How do you choose the right technology? Here's how Sweet Mustard does it

At Sweet Mustard, we think of ourselves as technology agnostic. That means we don't have a preference for a particular technology. I's a conscious choice, and one that's based on the philosophy that each problem requires its own solution and therefore customised technology. So, how do we choose the most appropriate technology? In this article, we’ll guide you through some of our selection criteria.

What are the needs?

Right at the start of each project, we conduct a comprehensive discovery study. We look at the client's problem and try to answer as many questions as possible. What do you need? What added value do you want to create, both for your end client and for the business? We also challenge that answer and ask why you think you need a specific solution. We prefer to involve end users as much and as early as possible, because that's often where the most useful insights are found. And based on their needs, we then determine what kind of solution you need, which in turn largely dictates the choice of technology.

Sweet Mustard app technology

How much does it cost, and how big is the budget?

Also important when selecting a technology: the price tag. As such, we look at the broader picture. After all, it's not just the size of the project and the development lead time that determine the cost – you also have to consider the licence costs, hosting, maintenance and more. 

What in-house expertise is available?

Sweet Mustard is there for you as a sounding board, adviser, coach and executive partner – before, during and long after every project or digital transformation. We pay great attention to the composition of your team, analysing the expertise and skills you have in-house for development and maintenance, for example. A large IT department with a distinct preference for a particular technology requires a different approach than a smaller SME with a single IT manager.

Are there any existing technologies that need to be considered?

We also take into account the technology already in use within the company. We look at which apps and programs are in place and whether they are working properly. Are there ERP, CRM or WMS software packages to which the new application must be linked, for example? Our approach allows us to take a critical look at what is already present, as it may not be worthwhile building upon outdated technology stacks. Although Sweet Mustard has relevant experience in building on legacy technology, we always look for an alternative pathway if the client feels like they've stuck with certain technological choices from the past for too long.

What skills are available on the market?

The talent available on the market also plays a huge role. We do not recommend systems for which you'll be challenged to recruit people to handle development and support. We'd also be happy to provide advice here, as our wide-ranging ecosystem gives us a good idea of the skills present. When a client's solution requires a technology beyond our in-house expertise, we seek that expertise in our ecosystem.

How sustainable is the technology?

Finally, can you guess how long a technology will remain relevant for? At Sweet Mustard, we're always wary of hype technologies – rapidly emerging new technologies that often die a quiet death afterwards. And nothing's worse than a digital product that you'll have to build again from the ground up in just a few years' time. With this in mind, we only opt for technologies that guarantee operational reliability. These may be established options or cutting-edge technologies that have been tried and tested, but don't yet have wide community adoption.

If a client asks us for a new technology of that nature, we're happy to provide a solution while taking a cautious approach with a clear picture of the potential risks involved. However, we prefer to hold bleeding-edge technologies – brand-new inventions where even the manufacturers aren't sure of their potential – back for our Innovation Days. It’s where we experiment to see whether certain types of new technology can become a mainstay.

Sweet Mustard engineers technology

Three tips for you to keep in mind

  • Old doesn't necessarily mean out of date. Some technologies that have been around for years can still be highly relevant. Other technologies, however, do end up running their course after a certain period of time. Remember that a technology only becomes outdated when it's no longer being maintained. As a rule of thumb, you can say that a given technology will continue to be maintained and supported for some time as long as the major players believe in it. That's why the technology experts at Sweet Mustard keep a close eye on the landscape.
  • The negative aspects of a technology solution aren't necessarily negative for you. You will find a whole host of comparison matrices online, weighing up the pros and cons. Be sure to analyse whether the negative characteristics of a particular technology apply to your project.
  • Make a rational choice. Keep emotions and personal preferences at bay. The technology depends on the solution. Every time. If you pick the technology first, you'll limit the number of potential solutions you can choose from. You may well create a superb solution, but it may not be a great fit with what the end user actually needs.

Sweet Mustard is here to help you make the right choice

Our tech experts monitor trends and evolutions on a daily basis and stay up to date with the most relevant technologies. With our knowledge of the landscape and our expertise in custom software in several languages, we can work with you to find the best solution for your company.

Get in touch and be inspired.