September 7, 2021 | 3-minute read (517 words)
If you're considering technology stack solutions, it's critical to understand what third-party vendors can provide you with, beyond what's visible on their sales materials. If you intend to create your stack with the help of an outside development partner, consider the following questions.
The last thing you want to do is to sign a multiyear deal with a vendor only to discover that the tech isn't what you expected. Ideally, you will be able to try out the vendor's technology before making a purchase, or you'll have a trial period after implementation where you can back out of a contract if you don't like it.
Does the business provide a trial period?
In an ideal scenario, you'd work with a vendor with a track record of dealing with firms similar to yours. In case your vendor is a startup, there's always the risk that it won't be there long enough to serve you in the event upgrades or changes to the service are needed, so getting references from existing clients is important.
Has the vendor been in business for a long time?
To expand on the last issue, you want your vendor to stay around for the long term, as you may require assistance along the way. Ensure that your support time is as lengthy as feasible so that the vendor can handle upgrades, migrations, bug fixes, new tech integrations and other features that you may require.
What kind of assistance should you expect?
The data is preserved in a cloud-based storage capacity with many modern tech stacks, but that's information you need to confirm upfront. Find out who will have access to the data as well. This is critical so you know whether essential people at your business will have access to information from your platform on an as-needed basis without relying on a vendor to obtain it for them.
What is the location of the data, and who has access to it?
The provider should demonstrate how its tech stack will scale with your firm because you want your company to grow. Simple tweaks to the technology must be able to allow for rapid development without causing slowdowns or breakdowns. You don't want to acquire a new tech stack a year from now because your current one couldn't keep up with your expansion, so look for a solution that can expand with you.
Can you provide examples of scalability and flexibility?
Some suppliers will quote you a low price upfront, only to reveal that support and troubleshooting items are priced separately. Prepare a list of everything that is included so you don't run into any budget shocks later.
What are the a la carte services?
Even if the tech stack is bulletproof when you first receive it, that doesn't mean it will always be protected from attacks. As new security flaws emerge and your technology advances, you may find yourself becoming a target. Ensure that security is a serious concern for your vendors to avoid security breaches along the route, which could damage your reputation and client relationships.
Are there any security protocols in place?