The idea of launching a tech startup sounds both promising and challenging. There are a lot of pitfalls the first-time startup indicators should be aware of. Still, fortunately, this path can be less thorny if you consider tech consulting services before investing in software development.
What is tech consulting, and why do both startups and growing companies need it? What specialists should you consult to avoid costly mistakes and make your development process as seamless as possible? Let’s find the right answers in this article.
- 1 What Is Tech Consulting?
- 2 Tech Consultants Roles and Responsibilities
- 3 When Startups Need Tech Consulting Services
- 4 Tech Consulting for Mature Businesses – Do They Need It?
- 5 Conclusion
What Is Tech Consulting?
So, let’s start with defining tech consulting as a service. Tech consulting is a process of sharing theoretical knowledge and practical insights on how to apply certain technologies to achieve a certain business goal. The definition seems to be pretty simple.
However, in practice, tech consulting implies involving several specialists with both technical and non-technical backgrounds to take a professional look at the business itself, its current goals, strong and weak points, the market environment, available resources, and future growth projections.
Tech Consultants Roles and Responsibilities
What is a tech consulting from a practical standpoint? When it comes to practice, tech consulting services are never delivered by a single person; otherwise, there is a risk of missing an essential point of analysis. Tech consulting process usually involves below mentioned specialists-
- Business Analyst- A Business Analyst is a person who is responsible for analyzing the current state of the business and the environment it operates. When it comes to startup software development, a Business Analyst is also responsible for validating the project idea and aligning the vision of stakeholders and a development team.
- Business Strategist- A Business Strategist is a specialist who creates a business development strategy depending on the market environment, business goals, and available resources. Together with a Business Analyst, they create software development strategies as well.
- Legal Compliance Expert- Before getting started with software development, there is also a need to get a legal consultation to ensure legal compliance. Most industries have specific heavily localized legal regulations. For example, you have to follow HIPAA guidelines to create healthcare software. And a legal compliance expert will suggest ways to do it right from the law’s perspective.
- Software Developer- Getting a consultation from a software developer is also an essential part of a tech consulting service. They will help with choosing the right tech stack to make the future software technically powerful.
- Marketing Specialist- Hiring a marketing specialist as a part of a tech consulting service is especially important for the projects that will be created in a highly competitive business environment. Highlighting possible marketing strategies in advance will help optimize promotion costs, create more winning marketing tactics compared to competitors and make sure that the future product will reach the target customer.
When Startups Need Tech Consulting Services
So, after the question of “What is a tech consulting?” is clear, let’s proceed with the cases when startups need such a service.
Validate the Idea
The majority of startups fail during the first year after market launch, while the core reason for failure is no market demand. That’s why idea validation is so important – it allows for making sure that the target customers actually need a certain software product and are ready to pay for it. Tech consultants will help with business and market analysis, validating the idea in advance. Such a simple trick allows for saving the development budget in the case the idea itself is likely to fail.
Highlight the Development Strategy
While for some software projects staying agile is crucial, others can be developed according to the Waterfall methodology. The task of tech consultants, in this case, will be to suggest the right development strategy, depending on the project specifics.
Choosing the Right Tech Stack
There are also a lot of modern and powerful programming languages and frameworks to create a software solution. And each of them can be tailored to a specific use case, depending on the operational system, design and features complexity, and scalability projections. Skilled software developers can suggest the winning tech stack for the project to meet both business goals and users’ expectations.
Optimizing the Development Budget
Tech consultants will also help decide on the feature set that will be enough to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) so that the product owner can avoid the overhead costs of creating the features the target audience doesn’t need at the first development stages.
Partnering With a Trusted Development Vendor
Tech consulting experts will also help with choosing a trusted development vendor who will have the necessary expertise. For example, like Howly experts are well-versed in electronics and gadgets, your development company should be well-versed in the niche the future product will be created for. Usually, tech consulting companies have either development teams under their roof or can suggest trusted development companies to partner with.
Tech Consulting for Mature Businesses – Do They Need It?
Mature companies can also benefit from applying for tech consulting services. Below are the cases when hiring tech consultants will be a wise decision.
- Build business-specific software- As well as with startup development, mature companies also need tech consulting services to build cost-effective software that will be perfectly aligned with business necessities and goals.
- Optimize the usage of existing solutions- Modern businesses usually use several applications for each of the business processes, and most of them are pretty costly, especially when subscribing to an enterprise tariff plan. Tech consultants can suggest better ideas on how to optimize software usage by either switching to more powerful and less costly solutions or creating a custom application.
- Migrating business data to another system- Data migration projects are challenging and complex from a technical perspective. In this case, tech consulting services are essential for developing the right data migration strategy, ensuring data safety. And further scalability of a new system.
- Getting started with digital transformation- Digital transformation is an ongoing process, and another case when tech consulting is a must. Usually, companies create digital transformation strategies for each of the business processes. But there is also a need to align them in a smart way. Competent technical consultation will be valuable support at each of the digital transformation steps.
- Leveraging innovative technologies- Getting started with new technology like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, or augmented reality can also be a part of a company’s digital transformation path. While these innovations are especially value-driving, embedding them into a business process is pretty challenging. So getting a professional tech consultation is also a must.
When it comes to software development, there is no better thing than the main principle of the LEAN development methodology. It sounds pretty simple – you have to test before investing. Getting a tech consultation can also be considered some kind of testing. Since it allows for avoiding costly mistakes, painful pitfalls, and overhead costs.
Carly Earl is Guardian Australia picture editor. She has worked as a photographer and picture editor in Sydney for 8 years, previously for The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.