Friday 19 September 2008

Business Value of Back End Redux

A few posts back I wrote about the business value of good architecture, but I didn't mention at the time what I consider to be the single most important benefit...

The greatest advantage your business will ever have from a rock solid platform is time spent closer to customers.

If you have your availability, security, scalability, maintenance, technical usability, and quality nailed; then you can afford to spend more time right up against your customers - building the features they want, understanding how they use your technology and what they'd like to see in the system.  This is the stuff that matters to them, this is why they'll give you their time, attention, and hard earned currency.

When you are able to apply your best minds and your greatest investments into things that work directly for customers, thats you sweating your platform. The creative, innovative, unique things you can get out that your customers directly interact with will bring you material, easy to measure reward. And guess what, you're only in the fortunate position to be comfortable focusing here because you got that platform business sorted out early...

You won't usually gain business by being more secure, but you will definitely lose it by violating your users trust.  You won't usually get more customers by being more available, but you will definitely turn them away by being down. You wont usually gain business by having a scalable file system, but you will definitely lose it by failing to save and retrieve critical information in busy times.

Customers don't value a good platform explicitly, they just expect it to fundamentally be there. Want proof? Just watch them leave in droves if you don't have it sorted.

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