Startups constitute a major force in any economy today. These are the mushrooming new business ventures with minimal operating history. Many of these startups stand out for their out-of-box software solutions and groundbreaking innovations in the IT industry. The desire to leave a mark in the industry reigned by big corporate houses leads the startups to go beyond the norms and take risks with new technologies. These are dynamic and rapidly evolving enterprises that offer unexplored opportunities and challenges.
As per The Kaufman Index 2016: Startup Activity. National Trends, almost 550,000 startups are set up every month in the USA. However, the majority of the entrepreneurs admit there is a dearth of resources with the necessary skill sets. Developing software for a startup is much different and complicated than it is for an established business. The reason is startups have minimum operational experience but at the same time aspire for groundbreaking software solutions creating software development startups of the future.
As per the report released by the US Department of Labor, by 2020 there will be a requirement of 1.4 million IT professionals. As per Gartner, universities and colleges in the USA will be able to provide only 30% of the resources. Deloitte suggests in order to meet the remaining demand of the USA market, offshore outsourcing can prove highly beneficial.
This implies there will be a high demand in offshore outsourcing hubs to provide software for both startups and established organizations. Since the number of software development startups is shooting up every day, it will highly benefit the offshore companies to know some tips and tricks to develop effective software for startups.
How to build effective software for startups:
Create simple and easy-to-use software
Your idea could be great and you could be just awesome in solving critical issues but if your product is too cumbersome for the end-users, they will prefer not using it or replacing it with something simpler. So, focus on creating something that is user-friendly and multifunctional. Understand what your specific users are looking for and where and when they will be using your product. Make sure your software integrates easily with the other tools that they are using.
Select user-friendly and multifunctional framework
Enterprise-ready frameworks come with multiple modules and enable deployment in the lowest timeframe. Using these mature frameworks not only enables you to create out-of-box software but also helps you save a lot of development time. By using mature frameworks, you can easily save time on writing modules and features that are readily available in these frameworks. For example, Angular JS is a better option than the Expresess.js framework.
Avoid early tests to save development time
Development time is the most crucial factor for any startup. Technical requirements are likely to change too often in the early stages. It is recommended to have a Statement of Work at the start of the project that outlines the scope based on clients’ expectations and market demands. Investing time in tests while the final product is still in progress can be risky for the software development startups as there could be several changes to the product. So, early tests can be abandoned to save significant development time.
Release the software as early as possible
Remember the market trends keep on changing. Once the first version of the software is ready, ensure it is running and free from bugs and release it at the earliest opportunity. You can always hone it to perfection later on. There are maximum chances that your software development startups software will be redesigned after release, so spending too much time on polishing it does not make much sense. Let your clients be your testers. Take their suggestions to improve your software.
Look for issues in the software and fix them
There are circumstances when the software fails to function as expected, regardless of the effort and expertise put into its development. Monitor the performance of the software in the market and catch the bugs upfront. Find out a strategy to fix the bug or change the application process, if necessary.
Choose technologies that enable easy changes
There can be a need for multiple revisions in software during its development cycle. Refactoring is an important phase. Make sure you apply those technologies that allow developers to integrate any changes to it conveniently at any stage. For startups, it is also advisable to use flexible, lighter, and open source PHP-based frameworks than complex ones like .NET and Java.
Draw a schedule to manage development and refactoring
As technology evolves with each day, there are business pressures to update software, leading to technical or coding debt. This refers to the implied cost applicable for additional rework led by an easy, upgraded solution in contrast to the earlier solution that took a long time. Just like you schedule time for software development, it is equally important to allocate time for refactoring to apply the changes. You can even consider an operational strategy to cover your software development cycle. For example, if you visualize in a project, software coding is likely to take 3 months’ time, allocate another 1.5 months for refactoring.
Deploy Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an ideal choice when it comes to development and deployment. DevOps engineers can effectively manage the server within the allocated budget and address deployment-related issues. However, most of the startups hire local servers in place of DevOps engineers for rollout. Choosing cloud-based development server like AWS can resolve issues arising due to server crash like loss of data, unavailability of data, real-time data updates, etc.
Adopt technologies that fit the pocket
It is always tempting to adopt to the trendiest technologies that rule the market. In mainstream, innovative technologies like AI, LBS, IoT, and AR are gaining grounds rapidly. However, these technologies are expensive and may not fit the budget of startups. It is advisable to use smart, easy, and affordable technologies for startups and design the software in a way that it can incorporate the innovative ones once the startup can afford these and make software development startups creative.
Apply analytical tools for multiple benefits
Application of various analytics software can help in monitoring client behavior, analyzing the development process, and adjusting the application to meet client needs. Upon development, the software can be tested by end-users. They can share their feedback and suggest features that would make the product more relevant. Implementing the end-users’ feedback will help to bring out the final product in line with the market trend and apt to the end-users’ needs.
Apply iterations with a specific final outcome
It is important that you apply short iterations and the ones that have a definite outcome. Scrum two-week sprints is ideal for startups as it helps to shape goals and provides project discipline. Further, scrum rules out the possibility of any random development and makes the process streamlined.
Seek feedback from end-users
It is very likely that you conducted thorough research on the market and the end-user requirement before setting on to software development. However, since the market is dynamic the requirements can change rapidly. It is always advisable to seek feedback from the end-users on the first version of the software. Even if there are upgrades to the technology, you can give them a set of features and an interface to test in their specific scenario. The feedback can go a long way in evolving the software in line with the recent market trend and the need of the users.
Be aware of security and cloud constraints
With the growing number of threats to the cyber world, you need to ensure the safety and security of the confidential data of the startup company. You should be familiar with the security compliance laws and implement them wherever necessary. In order to foster trust among the end-users, implement encryption technologies like SSL. While integrating external services, ensure the company and the end-users about the safety of their confidential data. Cloud computing can be tempting but over-dependency on cloud and its offerings may not be feasible for startups considering the budget and resource limitations. You can find challenges in working as per the storage, server, and data handling policies for cloud computing.
To wrap up, developing software for a startup is both a challenging and rewarding experience. WBPRO has been working in this domain for years offering unparalleled software services to both startups and corporate houses. We understand the potential of a startup in shaping the economy of a nation and provide all assistance in developing groundbreaking software solutions. We believe in innovation and our out-of-box products bear testimony to this.
Contact us to get a software solution that matches exactly your startup’s budget and needs.