L-One Systems Blog
A Software Product Needs a Stable Foundation – Here’s How You Build It
Challenges of software product development
Whether it's an IoT solution, an e-learning platform or an AI system, before programming can begin, companies must establish the technical foundation for their software product. Replacing this foundation is time-consuming and expensive.
What makes a software product?
- A software product is a digital solution that creates added value for a specific target group. This must be so great that users are willing to pay for the digital product and use it in the long term. Integration into the user's digital ecosystem plays an important role here.
- A digital product is never complete. There are many reasons for this: User expectations and technical possibilities are constantly evolving. Networking advances and requires additional interfaces.
- Technically speaking, a software product is based on a tech stack, i.e., a set of several technologies used in its development.
The #SocialApp on the tablet of our customer Lylu is a software product that has been specially developed for seniors and enables them to participate in the Internet
Software Products Need a stable Foundation
Why it is important to build a software product on a solid foundation
The three preceding characteristics give a hint: The development of a digital product involves more than pure programming power. For the solution to be successful in the long term, it needs a stable foundation. At first glance, this may seem to contradict the volatility and agility of digital ecosystems.
The opposite is true: This environment makes it all the more important to plan the technical foundations with foresight. Only in this way will the software product still have value for its users several years from now.
"The development of a software product is like building a house: In the beginning, a foundation is poured. The architecture builds on this and becomes increasingly complex.
Replacing the foundation later is time-consuming and expensive. That means I have to think very carefully at the beginning about what foundation I need."
Lionel Born, CEO of L-One Systems
1. Develop a concrete vision
A software product must be tailored precisely to the needs of future users and provide them with real added value. Companies should first develop a clear, well thought-out vision for their product. It is not only crucial for success with the intended target group. The vision also serves as the basis for making the right technical decisions before moving on to programming. In this step, companies should answer questions such as:
- How do I want to change the world with my product?
- Who belongs to my target group?
- How does my target audience think and act?
- What added value do I want to offer these users and how?
- What problem does my product solve?
These questions help to make the vision as concrete as possible. Initial assumptions can be validated through surveys or interviews with potential users.
"It makes a difference whether I want to digitize all processes in a department or save 25 percent of working time in administrative activities. The focus for product development is different."
However, it's not enough to come up with a vision. The project team must develop a shared understanding of it and commit to it. This ensures that over the course of the project, the team only develops features that align with the vision. This way, a digital product emerges that consistently creates real value for its users.
2. Consider the digital ecosystem of users
The next step is to determine what the technical foundation of the digital product should look like. Already in this phase, companies benefit from the previously developed product vision. It focuses the decision-making process on maximizing added value for users.
"It is very important to keep in mind: What digital environment are my users operating in? No digital product is used 'stand alone' today."
A special focus should be on integrating the digital product as best as possible into the digital ecosystem of the users. What does that mean? Project teams should figure out which existing software systems are essential for future users of the product. The better the digital product interacts with these systems, the higher its utility. The focus should be on questions such as:
- On which platform do we make the software available?
- Do we develop a web app or a native app, i.e., an application tailored to the operating system of the respective end device (iOS, Android)?
- Should the software product run on a local server or in the cloud?
- Which software systems does the product need to be connected to and which interfaces are required for this?
3. Create foundations that scale well
The structure and framework should be set up in such a way that the digital product can be scaled easily and quickly at a later date. This means that both the number of users and the number of features can be easily expanded - while maintaining the same product quality. Project teams should consider the following aspects:
- When selecting features, companies should keep in mind that they must maintain and further develop their quality and functionality over the long term.
- Data storage in particular influences the subsequent scalability of the software product. It should therefore be chosen with care.
- High-quality, clean code facilitates changes and upgrades in the course of product development. The code should be well readable and cleanly documented. Guidelines within the development team are recommended.
- Automated tests should also be set up in parallel with product development. They save a lot of time later during upgrades.
The #eLearning app Blink.it has already been on the market for six years. The startup is constantly developing the software product together with L-One.
4. Bringing the right know-how to the team
If you want to realize a software product, you need developers. This is not fundamentally wrong. As stated above: Before the code is written, the technical foundation must be defined.
This task requires comprehensive expertise: Know-how about the diverse digital ecosystems, the ability to analyze the target group as well as its digital environment and to draw the right conclusions for the technical foundation. It is therefore worthwhile for companies to work with a partner who accompanies the entire development of the digital product - from the technical foundation to the product launch.
Programming software products involves a number of challenges. Unlike software, digital products consist of multiple software systems. Each product has its own "tech stack." This is the term used to describe the set of technologies used to develop a particular digital product. Different expertise is required for each technology. This makes it even more difficult for companies to assemble a team of developers for their project.
Fast project start with dedicated team of experts
L-One supports companies in digital product development. We provide our customers with cost-effective, dedicated remote development teams in a short time, who already have the right know-how.
Dedicated means that our development teams in Damascus only work for one client and focus 100% on their project.
We often work with our customers on a long-term basis and build up expertise together - as partners at eye level.
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