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About 70% of all startups fail. As technology experts, we know how important a good technology partner is for a young company. It helps businesses get to market faster with new products and provides access to the resources and expertise a startup needs to grow. In this article, we will tell you what benefits such a partnership gives to startups and what tasks should be delegated to an IT company.
What is a technology partner?
A technology partner is a partner company that takes on technological issues of developing a customer’s business. As a rule, such an organization is aware of the latest technological advances and knows how to solve its client’s business problems with their help.
Typically, a technology partner is an IT service provider that has a sufficient level of expertise in a particular area. It is an outsourcing company that understands the customer’s business, offers efficient ways of enhancing it, and supports digital transformation.
Researchers identify four types of technology partners:
- A single-service expert is a company that specializes in a certain type of service but cannot respond to all customer requests. If you compare this relationship with the construction of a house, then such a partner can lay the floor but isn’t able to replace window frames. A different service will require a different team of experts.
- A strategist is a representative of an IT company who advises on the development of the IT infrastructure of an individual organization. This specialist will prepare a plan for the development of the technological component of a business. But it is not their task to implement the adopted strategy. To continue the house analogy, a strategist is an architect who prepares a project. A customer will have to independently look for resources to implement their plans.
- A generalist is a technology partner that can implement almost all business ideas for the development of the IT component of an enterprise. This companion is always ready to help you cope with any problems.
- A comprehensive team combines the advantages of the above types of partnerships. An employee will be helped to plan a development strategy. Software solutions will be offered, implemented, and “fixed” in case of a breakdown. Such a team is always ready to take action and works as a strategic mechanism for business development. Consistency and 24/7 support are the foundation of this collaboration, so businesses will remain safe and can experiment with technology adoption.
The choice of a type of cooperation depends on the state of a business, its goals, and its capabilities.
When does a startup need a technology partner?
Large companies seek the help of technology partners to reduce development costs while obtaining good quality products. Startups have the same needs, so delegation through partnerships is equally relevant for them.
There are examples when no-name companies became popular brands with the help of experienced technology partners. Probably, Skype would not have been such a success, if it were not for the Estonian developers who implemented the server part of the program. Thus, the application attracted 50 million people at the start. Slack, an enterprise communications platform used by 77% of Fortune 100 organizations, might not have become a fast-growing startup without MetaLab, its British technology partner.
Technology partnerships help young companies build stable businesses. Startups, especially those based on innovative technologies and creative business ideas, may not have in-house specialists to solve complex problems and implement a project. Let’s consider situations when it is better to delegate IT processes to a technology partner.
- You need to start your business quickly
Even if there is an original idea behind a project, but its implementation is delayed, competitors can overtake you with a similar product. You will waste time, fail to impress users, and lose profits.
According to McKinsey&Co, a product that enters the market six months later than planned brings in 33% less profit over the next five years.
A technology partner solves the problem of a quick market entry. Such a company sets up processes, provides all the necessary resources, and relies on effective KPIs.
- Rapid business scaling without loss of quality
In the beginning, you need to take into account that your business will grow and provide all the necessary conditions for future scaling. New services will appear, the number of customers will grow, and products will need to be adapted to new demands.
Young companies are not always able to expand their staff, rent a large office, purchase the necessary equipment and software, and spend time and money searching for and recruiting candidates. Technology partnerships solve these problems because you can scale up with your business.
- Your budget is important
Startups often face the problem of a limited budget. Each decision must be weighed and agreed upon. Young projects only benefit from delegating their IT processes to a technology partner.
First, the rates of offshore IT specialists, for example, in Eastern Europe and India, are two to five times less than those of full-time employees in America and Western Europe.
Secondly, by making a contract with a technology partner, you can choose the optimal pricing model. In a resource-constrained environment, this ensures that you only pay for the work you need. For example, if your budget is limited, you can choose a fixed-price model. After the first iteration and the release of a trial version, you will continue to develop the project.
- A business owner has no technical expertise
If you don’t know how to write code, create a design, and how the software development cycle is built, it is better to hire an experienced technology director. This specialist will deal with issues related to the creation of a product and the implementation of innovations. As a rule, these are expensive and rare experts, so it is easier to turn to a technology partner. If you have a complex product, you will need good engineering minds, and it is difficult to hire such specialists if your staff members lack technical skills.
What products do technology partners offer to startups?
Here are some examples of products that technology partners offer to startups.
- Prototype or MVP development
A software prototype is created as an incomplete trial version of a product. It demonstrates an idea to investors or target users in a tangible, realistic way. By creating a program layout, startups focus on the value of the product and present its functional features.
An MVP software development helps to determine how users rate the product and what features should be added. Thus, it is possible to avoid the costs of creating secondary tools and release a product that meets the market requirements. In addition, it is a good way to convince investors of the project’s prospects.
An experienced technology partner will not only help determine what should be included in an MVP but also what features need to be improved. It will structure the MVP properly and offer a flexible and scalable architecture.
- Website development
A website is a business card of a startup that distinguishes it from many other companies and attracts customers. A technology partner analyzes the requirements for the product, suggests its design, develops the functionality of the application, tests the product, and releases it to the market. If necessary, it optimizes the site by conducting A/B testing and integrates the platform with third-party services to enhance the app experience. A good website, together with prompt IT support, will help you retain old users and attract new ones.
- Product development from scratch
A technology partner assigns a team of developers, Business Analysts, DevOps engineers, and designers to build a product from scratch. Such a team has experience in project management and selection of the optimal combination of technologies and resources required by the customer. The development takes place in iterations, at each of which the quality of the system is checked and the wishes of the customer are specified. After the release of the product to the market, the team stays in touch with the client to maintain stable operation of the system, fix unexpected problems in time, and continuously develop the product. If necessary, the technology partner scales operations as the business expand.
Today, startups create world-class products, relying on trustworthy technology partners. Young projects need the help of experts who will understand their business model and select the right solutions and innovations. They will provide support in the implementation of digital transformation, help to keep up with the times, improve the way business is done, and accelerate the introduction of advanced technologies. These are “comrades” who help businessmen to remain competitive and progressive in the 21st century. A technology partner is a key to excellence.