An important question that all franchise buyers and sellers must reflect on is if technology can be useful to the franchise community and how? Before trusting any new technology, there are several aspects to judge; that part should be reviewed thoroughly. While the technology’s capabilities and functionalities are crucial, you should also analyze how the platform fits into your ecosystem and the organization’s strengths.
- Do they have a formal development roadmap driven by their user community? Are they attentive when you provide suggestions? Do they approach your team? How adaptable are they to changing market demands? They see technology development as a revenue center or part of their DNA?
- How reliable is their uptime? Are they operating on a platform that is both performant and robust? There should be no single point of failure, and the entire environment should be proactive in notifying users when critical infrastructure elements are under stress. What data can they share to substantiate uptime?
- Do they do SOC1 and SOC2 Type 2 audits? Today, you need to know that their operational standards and technology are entirely secure and reliable. These audits ensure a third party validates their business’s operational standards and should identify any potential failure points. Your tech partners should have no trouble providing you with audits.
- Simply stating that they perform full backups is insufficient. You must be familiar with the RPO (Recovery Point Objective: How much data is at risk of being lost in a catastrophic failure?) (How long will it take for the system to recover in the event of a catastrophic failure fully?) You know your organization’s RPO and RTO tolerances, but in general, expect RPO to be less than 60 minutes and RTO to be less than 24 hours. While each system is unique, it is critical to ensure that your partners have a clear plan in place in the event of a disaster.
- Software Testing: Never be expected to test software. You already have enough on your plate. It would help if you knew the testing processes, including automated, stress, performance, security, and manual testing. Bad or faulty software can cause major business disruption.
- Stuff breaks. It’s a given. But do your partners have a track record of supporting their user community? Checked references? Do they have SLAs? Do they outsource support? Do they transparently construct cases? In the end, you need a partner who will answer the phone and be accountable when things do not go as planned.
- You control your fate when you have the correct tech environment and partner. You can execute your strategies in this challenging operating climate, and technology for your franchise will help you achieve your goals. Building, maintaining, and developing your franchise community is a complex process. Your tech stack will give a solid basis for success if done correctly.
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