Article

The most common challenges in digital development

April 5, 2022

Sini Kiviniemi

Digital development is not just coding. There are four pillars for successful digital development projects: leadership skills, process know-how, business-oriented outlook and technical competence. Sometimes it’s just the technical competence that digital development consulting customers need help with, sometimes more. Read on to find out if your organization faces some of the most common challenges in digital development – and how to tackle them.

Creating a new digital product

One of the most common reasons why companies resort to digital development consulting is that they’d like support in building something new from scratch. The need can cover everything from start to finnish, or something between. Let’s next cover each step’s challenges separately.

Planning a digital product

Building something new is exciting, but sometimes the excitement can blur the realities. The most common challenges of the planning phase are:

  • Validating the product idea

  • Unclear product definition

  • Securing that the product supports business goals

  • Crude product development strategy

  • Lack of time or resources to validate tech stack objectively

  • Validating user experience

Building a digital product

To get to the good part – turbocharging business growth – the objective is often to build a digital product as fast as possible. If the tech competence is in place and development practices, such as quality assurance, modern development environment and open communication, are fit, many bumps can be avoided and a lot of time and money saved. However, that’s not always the case. When building a digital product, some of the most common challenges are e.g.:

  • Lack of in-house technical competence

  • Poor development practices that can lead to a spendthrift development process

Falling for the most common pitfalls of product development, suchs as crude product development strategy, unclear product definition, no roadmap and key metrics defined, lack of resources or competence, and unclear roles.

Reliability of a digital product

Reliability and the further development of the digital product built need to be an inseparable part of the business – that’s vital for success. The key here is to have a user-centered product plan that’s closely tied to the business goals, and to have the right technical competence, whether outsourced or in-house. If these are not in place, one might face the following challenges:

  • Difficulties to ensure the reliability and future of the product

  • No technical competence

    • Difficulties to hire in-house technical competence

    • Poor development practices

    • Non-motivating and outdated development environment

  • If the product UX does not suit the users’ needs, the product might not succeed due to poor usability or lack of value for the user

Leveling up digital maturity

In the future, every company will be a software company. That’s why it’s important to ensure that one's own digital maturity is at least at the minimum viable level: At minimum one should be able to purchase digital development that they drive themselves. In a more advanced scenario one would be able to develop their own software and digital products. Outsourcing is a good way for product owners and business heads to learn what is needed when developing digital products. The lessons learned can then be utilized as the internal digital maturity grows.

There are a few things that can slow down the process of leveling up internal digital maturity. In an increasingly digital business, it is crucial to have the software development competence in-house. However, recruiting internal tech competence can be difficult if developers and designers do not find the company as an appealing employer due to its low digital maturity or low brand awareness. Another recruitment related challenge can be that the company itself does not know what kind of roles and skills they should hire.

The road to internal digital development capability might be long and rocky, but the gains will be big: 

  • Internal capability to develop software and digital solutions

  • Freedom and possibility to choose whether to outsource or drive digital development by oneself

  • Internal capability to build successful development teams

New Things Co – More than mere digital development consulting

At New Things Co our aim is to build incredible digital products while growing your business, increasing your knowledge and digital maturity, and leading you to build your own successful development teams. Coaching approach to digital development is our way of walking the talk and tackling the most common challenges in digital development. 

Our consultants don’t settle just for coding. They understand the big picture of digital development and are capable of adding value every step of the way, from planning to design, development and business outlook and further development. Moreover they can give their two cents on even the most complex business issues around digital development, as well as insight for improving development processes and growing in-house development teams. Instead of mere code and design, our customers will gain internal capability to drive their digital maturity to the top.

“We appreciate good partners and skilled designers who are able to jump into our often technically challenging operations, understand the use context and do quality design.”

Mikko Ahlström / Head of Design, Suunto

“New Things Co is a partner that leads you to growth by understanding the needs and challenges. Their team has skills to define and set up the development process and execute without a need to interfere.”

Seppo Puhakainen / Development Manager, Cervi

After the project, a few or an individual consultant can continue to support the further development of the product they were part of bringing to life. Or you can continue the smooth sailing independently thanks to the leveled up digital capability that was gained through our coaching approach to digital development consulting. 

With us you get to focus on your core business while we steer the digital development and take your digital maturity to the next level. Let’s talk!

Let's talk

Privacy Policy