5 Software and Data Engineering Services Mistakes That Can Cost You Millions

5 Software and Data Engineering Services Mistakes That Can Cost You Millions
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Software and data engineering services keep your company in the black by leveraging the power of data technology. However, the complexity of those fields can lead to oversight and errors. Take the airline industry, for example.

In March 2008, a software error threw Heathrow Airport — Britain’s busiest — into complete chaos. At least 28,000 bags were lost and hundreds of flights were cancelled. The airport had recently opened a new terminal and rolled out a new baggage handling system that worked well in theory but failed miserably in practice. In the end, the glitch cost more than £16 million.

Then, in 2022, Southwest Airlines — a major U.S. airline — had to cancel approximately 15,000 flights from December 21 to 29. In an apology video to customers, CEO Bob Jordan admitted that the flight cancellations were due to outdated computer infrastructure and software systems.

Don’t let a software error send your company into the red. Let’s unpack the five most common — and costly — mistakes businesses make regarding software and data engineering services.

1. Relying Too Much on Your In-House IT Teams

Far too many business leaders believe their in-house IT teams can solve every software problem under the sun. While they can manage day-to-day tasks, they aren’t experts on all IT-related issues. Instead, companies should lean on outsourced IT providers to solve any data- and software-related problems that may arise.

The most significant downside to in-house IT is the cost. Recruiting and hiring full-time IT professionals can be extremely expensive. Plus, they need constant training and support regarding new technologies. What’s more, if your company isn’t IT-focused, you may have difficulty building a career ladder for your in-house team.

Outsourced software and data engineering services are more cost-effective. They hire and train professionals and then upskill them and keep them current on the latest technologies (as well as legacy technologies prone to failure). As a result, they can tackle minor issues, repairs and support calls while your in-house staff focuses on big-picture issues.

The best IT support firms will also provide constant reports on your systems. They’ll stress-test your technology to improve cybersecurity and overall efficiencies, and will let you know if they spot a vulnerability within your network.

Finally, outsourced IT solutions give you a team of experts with specialist knowledge. For instance, you may have a hyper-specific problem that your in-house team has never experienced. An outside expert can diagnose and solve it right away.

2. Not Creating Multiple Backups

Incredibly, some companies still overlook the simple process of backing up their data. There’s even an unofficial holiday dedicated to this basic principle. Data loss can cripple your software engineering services if you’re not careful. Between computer glitches and ransomware attacks, not having a repository of crucial data could cost you millions.

Backups are copies of company information stored in secondary locations, whether a remote data center or another part of your on-site facility. Ultimately, it depends on your budget and data requirements. However, not backing anything up is out of the question — consider these statistics from the University of Texas regarding data loss disasters:
  • 94% of companies don’t survive
  • 43% never resume operations
  • 51% close within two years

When it comes to backups, play it safe. Make copies of everything and save them somewhere secure. Conduct regular checks to ensure new information is stored correctly.

3. Ignoring the Importance of Cybersecurity

While on the topic of data loss, let’s discuss cybersecurity and why it can’t be ignored. The technological age has brought many benefits to the business world. Unfortunately, it also created a vast playground for a new kind of thief — the cybercriminal.

Without a robust cybersecurity strategy, your company can’t defend itself against malicious actors looking to steal your data or money. Their tactics are constantly evolving, so there’s no way your in-house IT team can keep up.

According to the FBI, about 800,000 Americans lost $10.2 billion to cybercrime in 2022. There were also more than 2,300 ransomware attacks with over $34.3 million in losses. But more concerning were business email compromise (BEC) scams — nearly 22,000 complaints with losses topping $2.7 billion.

When businesses don’t invest in cybersecurity, they leave themselves vulnerable to significant financial loss. Don’t be an easy target. Lean on trusted software engineering services to secure your systems against the most threatening cyberattacks.

4. Adopting New Technology Too Soon

Technology is constantly changing, so many business leaders believe they need to be on the cutting edge. However, early adoption of new technology can have significant drawbacks. If you’re not careful, you could sink millions into new technology that still has a few kinks to work out.

There’s a fine line when it comes to adopting new technologies. Move too quickly, and you could expose yourself to security risks and operations glitches. There’s also a chance your legacy systems won’t be compatible with new technologies, requiring an expensive overhaul. On the other hand, moving too cautiously gives competitors time to get ahead.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates famously said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.” Determining the right pace of adoption is crucial to running your business. However, innovation doesn’t move in predictable patterns.

To mitigate these early-adoption risks, form a team of technological risk managers to advise on investment and adoption. Various software engineering services keep their finger on the pulse of new and evolving technology. They’ll tell you when to jump and when to wait.

5. Failing To Test After Adopting New Technology

So, you’re exploring new tech solutions and have found one that passes the compatibility test. This doesn’t mean it’s ready for full implementation. Tests are a crucial part of investing in new software engineering services. You must ensure it’s free of glitches, errors and gaps.

Testing doesn’t stop at initial implementation, either. It should continue during and long after the software has been installed. More often than not, a bug in the code goes overlooked. Even if it’s never popped up before, that doesn’t mean it’s not present. Frequent testing allows you to uncover and fix these issues before they become real problems.

Avoid Costly Mistakes, Consult With a Technology Solutions Partner

Whether you’re planning a tech/software upgrade or simply want to migrate your data, avoiding these costly mistakes is imperative for future success. Business leaders should consider partnering with leading experts like Growth Acceleration Partners (GAP) to leverage their software engineering services.

GAP leans on its world-class consulting and engineering teams to provide an exceptional experience in digital transformation and software and data engineering services. Contact Growth Acceleration Partners today to leverage custom software development solutions that drive business outcomes.