Solution Architecture

What an architect does for a house, we do for custom software development. Like an architect, we consider your ideas and brainstorm our own. We perform risk analysis and offer recommendations to mitigate those risks. We help to plan your budget to strike the right balance between development, marketing and other essential costs. We evaluate and help select vendors, including reviewing and negotiating the contracts. We manage the expectations of all involved parties with realistic timelines and cost estimates.

We take a user-first approach to gathering project requirements to ensure your project is built for the people that are going to use it. By evaluating all requirements from both business and technical perspectives, we discover new opportunities, potential partners and verticals. On the technical side, we can help prototype complex features and create the development blueprints for your application. For web applications and APIs, we can do infrastructure and database design. We can also use our considerable UX design experience to research and create interface designs that are optimized for your target audience.

Our think-first approach to your custom mobile or web application project helps to ensure far more predictable results . Budgets and deadlines can be met, problems solved or avoided before they occur, and substantial costs saved by avoiding the development pitfalls that are so common in custom mobile and web application development.

When it comes to implementing your project, we can evaluate vendors you have shortlisted or help you to find new vendors suited to your project. Our extensive experience with technical professionals helps us to effectively evaluate, brief and communicate with technical vendors , greatly increasing the chance of finishing your project on time and on budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do you need Solution Architecture?

Solution Architecture can help you gain a significantly better understanding of large scale applications before you commit to insufficient budgets and incomplete requirements. Through our scoping and assessment process, you will greatly reduce the chance of having to iterate or rebuild your application to meet increased demands or new requirements. Problems and risks can be identified and mitigated before you have developed features around them. Final project cost and planned deadlines will be significantly closer to initial estimates.

How long does Solution Architecture take?

This depends on the size of the project, how much research is needed and how much you want to do yourself. Just 1 hour of our time can give you valuable insights covering custom application workflows and expectations, business and technical risk considerations, and research recommendations. You can use these insights to guide your team in the right direction or engage us for ongoing consultancy support through detailed requirements gathering, research, and vendor evaluation and selection.

Which topics are covered in Solution Architecture?

Exact topics will depend on the project but common ones include: project summary, strategy meeting debrief and recommendations, user stories, market research recommendations or results, competitor analysis, content sitemap and user paths, UX research, design analysis (based on any wireframes or designs received) technical prototyping research, policies on bcp and security, technical and business risk analysis, partner/opportunity analysis, grant and funding recommendations, detailed architecture or blueprints for the application, code workflows, technology and language recommendations, database design schematics, infrastructure design, third party apis/sdks and tools that could be considered or need researching, design and development staff or vendors evaluation and recommendations, digital marketing strategy, support / SLA recommendation, project phases, timeline and dependencies, cost estimate and payment timeline.

Can you provide the visual designs and when should this be done?

We work with UX specialists that can provide everything from design research to final designs. We generally recommend to do all designs after you have completed gathering and validating the project requirements but before any development starts.

Can you develop and/or project manage our project?

Binary Thinktank does not have in-house developers as our key value is that we are fully independent. We can help find and evaluate development vendors and help you make a selection that best suits your project requirements, and we can help review and ensure appropriate contract terms. Lastly, we can ensure that the vendors are setup for success with their expectations appropriately managed and a clear brief provided to them.

It would not be cost-effective for us to be managing the day-to-day progress of your project. That being said, we are available as and when you need us to support in gathering new requirements, briefing them to the vendor or evaluating vendor deliverables.

Our key goal is to enable you and your project team to become more effective and able to implement our methodology yourselves throughout the lifecycle of the project as well as in future projects.

What is your preferred approach to scoping projects?

We use many of the techniques and tools from Agile for our approach but we have added or modified parts to better suit our needs and the needs of our clients. For example, we spend a bit more time up-front to assess the project, especially looking at risk, budget and long-term expectations for the project. More details on our approach an be found in our book Essential Steps.

Are your solutions always completely custom?

We are quite selective of which projects we take on due to time constraints so we do prefer those projects where we can add the most value such as complex custom cloud solutions. That being said, we often provide 1 hour consulting sessions whereby the final recommendation is that the best course of action is to use an existing third party solution. As we are independent and integrity is core to our business, we would never advise a custom solution if that is not in the best interests of the client or project. In fact, we quite frequently advise against it as it is a complex and time-consuming process that should only be considered after all other options have been exhausted.

Are your solutions always architected for Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud?

Almost all of them. We have architected solutions for a number of sensitive organisations that were hosted on their own internal network. Our preference is certainly to use AWS whenever possible as it reduces the amount of development time needed by using their many great services. Amazon’s “pay only what you use” model for the level of support, redundancy and security that they offer is highly cost-effective compared to self-hosted solutions.

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