Staying competitive with tech customization: Here’s what you need to know Posted on November 5, 2015 by Tim Burke There’s no question that information technology is changing the way everybody does business. I see this up-close daily as we help customers streamline IT operations as well as create and deploy innovative new digital capabilities. What I’ve noticed of late is the buzz about customized development of software and platforms. This is certainly understandable: more than 70% of companies complain they can’t find the perfect system. The temptations of customized development So, the thinking goes, let’s do our own customized development using technologies like rapid app and API development, cloud services that offer mobile front ends, etc. Such enabling technologies make it comparatively easy and quick to assemble existing reusable components into new solutions that can be fielded fast. What’s more, these apps can be updated independently of the data center’s large, complex off-the-shelf applications, which still tend to require developers to configure and maintain them. When they’re well-designed and well-deployed, the products of these enabling technologies boost operational agility so substantially that even the mighty are in danger of competitive obsolescence. Some say this explains why since 2000, 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 have either been acquired, declared bankruptcy, or gone out of business. A technology consulting either-or To all this I have one of two responses, depending on who you are. If your organization has the time, money, vision, and patience to both establish an in-house customized development effort and keep your underlying technology infrastructure sufficiently leading-edge, you may want to go for it. You can always call an experienced, reliable technology consulting company to help determine/discover any gaps and fill any holes. If, on the other hand, you’re concerned that you lack adequate resources, your infrastructure needs upgrading, and/or you do not want to distract from your business’s strategic mission and goals, you are not doomed to languish in a competitive backwater. In fact, you can get all the help you need to achieve and maintain state-of-the-art competitiveness. Professional services designed to fit anywhere Today, more than ever, you can take advantage of the extensive customization capabilities available from technology consulting companies that have integrated managed services, cloud services, and technical staffing with wide-ranging professional services. Look for a technology consulting firm able to respond with speed and depth. It’s possible to engage a single professional services firm to help you develop apps, upgrade your network infrastructure, implement virtualization, analyze your security stance, align your systems with your business processes, migrate platforms, ensure your continuity plans actually work, and even find you arcane expertise. And look for a vendor-neutral technology consulting firm that ensures its experts are appropriately credentialed and certified and that offers a variety of assessments to help you understand not only what your business needs to thrive but the various customization paths you can take to be successful.