Elephants Don't Gallop

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Written by
Wayne Smyth
,
12/6/21

I was reminded of this quote from famous investor Jim Slater during a recent meeting with a director of one of our SME clients, while they were telling us how pleased they were with our performance.  

Apparently, their peers were having to wait up to 4 months for simple changes to their software systems, while we were often able to turnaround requests within the same day or week at most.

Because we were only formed in early 2020, TriFort Solutions are one of the smaller IT Consultancies out there, however our small size comes with tangible benefits that our clients clearly appreciate.

The three primary advantages that we hold over our larger counterparts are:

  1. The layers of communication between us and our clients are minimal,
  2. The people who talk to our clients are highly technically proficient decision makers and have vast industry experience and domain knowledge,
  3. We do not have hundreds of clients, so we are hugely focused on keeping the ones we do have very happy.

Many large IT Consultancies are hamstrung by many inefficient layers of bureaucracy. Decisions can take a long time to get made for a variety of reasons. It could be that several departments need to give the go-ahead for a change or might be involved in the actual work. One person in the chain who is busy or on holiday can hold up the entire process for weeks.

Most of our ad-hoc requirements are also communicated to us verbally, in which case a shorter communication chain really helps in ensuring that the person who writes the code is not playing Chinese Whispers.

We tend to write very complex enterprise-level applications and the people who engage with our clients are very experienced software architects who are usually able to assess the implications of the changes that are being requested, on the spot.

Contrast this to larger consultancies who often send out employees who are little more than salesmen. These individuals are happy to say ‘yes’ to every request with no idea of the complexity of the work involved, or whether there are better solutions which would solve the client’s problem with far less effort, cost and impact.

When our clients explain their problem to us and what change they think they need, our Architects can use their expert knowledge of the existing system to suggest alternatives or at least provide some feedback, so the client is able to make an informed choice very quickly.

If the architect approves the change and passes it onto our development team, then we can be confident that most of the major issues have been thought of and mitigated.

Like any good IT Consultancy, by default we operate with automated deployments and testing strategies. One of our products has nearly 2000 automated tests which run every single time someone commits a code change, and we deploy effortlessly to the cloud within a few minutes.  All these processes help us to be agile and responsive to our client’s needs and make code changes with confidence.

So, next time you are thinking of choosing your digital partner, remember that size matters, but perhaps not in the way that you might have thought.