let that happen to you. Prepare yourself and be clear about where you stand and what aspects you can compromise upon. Draw your bottom line. IT will make you feel more relaxed with negotiating the partnership.

Write down in black and white and commit

As is often the case, most partnerships start positively and later end with a big bang after some months. People feel frustrated and cheated. There could be financial commitments to consider. One of the main reasons why this happens – especially in case of several types of startups – is that potential partners prefer to depend upon mutual understanding about how profit should be split and responsibilities should be shared. There is a tendency to take things for granted and since there’s nothing written down in black-and-white or legally documented, it provides a certain leeway to deviate from the commitments or to expect something more than what was decided or understood. Partnerships require protection. So seal all MOUs and agreements in writing to avoid messy breakups in the future. This can be one of the hardest conversations to have, but by far it is also the most important one.

Sunflower Lab is a custom apps and mobile software development company based in Columbus, Ohio. Voted as “Top Custom Software Development Company of 2017” by Clutch – A top B2B marketplace to find companies who are experts in their domains – Sunflower Lab offers many IT based premium quality services including mobile app development, web development, cloud development, custom software development, graphic design and strategic consulting. Visit the website now to know more about our quality development services and engagement process.

Interested in other strategic partnership topics by Sunflower Lab? We have an entire series of articles specially created for you! Subscribe to our newsletters now.