Are you stuck with an older database which doesn’t cover everything your company needs?

Does that sound familiar? Your company has an older database, developed 5-10 years ago by employee or external developers, and now this is an important part of your daily operations. But for one reason or another those developers are not available anymore, or just can not continue work on a database.

This database is a great asset and your business rely on it, but there are some missing pieces:

  • Some data is stored separately, because database doesn’t support that kind of data and now accessing those files requires extra time and sometimes leads to missing pieces.
  • There were some ad-hock modifications and extra pieces added over the years, but it’s not always user friendly and creates issues for employees using it.
  • Your data is locked in your office internal network and not easily accessible over the web, not to mention tablets and phones. Neither it is accessible to your clients for self-served inquiries.
  • There is not much security implemented and everyone can access the whole database. Probably there is no audit log to track who accessed what and who made changes.
  • Employees still have to do a lot of manual data entry, because data is not automatically populated from external sources and not published to other systems. That may include your website as well as other services.
Your company has outgrown your database and you know that you are missing some features.
That costs your business time and money because of lost productivity.

Have you thought about upgrading and modernizing your old database?

I bet you have. But there is a lot of unknowns, such as:

  • How long will it take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What if something breaks?
  • Will we have to go through the same process again in a couple of years?

May be you even tried to hire a programmer or company for this task before, but project failed. Possibly, that’s because after work was started they realized that things are more complicated than it looked like. Likely that stretched the timeline and budget significantly. Sometimes developers just quit at that point, because things are too difficult and they can’t handle that. Maybe over time you managed to get some extra features added, but now you are worried that there is no real documentation and nobody actually knows what’s going on, and that one day everything may just stop working.

At this point, it just seems to be too much to handle and any attempt to change the situation triggers too many risks.

Every business can save employees time and increase revenue using custom tailored database, which provides fast secure access to data from anywhere, eliminates repetitive manual tasks and makes it easy to monitor processes and generate reports.
As a database developers we know that there are too many things which may go wrong when working on a complicated project like this, but we can help you to reduce those risks. Our approach is not to jump into the development giving you some ballpark “guestimate” and charging you hourly for the things you don’t really understand and which don’t bring any immediate results and do not guarantee a successful completion of the project within the budget.

Instead, before a single line of code is written, we will help you to eliminate a guesswork from this project by starting with the database development roadmap.

Database development roadmap

Database development roadmap is a blueprint which will lay out a plan for your database development. It includes an assessment of your current data, analysis of your business needs and going deep through your processes. Having this roadmap will save you a lot of time, money and trouble when you start database upgrade or rewrite project, because it will eliminate the guesswork by listing all current features, connections and dependencies, include a list of requirements broken into a smaller blocks and prioritized to match your business needs.

As part of the roadmap we will also recommend 2-3 options for the database development which typically includes some options for existing system updates and sometimes a complete rewrite. We will list all pros and cons of each direction, which will help you to make a right call.

Once the roadmap is completed, you are free to take it to any other development company or get your own employees to do the work. Of course, we will be happy to execute the project for you! If that’s the case, we will write the initial investment you made into the roadmap off from the project’s total.

You won’t start building a house without the blueprint, why would you do exactly that when it comes to your database development?

Here is how we work together to create a roadmap…

We will start with immersing ourselves into your company, looking into your processes and data flow, flagging problems and bottlenecks.

As a part of database assessment and development roadmapping we do the following:

  • Detailed inspection and analysis of your current database — we will look into the database structure, data and code to get a good idea of the current state, see if there are any issues with how the data is organized or with the data itself.
  • Analysis of your business needs — we will interview stakeholders (usually management, IT personnel and end users) to compile a wish list for the functionality and collect all issues which are currently get in the way and prevent staff from doing their tasks or frustrate users and sabotage the productivity.
  • Checkup of 3rd party software your company uses (or planning to use) which works with the same data to find out how those applications can be integrated to exchange data and simplify or avoid manual export/import and duplicate data entry.

Having all those will allow us to produce detailed roadmap which will include:

  • Current database schema
  • List of issues in current database structure and data, plus recommendations on possible solutions.
  • Prioritized list of features requested by stakeholders.
  • Overview of risks involved in execution of the project.
  • Options on project development with timeline and investment estimates.

Having database assessment and development roadmap will save you time, money and reduce risks of project’s failure.

By investing a fraction of the project’s budget into a roadmap, you will ensure that a proper due diligence work is done before the actual development starts. That will minimize the risk of any surprises popping up in the middle of the development work. This is the best way to keep project within the budget and timeline.

What’s Next?

Having organized and prioritized list of features with complexity, urgency and importance ranking will help you to make an educated decision when choosing which updates should go ahead and which ones could be done later or just not worth the extra investment.

Best of all – once you have the roadmap completed, you are not locked into any contract or agreement, so you are free to pass it to your IT department, hire a freelancer or a 3rd party company to execute the plan.