We live in an age of unparalleled opportunity for online startups. New methods for business development like Lean Startup should bring the success of creating online companies to an all-time high. Yet the odds of building sustainable technology platforms haven’t improved much but these approaches.
What has changed is the way we rapidly develop new applications. We adopted new agile method like Scrum to shorten the delivery cycle and gap between business and IT. This has improved significantly the effectiveness of software development and business alignment.
Driven by short term customer facing features, the underlying application architecture has become casualty of this approach. After the first successful launch of your Minimal Viable Product (MVP) - IT will be overwhelmed by new feature requests to keep up with your growing commercial success.
Developers will raise concerns and claim time and resources to renew and adjust the initial architecture accordingly. They will say it is needed to keep the foundation of your platform solid what ever that means. It means not applying quick and dirty constructs in order to meet urgent business requests. But their longterm technical message will not be heard by the business that can hardly hold up with its short term commercial success.
Especially in a setting where resources in budget and qualified developers are limited:
"Short term customer-facing application demands
always win over longer term technical quality
of the back-end application architecture."
Within 2 to 3 years your platform will show clear signs of inflexibility, increasing delays in new releases, bugs and ultimately erroneous processing of customer transactions. Around this time your customer support department will drive most of the IT development in bug-fixing the increasing technical debt of the platform. Developers of the initial platform will often leave out of demotivation, causing a crucial knowledge drain on the inner layers of the platform.
Eventually in 3 to 5 years your innovation will become no more than introducing relatively simple features on the outer layers of the platform. New market entrance without these expensive legacies will surpass you in no-time with new disruptive functionalities to attack your market footprint. Complete rebuild is the only economic option left. That is: if you can still make the investment, allocate the time and resources and most of all address the commercial and technology risks this dangerous road involves.
At GIBLE we fully embrace Scrum and the Lean Startup approach for fast and cost-effective develop of your online presence. However we believe the same philosophy should be applied to your back-end application architecture as well.
We think the life span of online platform can be much more a growing continuum than the traditional 3 to 5 year lifetime cycle. When you start off with the right approach you can apply the same Scrum and Lean Startup principles, but now on a growing lean architecture.
You will be able to keep your IT focus on new innovations and be liberated of the every increasing technical debt and legacy issues. Enter our unique 3-tier approach.