Your CX software solutions should improve results and provide a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, today, software vendors often sacrifice perfect code to deliver a speedy software solution, leading to “technical debt.” Technical debt slows the progress of SaaS and increases costs related to issues such as buggy software, increased maintenance, extended deadlines, and software patches. This underscores the importance of working with a software vendor that delivers on its promises.
Competing for Time with Fellow Customers
The software industry has scaled down operations, which can leave development teams spread too thin. When this happens, it becomes highly risky that the vendor you choose has an unmanageable number of customers waiting for their software. If a high-profile customer hires your vendor for a highly-priced state-of-the-art service management solution, the development team needs to find additional hours of engineering time. The CTO responsible for time allotment has two choices:
- Lose this top enterprise customer by saying they can’t meet their deadline, or
- Delay smaller customer jobs
Chances are, the CTO will prioritize that higher-investing customer over the less lucrative orders, leaving you competing for attention with fellow customers.
Another Option for CTO: The Unseen Risk
There is another solution that presents an unseen risk to customers: Incurring technical debt. This third option means the CTO instructs the software development team to come up with an easier-to-implement solution that delivers orders closer to the vendor’s scheduled deadlines. While on the surface this allows them to improve turnover time, the solution only serves the customer in the short term. As a result, this less-than-optimal software fails to deliver in the long term, causing technical debt.
Why Technical Debt is a Growing Problem for CX Buyers
With the software industry severely scaled down and demand for AI conversational analytics products, the risk of overpromising and underdelivery has greatly increased for CX software buyers. As a result, there are several business-critical reasons you should worry about technical debt:
- It’s industry-wide: Every software vendor is managing technical debt, but only some have the agile methodology to limit customer impact.
- Inexperience: Unmanageable technical debt tends to be incurred when an inexperienced software developer writes inefficient or unmaintainable code that impacts functionality.
- It’s short-term: Technical debt relies on temporary solutions that address your immediate issues without consideration for longevity, sustainability, or scalability. Code quality was likely ignored, leading to unreadable, illogical, and difficult-to-maintain code.
- Use of outdated technologies: Developers might fall back on what was once tried and true code that is obsolete or deprecated to save time, creating technical debt sooner as it is already outdated.
- Inadequate testing: Rushing means no time for testing, creating buggy software and complications.
How to Avoid the Hidden Risks of Technical Debt
You can avoid the hidden risks of technical debt by doing your due diligence:
- Ask about team development size not only today but last year and into next year to understand if the company is scalable
- Ask for references to establish whether the vendor met delivery dates, if the software needed additional development, and whether the vendor delivered on that addition
- Ask the vendor about their customer numbers and how they’ve grown, then compare those numbers to their team growth
- Avoid verbal agreements as these are the agreements most likely to be delayed due to the demand
Working with a software vendor with low technical debt is the best way to avoid business disruptions and long-term expenses.
When maximizing your tech stack to achieve the gold standard in the field of CX, you need an award-winning development team like Anexa. Contact Anexa today to see how we can support all your customer-centric activities.