Web portals or turnkey solutions are time and cost-effective ways to bring your idea to life or automate your business, without going through the tough process of design, project management, implementation, and hosting of the software solution.

Build V/s Buy

Before deciding to build a Custom/TurnKey solution you should do some online research and analysis to find if there is already an off-the-shelf solution that can meet your requirements. When trying to map your requirements with the features available in the existing solution you should think both short term and long term. If time to market is one of the prioritized criteria (short term) then buying an existing solution that meets most of your criteria can be a good strategy. When defining your requirement always think about Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which becomes even more important if the time to market is a critical factor for the solution.

One challenge with off-the-shelf products over the long term can be that features required in later phases are not available in the product, or the product is not extensible enough to support developing such features. Look for extensibility points in the product, and how easy/difficult it is to extend in case the need be. This might not be too important in short term perspective, but for the long term, the product extensibility can be a major factor.

If the existing off-the-shelf product does not meet the needs of your business or idea or requires too much customization which essentially increases the cost of ownership, then a Custom/Turn-Key solution approach can give you the total flexibility and control over the solution while keeping the cost in control. This becomes quite cost-effective over the long term as you have full control of the solution.

Custom solution development requires patience and time. If you do not have an IT department then Turnkey solutions are ideal. Turn-key solutions then give you cost-effective ways to bring your idea to life or automate your business, without going through the tough process of design, project management, implementation, and hosting of the software solution. Since most of the Turn-Key solutions have some common features (like user management, monitoring, notification, etc.) which can boost development, look for development partners who already have developed such solutions. This will save you some cost and time.

At Desuvit, we have developed such custom solutions which will give your TurnKey solution a kick start saving both money and time. Talk to us to help you decide if you should buy or build a solution to solve your business problem.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

A Minimum Viable Product or MVP, is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter users and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle. In industries such as software, the MVP can help the product team receive user feedback as quickly as possible to iterate and improve the product.

Keeping the MVP thinking with the first version of the product/solution will ensure that you develop the software that matters (and eliminate waste) and keep the cost in control. If your time-to-market is a crucial factor in developing the solution then it becomes extremely important that you focus on the features that are an absolute must for the solution.

When planning for the first version of the solution it is a natural tendency to add as many features as possible to make it “complete”. The thought generally is that maybe some users will like this feature and another user might like another feature so we will target both the feature as they both are useful and will cover more user base. This cannot be further from the truth, especially for the first version of the solution. Users behave differently and it is difficult to predict user behavior in advance. The feature development based on user behavior data or user feedback (with an iterative approach) will ensure that you are developing what your user wants and is needed, instead of assuming and developing features that users might not want or does not need.

Minimum Viable Product consists of only the most important feature of your solution — nothing more or less. MVP always saves resources such as time and money since you’re testing the absolute core functionality of your product.

Agile Development Methodology

There are many methodologies today for developing software solutions, but one methodology which has been quite effective and proven is Agile Methodology. The methodology is focused on creating software that matters. It places customers (i.e. the user of the software) at the center, which then ensures that the software is developed in accordance with and collaboration with the customer. This helps keep the software development in the right direction and eliminates waste.

The Agile Manifesto is a declaration of the values and principles expressed in agile methodology. It is made up of four foundational values and 12 key principles. The first principle of Agile Manifesto is “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software

The two most important words in the first principle are “early” and “continuous”. Early delivery of the software ensures that one is building the software with the required intended features from the beginning. In the traditional Waterfall model approach, the software development process will have different phases with long periods so any misunderstanding in the requirement was discovered very late in the development. The cost of changing the software will be huge. Agile methodology fixes the issue by the “early delivery” guiding principle.

Releasing the software early for the verification/testing purpose solve one part of the problem. The software also needs to be “continuously” published so the feedback can be continuously given and thus making sure that the development is in the right directions always, and not just at the beginning of the development.

The term Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) is used in the IT industry that explains the process of “continuous” development. Continuous Integration means that the code is tested (with automation test) as soon as the developer commits the code so any bug can be caught as early as possible. Continuous Deployment means the code is deployed to a test server where it can be then manually (or sometimes automated) tested to ensure the development meets the requirement.

There are many tools (open source and otherwise not so expensive) available that automatically deploy your changes to the test server as soon as the code is committed. If you are working with .Net and Azure cloud then Azure DevOps is a natural choice as it gives you both CI/CD capabilities and a lot of it free or available at a reasonable price.

TeamCity, Octopus Deploy, Jenkins are few of the other tools which give you CI/CD capabilities. Depending on your needs and technology you can choose between different available tools. Setting up the CI/CD pipeline, in the beginning, will help you keep your software development in the right direction.

Test Early and Continuously

There are many methodologies today for developing software and mobile apps, but one methodology which has been quite effective and proven is Agile Methodology. The methodology is focused on creating software that matters. It places customer (i.e. the user of the software) at the center, which then ensures that the software is developed in accordance with and collaboration with the customer. This helps keep the software development in the right direction and eliminates waste.

The Agile Manifesto is a declaration of the values and principles expressed in agile methodology. It is made up of four foundational values and 12 key principles. The first principle of Agile Manifesto is “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software”.

The two most important words in the first principle are “early” and “continuous”. Early delivery of the software ensures that one is building the software with the required intended features from the beginning. In the traditional Waterfall model approach, the software development process will have different phases with long periods so any misunderstanding in the requirement was discovered very late in the development. The cost of changing the software will be huge. Agile methodology fixes the issue by the “early delivery” guiding principle.

Releasing the software early for the verification/testing purpose solve one part of the problem. The software also needs to be “continuously” published so the feedback can be continuously given and thus making sure that the development is in the right directions always, and not just at the beginning of the development.

Monitoring

How do you ensure that the system is stable and there are no bugs in the solution after it has been released? If you have a registration page and there are errors when the user registers, then the bug can cost you your potential user. But most importantly, the question is how many users will you lose before you find the problem? Monitoring your system is one of the most important things that is often ignored and added at the end. Do not do this mistake.

Setting up monitoring is not hard; it is just ignored as it is a non-functional feature of a system. Adding monitoring from the beginning of the development phase will also help you identify the bugs at the earliest. Keeping an eye on the health of the system is an important non-functional feature that should be prioritized on your project development board. Here is some statistics that will help you understand the importance of monitoring your systems as early as in the development phase.

Here are some statistics that will help you understand the importance of monitoring your systems as early as in the development phase.

In 2016, the software failures cost the worldwide economy $1.1 trillion. These failures were found at 363 companies, affected 4.4 billion customers, and caused more than 315 years of time lost. Most of these incidents were avoidable, but the software was simply pushed to production without proper tests.

To illustrate: if a bug is found in the requirements-gathering phase, the cost could be $100. If the product owner doesn’t find that bug until the QA testing phase, then the cost could be $1500. If it’s not found until production, the cost could be $10,000. And if the bug is never found, it could be secretly costing the company money.

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A 2003 study commissioned by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology found that software bugs cost the US economy $59.5 billion annually.

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Monitoring is one of the organization’s biggest challenges since it’s the beginning of your end-to-end business process. Rapid application UI changes demand quick automation and the ability to adapt on-the-fly. That is why monitoring is quite important for your entire system.

In Closing

There are lots of factors to consider when developing custom or a Turn-key solution. Properly analyzing your options can give you better ROI with the chosen solutions. Contact us if you need help and guidance on deciding the right strategy.