Building a successful product requires more than just a great idea. The tech stack is key.
Choosing the right tech stack is crucial to ensuring your product performs well, is scalable and can be easily maintained.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes defining the best technology to drive your product. Whether you’re a start-up launching a new product or a business set to expand, it’s important to understand what tools will optimise your delivery.
1. Start with your product requirements
Before selecting any technology, it’s important to deep dive into the desired features and functionalities of your product.
Map out the performance expectations Considering factors such as product features, high priority customer journeys and load times.
Let’s say you are designing a new e-commerce website for a clothing brand, the website will need to have features such as product listings, filters, a shopping cart, a checkout process and a customer account section.
You might also need a shipping logistic tool. The website will need to have a responsive design, fast loading speeds and be easy to navigate.
“If it doesn’t exist, develop it”
— Martin West, Technical Director, Athlon
While mapping out the product requirements for the Museum of Military Medicine’s new website, it became apparent that we needed to design and build a custom shipping tool.
They wanted a way to determine the most optimal parcel size to pack all of the products and display that shipping option to the end user.
We decided to build a custom API with our own custom packer algorithm. We would send the API a set of products and the API would return the correct package size to use.
2. Choose and trial technologies that work well together
It’s crucial that you test the compatibility of your tools before deciding upon your tech stack.
This will ensure that your product functions seamlessly, and reduces the risk of integration issues down the line.
For example, you would want to ensure that your chosen payment gateway integrates well with your CRM software, passing the correct data to allow for customer order tracking, correct distribution and optimised marketing opportunities
By testing the compatibility of the tools ahead of entering into service agreements, you can avoid being tied to tools that cause pain points for your customers.
3. Consider scalability
Your tech stack should be scalable to accommodate growth and changes to your product, future proofing your business.
Initially, you may be servicing a small audience, but as you expand your offering or add new features, you need to ensure that your tech stack is robust and ready,
If your tech stack isn’t able to handle new features or functionality, you may need to re-architect your entire platform or switch to a different solution, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Consider cloud-based infrastructures like Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Perform which can easily scale up or down based on your traffic and resource needs. Consider using a more flexible web frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or Next JS React which are known for their scalability and flexibility.
4. Prioritise security
Security must be a top priority when designing any product and your tech stack should reflect this.
From protecting user data to building brand trust and ensuring continuity of service, security is a key consideration.
Your product may be handling sensitive information such as customer names, addresses and credit card information. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to financial loss, reputation damage and loss of customer trust.
Consider tools with built-in security features like encryption, access management and threat detection. Do your due-diligence as it’s your reputation on the line.
5. Keep it simple
Focus on the essential features and functionalities that are crucial to your business, rather than adding unnecessary complexities that can increase your costs.
Using the minimum number of different technologies when building an app can simplify development, improve performance and ease maintenance. By reducing complexity and technology dependencies, engineering teams can build faster, more efficient and sustainable apps.
Consider using tools with pre-built templates, built-in payment gateways and product management features to take away integration pain points.
Ensuring that you have the right tech stack from the beginning is the best way to set you up for success. It’s important to constantly review it, ensuring that technologies are being utilised efficiently and effectively.