Scalability in Software Development: A Blueprint for Rapidly Growing Startups
When your startup launches its product and the number of users starts expanding, there's a constant push to grow quickly. Over time, though, you realize that you have taken some technical shortcuts to enter the market fast, and now it's time to address them. Hiring an IT managed team is probably the most effective solution for both tasks. Why?
Choosing managed technology services allows you to add new features and fix technical issues at once. In this article, we'll break down how this works. But first, let's explore the challenges which rapidly scaling startups typically face.
Scalability challenges in startup software development
In the startup reality, if your product can't keep up with the growing market demands through scaling, it loses its competitive edge and risks failure. What challenges might hurt your startup's scalability potential? Here are the most common:
- Tight timelines. Startups are always pressed for time when it comes to growth. They must develop new features rapidly to get their foot in the door. Investor pressure often adds extra urgency.
- Limited in-house skill set. An in-house tech team might be great at building the product for the first release. But they may lack the expertise for proper scaling.
- Budget constraints. Startups often operate with a tight budget, which rarely permits hiring a large full-time team of tech experts required for rapid scaling.
- Inadequate planning. Startup CEOs and CTOs juggle multiple responsibilities, which leaves little time for holistic scalability planning. Meanwhile, poor product architecture and project management planning may result in chaotic processes and low-quality scalability outcomes.
- Tech debt. Prioritising release speed over code quality is a common practice among early-stage startups, but technical debt piles up fast. All these quick-and-dirty solutions require reengineering, which makes scaling inefficient, if not downright impossible.
- Adding nice-to-have functionality. After releasing the core product, you might feel like adding a few extra features or apps that have not been part of the original concept. Developing these features strains already limited resources, impacting the scalability potential of the main product.
As a startup CEO or CTO, you should never ignore these challenges. Even the most brilliant growth strategy won’t guarantee business success if your product cannot scale.
Now, let's move on to typical mistakes startup executives make when trying to scale their products.
Key pitfalls in startup product scaling
When your startup grapples with scalability challenges, taking the lead to overcome them might seem like a first course of action. After all, you've guided the development from the start; can't you steer it through the turbulence, too? The correct answer is yes, you can, but you'll likely need the assistance of a managed software development team.
But let’s take a step back and explore what pitfalls you might face when attempting to scale without expert help:
- Overloading your team. As your startup grows, the workload will eventually exceed your team's capacity. Your employees will become overwhelmed with tasks and struggle to deliver the expected results.
- Extensive in-house hiring. To prevent team overloading and burnout, you may want to hire more employees right away. However, that will only boost the operational costs and deplete your finances.
- Ignoring tech debt. To avoid overloading their team or hiring more people, some startup leaders ignore the tech debt and focus solely on adding new features. However, ignoring a problem doesn't make it disappear; tech debt will only snowball, and the cost of fixing it will skyrocket.
- Too much self-reliance. You’ll quickly get overwhelmed by micromanaging every single technical issue. By solving routine daily tasks related to scaling, you risk neglecting business strategy and user experience. This means that you’ll scale your product, indeed, but your startup as a business will fail.
- Scaling chaotically. You need a scaling strategy to achieve real goals. Product scaling will be expensive and ineffective if you lack a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and merely respond to users’ and investors’ demands.
The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls by relying on managed technology services. How does this work? Let’s take a closer look.
How an IT managed team helps your startup scale
A managed software development team is a group of tech experts that help you scale your startup product. You can involve them for a pre-defined period on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on your scalability needs. This way, you can access the necessary expertise without spending money on in-house hiring.
Here’s what you can expect when commissioning managed technology services to handle your startup product scaling:
- Business goal evaluation. An IT managed team will assess whether your business goals match your technical capabilities. You’ll get a realistic overview of your startup’s potential and will be able to develop a feasible business strategy.
- Infrastructure evaluation. An offshore development team can also evaluate your existing product infrastructure to check if it’s ready for scaling. If not, they’ll suggest a range of strategies to eliminate bottlenecks.
- Project planning. External experts will ensure that project management is efficient by setting realistic KPIs and suggesting how to achieve your goals without overusing resources.
- Team. You’ll get a professional tech team, including a project manager and a tech lead, ready to start working on your project. So you won’t have to go through a lengthy and expensive hiring process.
- Scalability implementation. An offshore development team will help you scale your product, taking care of all aspects, from scalability strategy to balancing tech debt elimination and new feature development.
- Providing ongoing support. You’ll keep your role as the ultimate decision-maker. However, outsourced experts will provide you with all the important information so you can make the right decisions.
To sum up, IT service outsourcing can greatly ease the workload for startup leaders, boosting the potential for successful product scaling.
Scaling is a tough task for many startups. Limited resources and tight deadlines make it especially challenging. Balancing the need for new features with reengineering tech shortcuts adds another layer of complexity. And a failure in one area can jeopardize the whole startup’s success. The good news is that hiring an IT managed team makes this challenge manageable. They bring expertise, offer budget-friendly solutions, and assist with all aspects, from strategy to ongoing scalability decisions.