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Needs over cost – the only approach to long-term software investment

It's common for companies to perceive software investment as an isolated event. You need a solution to address a problem, and once the solution is in place, you're satisfied and don’t give it another thought.  

A different way to look at it is that the finished solution is part of a long-term strategy when it comes to digitalization and technology. It involves continuously analyzing your needs, essentially investigating and identifying the needs and requirements of users and stakeholders in your company on a rolling basis. As a result, you strive to continually review and invest in technical solutions.

The house analogy – Start with the needs

When estimating the cost of software, we’ve previously drawn an analogy to building a house. It's basically almost impossible for us as developers to provide an estimate before we have the necessary information, i.e. the equivalent to what the foundation is going to look like, material choices, what heating system the house is going to use, etc.

The house analogy also applies when it comes to how companies should think long-term about software. Those who own a house know that there are always things you want and/or need to do – thus, there is a constant needs analysis going on. When you do this, you start with the needs that exist, not the cost. Additionally, software – just like a house – requires continuous maintenance (think painting the facade) and not just new additions (like that fireplace you've always wanted).

Similarly, we can see an old, traditional IT architecture as a renovation project. The first thing you address are the most urgent problems, perhaps a leaking roof or an electrical system posing a safety risk. Then it's time to tackle that crack in the foundation or the bathroom that hasn't been touched since the '60s. And then you can start looking at new wallpaper and floors and fixing the garden. Simply put, addressing your needs (must-haves) and then your wants (nice-to-haves) – something we often talk about in software development.

Ongoing costs and investments in a house are a necessity, and software and your digital ecosystem should also be continually improved to function optimally. This creates a long-term software strategy that not only involves developing a single solution but aims to create and maintain a dynamic and efficient ecosystem.

Software and digitalization are not an isolated event

When companies no longer see software as a one-time investment, they have adopted a proactive strategy similar to how a house owner constantly maintains and perhaps even upgrades their house to ensure its value and functionality over time. Similarly, investing in software and the digital ecosystem becomes a continuous process where improvements are identified and implemented to maximize efficiency, productivity, and the company's success over time.

By viewing digitalization as an ongoing journey rather than an isolated event, you position your company to quickly adapt to changing market needs and take advantage of the opportunities available. In the long run, investments in software are not only a necessity but a strategic and profitable investment to ensure a long-term and sustainable future for the business.

Strategic tech partner – For a long-term software strategy

In our role as a strategic tech partner for many of our clients, we have an ongoing collaboration model based on the retainer model. This means we have a long-term partnership where Meta Bytes continuously works to meet the needs of the customer. We focus not only on solving immediate problems but also assist them with a long-term and sustainable strategy when it comes to digitalization and software.

In such a partnership, there is no predetermined max budget. Instead, the customer continuously invests in digitalization, thereby initiating a long-term strategy that spans the entire software spectrum. This includes everything from infrastructure and integrations to system improvements and new development.

This type of collaboration often results from a previous, more project-based collaboration focusing on a specific solution or problem area.

By viewing software as a continuous investment based on your business needs, you create the best conditions for positioning the company for the future. It's when you start the journey of digitalizing the business and developing custom solutions that you see the opportunities software offers – and we're with you all the way.

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