By James Lennon, VP of Product Engineering, Ciklum
Technology is rapidly changing, and for many businesses, it’s happening at a pace that’s almost impossible to keep up with. It poses a significant challenge for those evaluating their technology purchases, as outdated or unfit solutions can waste time, resources and funds. Although there are many ways to remain in the know about current technology, such as reading reviews, conducting lengthy research and devoting daily attention to the latest news, these time-consuming methods can often leave much to be desired.
That’s why we’ve created the Ciklum Technology Radar, a complimentary tool which enables businesses to make confident purchasing decisions without sacrificing precious time or squandering budget on unsuitable tech.
At a glance, our Technology Radar indicates what’s thriving, under development, worth keeping an eye on or approaching with caution, and it presents this data in a way which allows users to absorb as much or as little technical information as required. Users can also see a broad overview, with blips that represent different technologies scattered across the various segments, which can then be selected to reveal insights that offer a more nuanced view.
It highlights not only some of the latest technology, but also the more mature options - enabling businesses to make smarter purchase decisions, rather than relying on an often expensive trial and error process. Before making our Technology Radar public, we spoke to multiple subject experts, and utilised external and internal data to review each technology and decide on its specific decision.
Understanding product maturity
All technology has a lifecycle from development to maturity, until it inevitably becomes obsolete. Although each technology follows its own path, each will touch on key stages that are important for users to understand. In the current technology landscape, new technologies are constantly emerging, meaning older programmes lose popularity to make way for them.
Because of this, some technology has a relatively short lifecycle - and even those recommended just a year ago may only have another year of longevity. Although this might lead businesses to assume “the newer, the better”, the most cutting-edge technology comes with a certain level of risk. As they're not widely established, many different aspects are challenging to predict, from what the user community will look like and even whether the solution will survive a year of updates.
Before diving head-first into a risky purchase decision, businesses should consider whether there’s a more established solution that meets their requirements.
Navigating Ciklum’s Technology Radar
Our Technology Radar covers a range of business areas, including Stacks, Artificial Intelligence, Infrastructure & Cloud technologies, and DevSecOps.
Each radar is split into four bands: Adopt, Trial, Assess, and Maintain.
Adopt: Technologies that are part of our preferred stack and represent our highest level of investment. We would recommend adopt technologies for new builds and migrations, having seen continued success using these technologies with our clients.
Trial: Technologies that we have seen work successfully in our projects to solve a real problem. Trial technologies are slightly more risky, but are still fairly established technologies that can be used effectively today.
Assess: Technologies that are promising and have clear potential value-add for us; worth investing some research and prototyping efforts into. We pay close attention to the trajectory of assess technologies.
Maintain: Technologies not recommended for use within new projects or builds. Maintain technologies are still widely used on legacy projects, and may still be required in some instances.
When viewing the radar, the blips closest to the centre in the Adopt and Trial segments are recommended technologies, and those that have become outdated or haven’t reached a safe level of maturity are nearer the edge in the Assess and Maintain segments.
Clicking on a blip on the radar presents a full explanation for its position. For example, React Native has been placed in the Adopt segment due to its easy learnability, wide usage scenarios and strong community support. C++, on the other hand, finds itself in the Maintain segment as a lack of engineers in the space makes it challenging to use on a large scale.
Insights like these offer a more nuanced understanding which helps aid decision-making. For example, after reading the insights about a particular blip, some businesses may find the technology suitable for them, despite being in the Maintain segment.
As time progresses, some technologies will move to the centre, and users can consider this guidance from us that they're almost mature enough to implement. Early adopters can then benefit from better pricing models and technology that gives an edge over the competition.
Invest in the right technology
By utilising our Technology Radar, businesses can make more informed decisions when it comes to purchasing the technology that best suits their individual needs and goals.
“We’re extremely excited to offer Technology Radar publicly for the first time. Choosing the right tools and technologies is essential, and we hope our expert insights assist businesses in their quests for excellence.” Sam Rapley, Head of Delivery at Ciklum