Software Development: Choosing the Right Technology for Your Project
Choosing the right technologies is the critical factor that can drive your software product to become successful, enable easier development, and leave room for future scalability as well as update and maintenance.
But how do you choose the right technologies for your project? This is among the most commonly asked questions from clients to the software development companies whenever they embark on a new project. Any client would prefer to choose the best suitable technologies and tools stacks for successful development.
Certainly, there are quite a number of factors involved to determine which technologies to use in certain projects. Every technology has its own pros and cons, and the decision to choose one would depend on the project’s requirements, business goals, and other expectations.
In this article, let’s consider the factors that influence the decisions to choose the right technologies for development projects.
Factors To Consider When Selecting a Technology Stack
Generally speaking, before kick-starting any project, if clients do not already have their preferred choice of technologies in mind, software vendors will usually conduct the project discovery phase to identify and clarify the project requirements - by asking a series of questions to narrow down the number of technology options before making the final decisions.
Below are some of the commonly asked questions:
- What is the targeted platform, and/or devices for the created applications to be operated on: mobile, web, others?
- What are the overall performance expectations of the projects? For example, an e-commerce website may need to be able to handle up to millions of requests per day, while some internal business applications would only need to cater to a few hundred or thousands of users.
- Are the development teams experienced and well-versed in the technologies of choices?
- Does the technology have a thriving ecosystem and community to ensure a long lifecycle?
- Is there a community of developers for documentations and other supports (e.g. related errors and bugs fixing)?
- Is the new technology interoperable and easily integrated with other third-party applications?
- Are there any cyber-security risks, or concerns with the chosen technologies?
This is NOT a complete list of questions to arrive at the final decisions but rather acts as a way to short-list the best fit technologies and eliminate the non-suitable ones.
Additionally, there are a number of popular technologies for different projects that customers companies can use as a “reference” for their technologies selection process.
The Critical Factors of Technology Stack Decision-Making
Platforms Of Choice
Different systems will have different technologies requirements. For instance, mobile apps are platforms, and devices specific (i.e. iOS vs. Android vs. cross-platforms), while web applications can work on most browsers across platforms. Each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, and, thus the application and platform of choice would influence the technologies chosen.
Ultimately, the decision would depend on how and which technologies can be leveraged to meet your business's long-term objectives.
Scalability and Performance
Leaving room for scalability is critical to ensure future business growth can be met. Additionally, a high-performance level is needed to provide a best-case user experience to attract and retain customers.
Particular industries like Healthcare or Fintech may require specific security regulations compliance, for example, HIPAA in healthcare, and AML/KYC for Fintech industry, etc. Choosing the right technologies to meet compliance requirements is essential here.
Some particular products, as a priority, need to be released to market as fast as possible and the technology of choices will be bound by the time-to-market requirements. As a result, a trade-off in terms of customization may need to be accepted to achieve the time advantage.
The process of choosing the technologies for your project influences much about your long-term business objectives, which involves the type of applications you’re going to build, how efficiently your applications will perform, and the development team that you’re going to hire.
There may be no perfect solution as certain technologies allow quicker time to market but could be rigid in terms of customization - while some technologies are better for one particular target audience, etc. It’s crucial to take into account both short and long-term effects and choose the technologies that meet your current needs and evolve as your businesses growing.
The general rule is to start with technologies that can scale as you grow, for example, cloud technologies solution such as AWS or Microsoft Azure provides the option to add additional resources as you go rather having to pay for everything upfront all at once. Some other technology solutions have low switching costs and no vendor lock-in that are flexible future growth and meet the evolving scalability requirements.