Table of Contents
Popular tech stacks include:
The Serverless Stack
Traditionally, a tech stack was a combination of programming languages, software products, web servers, operating systems, APIs, and other tools used by software development teams.
However, tech stacks have evolved.
But relying on outdated or ineffective technologies simply because team members have specific expertise can compromise product quality.
As more organizations see the benefit they bring and move their day-to-day operations to the cloud, tech stacks are no longer the domain of only software teams.
This is not another blog about programming languages or open-source software-related tech stacks.
This guide will show you how to build a tech stack that propels you forward in your industry instead of keeping you stuck in the past.
What Is A Tech Stack?
A tech stack or solutions stack is defined as the set of digital tools an organization uses to build a web or mobile application.
These digital products help meet business goals.
It combines core parts like programming languages, frameworks, libraries, patterns, servers, UI/UX solutions, software, and other systems used by its developers.
The immediate and primary purpose of building a tech stack is to align processes with business objectives to deliver as much value as possible.
Building an integrated technology stack or “tech stack” plays a vital role in enabling business growth.
In a recent survey from McKinsey, 60% of respondents agreed, saying that integrated digital and IT operations create business value.
Building The Right Tech Stack
As a business leader, it’s critical to be aware of the digital tools on the market and how each one can transform your operations and results.
Assembling a tech stack will give you visibility into the software solutions that your teams use every day — making you a tech stack MVP.
Doing so creates a map for your team members to follow to create ideal outcomes for your business faster.
Having a clear idea of the software spend and usage patterns will help you make informed decisions while weeding unnecessary and underused software from your tech stack.
The right tech stack can help drive your product to success, making it easier to build and ensuring it evolves alongside customer needs.
Here’s some advice for building technology stacks:
The Application’s Mission
Start by considering your product vision and what functionality you will build to achieve that vision.
For example, if your product or application processes large volumes of data, you need to prioritize technologies that process data quickly and cost-effectively.
If you are building a stand-alone mobile app, your tech stack may be simpler — an iOS or Android app written in Objective-C/SWIFT or Java.
Developers tend to favor languages they already know, but building the best tech stack pays to step back and let the application’s purpose determine its technology.
For example, will the application exist on mobile or desktop? If on mobile, what apps? If desktop, what browsers?
Results Before Tools
Before developing a tech stack, many businesses will find it helpful to think about what they want their customers to experience.
For example, when building a mobile application, an app development team may identify critical components for the front-end or client-side before creating the building blocks with a tech stack on the backend or the server-side.
Implementing a set of tools before you know what needs improvement is a sure-fire way to create a tech stack that will hinder rather than aid growth.
In some cases, multiple tech stacks integrate to further streamline business practice and support growth.
Your marketing team may have a paid subscription for a web conferencing tool for webinars, and your customer success team might have accidentally subscribed to another web conferencing tool to host a conference.
Developers can’t manage a technology stack unless they know what’s going on, so an analytics platform, like Mixpanel, is an important part of the tech stack.
Each tool in your stack creates, analyzes, or ingests data, and to run most efficiently; those data sources need to link to one another.
Because analytics tools give you such valuable insight, using the wrong one can derail your product development process and potentially produce wasted effort.
If a tool is continuously making updates as consumer expectations shift, this is a good sign that it will be beneficial to you in the long term.
Organizations need to ask themselves:
What are we trying to achieve?
What is the desired outcome?
What is preventing these outcomes from being achieved?
By asking these questions first, you can avoid any future failures.
The best strategy is to create minimum-viable products like web apps using open source tools to prove concepts before investing in them.
Look for tools that offer the flexibility to send data to the other tools in your stack, even if it’s not a requirement.
When in doubt, developers should always gravitate toward more mature technologies and languages that are often more reliable.
Setting clear objectives, collaborating company-wide, finding the right tools, customizing workflows, and implementing them is just the beginning. Next on your checklist is testing.
In addition to different codebases, updates, new features, and maintenance work will regularly occur, requiring massive testing to maintain functionality across every platform.
Due to the complex systems, devices, and codebases involved with every tech stack, you require a solution to automate true end-to-end testing via only one test, regardless of the technology.
Considering that most tech stacks are cloud-based, users will be accessing platforms on different web browsers, on multiple devices, and built on various programming languages.
In some cases, merely logging into an application requires two-factor authentication, which involves testing user journeys across various computers and mobile devices.
Manually testing these scenarios or using multiple tools takes time.
There are different tools and technologies for different types of applications.
While web development projects require many back-end and front-end tech and tools, iOS and Android projects can be made by applying a single coding language.
When hiring a development team for development services, you and your company are not necessary to participate in selecting technologies and tools.
But agility, operating characteristics, and costs remain important elements of your project’s success.
When tech stacks were first used to accelerate software deployment, high-performing organizations consulted different stakeholders and considered cross-functional outcomes.
This means that organizational silos must be broken down to improve decision-making when creating a fully functioning tech stack.
You will notice overlaps and redundancies as you organize your software and web applications into homogenous tech stacks.
Once you spot such instances, talk it out with your department heads and stakeholders.
See which software can be used commonly by all departments and which can be weeded out once and for all.
As you are taking inventory of your SaaS spending within your organization, take the time to check how often people use the web or mobile applications that they subscribe to.
Do any apps lay forgotten, collecting dust? For instance, a team member may have purchased the app to resolve a one-time event, like creating style sheets.
It may lay forgotten deep within your set of tools, merely collecting subscription fees at regular intervals.
What you select now will largely determine what you can build and the experiences you can provide.
Ask plenty of questions to get at the essence of what the organization, engineering team, and customers need.
Once you receive the list of tools, you can start creating your software organization chart.
A software organization chart lists all the software your internal teams use to accomplish their job.
When you create a software org chart, take your time to list them down from the highest spend to the lowest.
Doing this will give you a clear breakdown of your top spending trends and see if you can cut back on some of those.
Collect the names and payment details (e.g., subscription fees, renewal dates, and more) for all the web apps and mobile apps that your departments regularly use — daily, weekly, or monthly.
You can do this by sending out an email survey to department heads or the person who manages a specific department’s spending.
Popular data tools include:
Google Analytics is a web application for seeing website analytics and metrics.
Customer Relationship Management
Is your sales team unaware of incoming customer queries? Are customer orders incorrect or failing to be fulfilled at all?
Is manual software testing slowing down the release of new product features?
In this case, there might be links between systems that don’t work, preventing notifications from reaching Sales.
Daily tasks have become easier with digital tools, including Zoom, Google Meet, and HubSpot.
Video alternatives like Kennected Video provide personal messages to customers making the customer experience memorable and nurturing.
A well-defined and organized tech stack helps fight dark purchasing.
Dark purchasing refers to circumstances where your team makes impulsive purchasing decisions outside the standard purchasing process.
While making such hasty purchases, team members often overlook aspects like ROI, feature overlaps, and more.
An organized tech stack helps provide spend transparency and visibility over existing tools, preventing any chance of duplicate and redundant purchases.
Tech Stack For An iOS Application
To get a product for Apple devices, you will need to find a team experienced in Objective C and Swift since they are the main programming languages for the iOS software development process.
Also, app developers might consider integrated development environments such as JetBrains AppCode and Apple’s Xcode.
Examples of Tech Stacks
As you start to build a technology stack that works for your company, read through these examples to gather ideas for what your business needs.
Popular tech stacks include:
Because most coding languages have well-known performance attributes and limitations, the tech stack hints at the overall application’s strengths and weaknesses.
If a programmer knows that a web software service is built on PHP, they know that its codebase is probably large and challenging to debug.
PHP is a notoriously inefficient coding language used in most popular web applications.
If a programmer knows that an application was built using Ruby on Rails, they know they’d have to learn the programming language Ruby to make any changes.
Android Studio is the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing Android applications.
Developers use Android Studio for many tasks, including writing the code and debugging.
Created by a Facebook team in 2015, React Native is the most popular open-source programming language. In works using React along with native platform capabilities.
The app development company you’ll hire will use React Native to build Android and iOS platforms.
React Native apps interact with native APIs via React’s declarative UI paradigm.
How Can I Audit My Existing Tech Stack?
A good approach to evaluating software stacks is focused on the business process of the applications rather than just the apps themselves.
Start with input from everyone you know and the apps you use. This might include executives, teams, IT leaders, or individual users using these applications every day as s/s.
Concentrate on collecting data on each software application and its business processes while noting users’ opinions on its effectiveness for analysis later.
Why Do Businesses Need Tech Stacks?
When working with startups, you can have confidence in having the right tools for each project. Your technology platform is the digital structure within a company.
It defines the relationships and interactions within an enterprise. This gives the team a plan for creating the best possible results quickly.
The most efficient tech stack is a system that simplifies everything and boosts productivity within teams.
Front End Technology Stack
The front end technology stack is what users see when interacting with your application or site.
Front-end development enables a web application to be visible on an internet browser.
Therefore, the front end stack’s primary concern is a convenient user experience, accessible user interface, and clear internal structures.
Front end technologies for smartphone apps include Objective-C/SWIFT for iOS and Java for Android apps.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)HTML technology is responsible for the structuring and placement of the data. It covers how content is organized and where it is positioned on the page. It is the backbone.
Back End Technology Stack
Back end technologies include web frameworks, programming languages, servers, and operating systems.
The back end stack must operate smoothly, especially if your site has features other than simple HTML-coded static pages.
LAMPOne popular web development tech stack is known by the acronym LAMP, short for Linux operating system, Apache HTTP server, MySQL relational database management system, and the programming language PHP.
A framework is a collection of languages, libraries, and utilities designed to help developers build applications.
Frameworks often include some of the basic functionality you’ll need to build an app and provide structure for organizing and communicating with your database.
Turning Knowledge Into Power
Today, technology stacks are also used for various reasons, from digital marketing and sales to human resources and analytics.
Instead of helping just one arm of your business succeed, you can build a tech stack (or multiple tech stacks) that encourages your entire organization’s growth.
There is no such thing as a uniformly effective tech stack. Different products and applications require different development tools.
Time-tested technologies may not suit the specific product or application your team is building, and new technologies might not have the needed functionality or support.
Every organization—and sometimes, every department of an organization—has a set of unique tools for its needs and goals.
By hand-selecting your tech stack(s), you can optimize your business operations and increase productivity across your entire company.
Lead Generation For You
SaaS business Kennected ensures digital users are at the forefront of every app development and creative process we achieve.
Have you tried our unique product Cloud Kennect? It’s an automated LinkedIn tool that does networking and lead generation for you, so you don’t have to.
Over 17,000 users can attest to Cloud Kennect’s impressive capabilities. Get started on modern lead generation approaches today!