Your tech stack is the collection of tools you rely on to run your business. The term tech stack, also called the app stack or software stack, actually originated in software development. It now applies to nearly every business, and they use the same principles to add, connect, replace and manage the technology on which the business depends. Let’s learn how to build the perfect tech stack for your business.
Identify Your Needs
Before you can build the right tech stack, you need to identify your business needs. Are you building an app to sell in the app store? Or are you trying to build the perfect suite of tools for running a brick and mortar business? A tech stack can be specific to an industry like real estate, and it can be specific to a function like sales and marketing.
Find the Right Tools for Each Function
There are productivity tools and apps that are nearly universal, like word processing software, email applications, and collaboration apps. The best tech stack won’t necessarily have the best tool in every category. After all, these tools are supposed to work with each other. Otherwise, your team will be bogged down with repetitive data entry while the competition has access to all their data in a single integrated system.
Piesync took the time to list the best overall sales and marketing apps with synchronized tools. They also run down the stacks used by specific industry leaders, whether you want to follow their best-in-class example or make yourself compatible in case you want to do business with them. These are the top 10 tech stacks in their opinion. You can inspire yourself from these stacks if you’re in similar industries or have similar needs.
Consider the Long-Term Requirements
Don’t choose a tech stack based on initial price. This includes freeware and open source software. Consider your long-term needs. Do you want customization of the software? That typically comes at a price. You don’t want to go with free or cheap software that may be obsolete in a few months or be unsupported. You can’t afford to have a critical tool break and be left without someone to patch it or migrate your data.
Another issue to consider is the tool’s capacity. How much memory does the database have? How many entries can the CRM tool hold? Ensure that the tool gives you room to grow. How many transactions can the web host handle at a time? How many people can work in the financial system at the same time? Verify that the software in your tech stack won’t have to be entirely replaced after you’ve grown ten percent.
Recognize That Things Change
We’re not going to recommend becoming an early adopter as a key part of your tech stack. You can certainly experiment with it, but don’t replace core technology without thoroughly testing it. This is why part, if not all, of your tech stack should be backed by big tech companies or be proven classics. This improves the odds that the tool will be maintained in terms of IT security.
However, you should be on the lookout for changes. What customization may your business need, and can the supplier deliver it? What if you decide to replace a key piece of software in the stack? If you decide to change one of the tools in the tech stack, will the others still connect with it to share data? If you choose to keep the same software, can it scale? You may have to upgrade from a free version to a paid version or basic to premium. How difficult is that transition?
Be aware of your needs and plans while building up a tech stack. Know that pieces will be switched out over the years, but all of them need to work as an integrated whole if you don’t want to see your productivity crater.