In a world that never sits still, technology is the child with the severest form of ADD. Once you think you’ve got it all figured out, things change. Not just by a little, but by huge leaps and bounds. It’s hard to keep up with all the latest and greatest, but that’s the thing. You don’t really have to. Your job is to watch over your own industry, keep track of how to continue to be successful and keep your business alive.
Technology is a Tool
The biggest thing to remember is that technology is just a tool in your belt. Unless you are a company like Microsoft or Oracle, chances are you’re not selling technology. You’re selling a product that services your customers’ needs. This product (hopefully) is unique from all others. In most cases, I’d venture to say that it could be made using any of a variety of technologies, because it’s not the technology that makes it unique. Rather, it’s the special sauce that you bring to the table that makes it so.
Once you come to terms that technology is just a tool, then your life becomes a lot easier. You realize you have a technical problem that needs to be solved, so you find someone to solve it. More often than not, you’ll have general ideas of what you want: “I need a mobile app.” or “I need an HTML5 app.” Many times, these decisions are based on market buzz and hype. I’d say many of you want a HTML5 app, not because you understand HTML5, but rather because that’s what everyone is saying is cool these days.
The thing to remember is that a single term can encompass a wide range of technologies. For instance in “mobile”, you have to decide which platform to serve first. Do you start with one of the big boys, ala Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android? Or do you start with one of the enterprise’s tried and true, like Blackberry’s OS 10 or Windows 8? Or do you take a chance on a cutting edge one like Mozilla’s FIrefox OS?
If you find that list dizzying, wait until you start to investigate “HTML5”. This new web standard won’t even be officially recommended until 2014, but that hasn’t stopped developers and organizations from creating hundreds of frameworks. A few that we have worked with are Montage, jQuery and Backbone. There are many more that we’ve not even investigated yet that are popular and many that we’ll never investigate period.
So which of these platforms should you use? That answer is complicated but we take the approach that the most important thing is not the tech, but rather the delivery.
Productivity Trumps Hype
Assuming you not building an app for a specific platform but instead are building something to support your company’s vision, what matters is that you get it done in a timely, cost effective manner. That is what we aim for here at Omega Ortega. Most of our almost 20 years of experience is not tied to a specific platform. Instead, our primary focus was, is and always will be helping build tools to make our clients successful. This has far reaching implications that sometimes aren’t realized until after the project is complete. For instance, almost 20 years ago our automation system prevented our client from losing their most valuable client that was worth 75% of their revenue. Another early client of ours was a division of Bank of America. We not only upgraded the system to make it Y2K compliant, but we rewrote the interface based on how the employees worked. This resulted in the division being saved 3 years later during the merger with NationsBank.
Ever since then, we find technologies that excite us then seek out projects that can benefit from those technologies. For this reason, we focus primarily on native iPhone/iPad mobile apps and Montage for HTML5 (web and mobile) apps. We don’t spend hours and hours debating the merits of one of these platforms over their competitors. We leave that for developers who prefer to argue with each other over the internet. We prefer to dive deep into one or two techs that allow us to transform your ideas into working solutions.
The Horizon is Endless
Does this mean we don’t look at new technologies? No, not at all. We are constantly researching new solutions. Our founder, Tom Ortega, has gotten used to being teased by peers for bringing a Droid or Blackberry phone to an Apple developer conference. As a hobby, we are constantly searching the horizon for new platforms and technologies, but that is what we do on our free time. Our daytime hours are focused on delivering solutions to your problems.
How do we know if a new tech is worthy of focus? It depends, but like any business decision, it tends to be a gut check. Over the past 20 years, we’ve chosen only a handful of technologies to focus on for our customers. Each of them though has allowed us the opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of our customers.
If your ready to take that step into a future tech with a new project, then please reach out to us. We’d love to see how we can help.