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Everything You Need to Know about Digital Product Scalability Issues

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Freeport Metrics Team
Dec, 2022

1. B2B PRODUCT SCALABILITY ISSUES YOU SHOULD EXPECT AND WELCOME

It’s important to have a good roadmap for your development process. This will save you the headache of approaching multiple issues in the future. You can learn more about various solutions for your business on our blog page. Now let’s get back to the topic. There are three different types of scalability issues faced by most successful digital products:

  1. Onboarding and support,
  2. A product’s system isn’t performing and starts lagging, and
  3. Enterprise customers vs. SMB understanding that developing a B2B product is different from developing products immediately for end-users.

Onboarding and support

If you notice a quick increase in user activity, it can be too much for your company’s onboarding process for new customers or support your existing customers. This is not a performance issue with your software. This could mean you don’t have enough automation to help your onboarding steps or customer support resolution. If most of your service requires manual labor, your processes won’t be able to handle the load of new users. You should expect this with a true MVP or beta launch and be ready to address it once you see market traction quickly.

 Poor system performance

You could start seeing that your system isn’t performing as well as it used to - as engineers see it, it’s when your system is lagging and slowing down. This could result from having built a prototype that wasn’t developed to handle the load your software is now carrying. In turn, your software starts breaking down and slowing due to heavy user traffic.

Enterprise customers vs. SMB

It’s also crucial to understand who you’re developing your software for. There is a remarkable difference between selling your digital product to corporations rather than smaller companies which might be your first beta customers. With more giant corporations, your B2B digital product must be secure, have clear software licensing, and require accessibility. Some frameworks won’t support the systems you have implemented, and for your enterprise buyer to use your digital product, it will need integrations with their existing systems.

2. YOU MIGHT NEED TO WORRY ABOUT SCALABILITY IF YOUR DEVELOPERS MADE THESE MISTAKES

Although scalability issues don’t have to mean the detriment of your digital product and could be a sign of success, there are some scalability killers and significant mistakes that your software development partner could make that could prevent you from scaling.

Choosing enterprise-appropriate technologies, programming languages & frameworks

When choosing an underlying technology framework, they could be selecting one that is not acceptable to the enterprise customers' requirements, such as stolen (improperly copyrighted or licensed) software. It could be adequate for the unwitting smaller businesses but wouldn't comply with your enterprise customer's standards.

If you're creating a B2B digital product, it could also be that your customers want to run the software on their server environments. If your development partner uses the latest smart beta open-source technology, they may have built something that a corporate client needs help to use. You should know who you're selling to and how it will be audited and hosted so that you can build to those essential "non-functional" requirements.

Overcomplicating your software

Your software development partner could assume that many vital services are provided “out of the box” by a specific 3rd party software vendor and build on top of that vendor’s product. For example, creating on top of a CRM means that many custom features could become very expensive to automate because you’d be making on top of something costly to work with and challenging to automate. It will include the costs of development tool licenses, the cost of people with the skills in that vendor’s product, and the quality of development tools provided by that vendor.

Plus, integrations can add a lot of complexity, making scaling more difficult. Your development partner could have done this with scalability in mind, but it can be a blocker.

Use tried and true technology

You could also have blocked scalability by building your software on some small proprietary solution framework. Sometimes your development team could try to incorporate a new piece of software from their own software house, making incomplete, unproven black-box software solutions. Using a friend’s product and tools might not be the best for your product, even if they seem the most convenient.

If you lock into one of these proprietary solutions and can’t fix a problem that arises, you’ll get stuck. Development partners should use tried and tested, popular solutions where you own the code and have an explicit license to use and modify it.

3. Why is digital product scalability so important?

It’s essential to make sure your product is scalable, but it’s better to focus on scalability when you need it. You should expect to run into scalability issues in developing any digital software, B2B, or directly for end-users (see the first section of this blog). Of course, scalability issues could be significant, but they may not be costly to address.

Roadmaps are vital to helping you ensure your product will be scalable, but you don’t need your product to be scalable from day one. When working on your initial development, focus on your business goals and the issues immediately in front of you. Scaling doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It probably means your digital product is a success, and you’re ready for the next step.

TAKEAWAYS

  • Scalability issues could mean that you did an excellent job with your product roadmap or that you’re unfortunately stuck with a legacy system that needs to be replaced (even if it’s new!).
  • Scalability considerations for B2B products are about more than just performance load testing.
  • Have a third party review your decisions. Your technical elements are too essential to trust with a single team. It would help if you had perspectives.
  • Scalability issues might be significant, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be costly to address.

Scaling your digital product doesn’t need to be scary. Our years of experience mean we’ll be able to anticipate potential issues and help you solve them with our pragmatic business-minded approach to software development.

Are you facing similar issues with your product, or trying to launch a new project but having doubts about your MVP setup?

You can contact us and schedule a free call to see if you’re heading the right direction.

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