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In the current competitive landscape, companies are constantly seeking to optimize their operations, improve efficiency, and protect their strategic assets. One emerging trend in this context is the internalization of IT development. Instead of relying on external providers or off-the-shelf solutions, many companies are now choosing to internalize tech by building their own in-house development teams.

This approach not only offers increased control over technologies and development processes but also enables smoother integration with the company’s existing systems. However, internalization comes with its challenges. Before embarking on this path, it is essential to understand the potential benefits, obstacles to overcome, and best practices to ensure a successful transition.

In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when internalizing IT development, providing practical advice and points of attention for companies ready to take the plunge.

Why Internalize the Development of Your Tech Projects?

  1. Technical Mastery and Integration: Internalization provides your company with complete control over technological choices and development processes. For example, when developing a website in-house, you can choose a specific technology, like a particular framework, that seamlessly integrates with your other systems. In case of technical issues or evolving requirements, your in-house team can quickly intervene, without depending on an external provider.
  2. Asset Protection and Confidentiality: Security and the protection of intellectual property are major concerns for any business. By internalizing development, you minimize the risks associated with sharing sensitive information with third parties. Developing unique features in-house ensures that your proprietary algorithms and innovations remain confidential.
  3. Cultural and Strategic Alignment, Internal Collaboration: One of the major advantages of internalization is the cultural and strategic alignment of development teams with the rest of your company. This close proximity facilitates collaboration with other business units, enabling optimal synergy in project execution. Collaboration between development and marketing teams, for instance, ensures that website structure aligns perfectly with ongoing marketing campaigns.
  4. Long-Term Cost Optimization: While internalization requires an initial investment, it can lead to substantial long-term savings. By developing a website in-house, you avoid recurring costs for maintenance and updates charged by external providers. Additionally, internalization allows you to capitalize on the learning curve of your team, maximizing ROI and ensuring a consistent and successful digital transformation.

Points to Consider When Developing In-House

  1. Recruitment, Retention, and Training: Recruiting and retaining tech talent in a competitive market like web development is challenging. It’s essential to have a well-defined recruitment strategy that goes beyond salary offers. Understanding candidates’ motivations, offering a stimulating work environment, continuous training opportunities, and clear career paths are crucial.
  2. Project Management and Evaluation: Rigorous project management is essential to ensure that your website is developed within the planned timelines and budgets. This often involves training teams in specific project management tools. Accurate internal cost and timeline estimation is crucial to avoid budget overruns and ensure alignment with expectations.
  3. Infrastructure, Tools, and Technological Monitoring: Investing in the right tools and infrastructure is essential to effectively support your development team. It’s not just about adopting the latest technologies but making strategic choices based on a deep understanding of your current and future business needs. Keeping up with technological trends through continuous monitoring is crucial for staying competitive.

How to Successfully Internalize Tech Skills for Digital Transformation

  1. Conduct a Thorough Audit and Seek Strategic Guidance: Before embarking on internalization, it’s crucial to deeply understand your current and future needs. This involves analyzing short and long-term goals, available resources, and required skills. A detailed audit, such as the one offered by PANDORE, provides a clear view of your current situation. Strategic guidance ensures that every decision aligns with your company’s overall vision.
  2. Prioritize Recruitment and Training: Recruitment in the tech field is complex. Tech talents are in high demand, and attracting them requires a well-defined strategy. Training is equally crucial, as technology evolves rapidly. Investment in continuous training keeps your team up-to-date with the latest technologies and competitive in the field.
  3. Maintain Regular Tracking and Evaluation with a Global Perspective: Regular tracking and evaluation of your projects go beyond checking milestones and deadlines. For a web application, this means in-depth performance analysis, user feedback analysis, and constant adaptation to feedback. A global view is essential. Key aspects to consider include Development, Prototyping, Project Management, Cybersecurity, User Experience (UX), Performance and Scalability, Technological Updates, Integration and Communication, Maintenance, Testing, Deployment, and Regulatory Compliance. Internal roles like CTO or CIO are crucial for supervising and guiding these efforts.

Conclusion

Internalization of IT development is a strategic approach that offers numerous benefits, including technical mastery, asset protection, cultural and strategic alignment, and long-term cost optimization. However, it also comes with challenges, requiring careful project management, infrastructure considerations, tool choices, and scalability planning. To ensure a successful transformation, regular monitoring, evaluation, and a global perspective are essential. PANDORE stands as a key partner for companies looking to internalize their development, offering comprehensive services that encompass auditing, guidance, recruitment, training, and ongoing support. With recognized expertise and tailored tools, your company is assured of maximizing the benefits of internalization while minimizing associated risks

Skills to Mobilize for Developing a Web Application”

An web application is a software accessible via a web browser, without the need for installation on a local device. Unlike applications that you install directly on your computer or smartphone, a web application functions like a website: you use your browser to access the application, and each action you take is processed by a remote server that sends you the results, all happening almost instantly.

Platforms like Google Docs, Trello, Canvas, or online CRMs are concrete examples of web applications. Web applications offer unprecedented flexibility and accessibility, allowing users to access their data and features from any internet-connected device.

However, designing and developing an effective and performant web application is no small feat. Each component, whether it’s the user interface, business logic, or security, requires specific expertise. Therefore, mobilizing the right tech profiles is imperative. Making a mistake in choosing the right skills can lead to undesirable consequences, ranging from a poor user experience to critical bugs or security vulnerabilities. In this context, understanding the necessary skills and profiles for developing a web application is essential to ensure its success and longevity.

The Pillars for Setting Up a Web Application

In the vast world of web application development, some skills are fundamental. These skills form the foundation on which every successful application is built. Whether it’s visual design, user interaction, or internal mechanics, each element plays a crucial role. Let’s delve into these essential skills that make the difference between a simple web page and a functional web application.

First and foremost is the design of interfaces and user experience, which is paramount. This is where UX/UI Design comes into play. An application can be technically perfect, but if it’s not intuitive or pleasant to use, it may not achieve the desired success. UX (User Experience) designers focus on how the application works, ensuring it’s logical, smooth, and meets user needs. Meanwhile, UI (User Interface) designers refine the appearance: colors, typography, spacing, ensuring that the application is not only beautiful but also functional.

Once the designers have created mockups or a prototype, it’s time to develop the application. When you navigate a web application, everything you see and interact with directly is the result of Front-end development. This includes layout, design, animations, and interactivity. Key skills here include mastery of languages like HTML (for page structure), CSS (for style and formatting), and JavaScript (for interactivity). Additionally, knowledge of popular frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js may be essential for developing more complex and interactive applications.

However, if the Front-end is what you see, Back-end development is the engine in the background. It deals with business logic, data storage, security, and performance. Back-end developers work with languages like Node.js, Python, Ruby, or Java and manage databases like SQL or MongoDB. They ensure that when you submit a form or take an action on a web application, the data is processed, stored, and sent correctly.

In summary, UX/UI design, Front-end development, and Back-end development are the three fundamental pillars of a successful web application. These areas embody the major skill requirements for producing an application that is user-centered, aesthetically pleasing, and functionally robust. Ignoring any of these pillars compromises the quality and effectiveness of the application. Thus, if your company is considering internally developing a web application, it’s imperative to mobilize and value skills related to these essential domains.

Additional Skills to Mobilize for Application Development

Other skills, while not central, play a crucial role in producing, securing, and optimizing the application. It’s important to note that the list below is not exhaustive and can evolve depending on the nature and complexity of the application to be developed. However, among the areas of concern, the following points can be mentioned:

  1. Project Management: Rigorous project management is essential for any web application project. This involves planning, resource allocation, progress tracking, and smooth communication to ensure coordination among teams. Methodologies like Scrum or Agile can be employed to ensure on-time delivery and adherence to specifications.
  2. Cloud Infrastructure: Setting up a network infrastructure is necessary for developing your application. Today, the cloud has become an indispensable solution. Managing a cloud infrastructure requires a deep understanding of cloud computing services such as AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure. This includes configuration, deployment, scalability, and cost management. Sometimes, in the case of hybrid infrastructures, the ability to integrate cloud resources with on-premises infrastructures is also essential.
  3. Security: Nowadays, cyberattacks are common. Security cannot be overlooked. This includes protecting user data, preventing attacks, and establishing protocols to respond to incidents.
  4. Testing and Maintenance: Before going into production, it’s essential to ensure that the application works as intended. This requires, among other things, unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing to ensure that each feature meets requirements.

If the fundamental pillars of a web application define its basic structure and operation, complementary skills refine, secure, and optimize that foundation. They ensure that the application, whether simple or complex, not only meets user needs but also market and technological requirements. Taking the example of a banking application, expertise goes beyond design or development. Business understanding is crucial, for example, to develop credit simulation algorithms that take into account interest rates, loan durations, and risk profiles. Similarly, seamless integration with other systems, such as payment platforms or

The Togolese digital landscape is undergoing rapid and significant transformation. According to the Digital 2023 report by We are social and Meltwater, 35% of the Togolese population uses the internet in 2023, which is 3.13 million internet users, marking a growth of 2.3% compared to the previous year. More impressively, the adoption of digital payments is on the rise: 42% of individuals aged 15 and above made at least one digital payment in 2022, compared to 31.3% in 2021, showing a remarkable increase of more than 10 points in just one year. In 2023, 36% of the population aged 15 and above has a mobile money account, while 8.5% have a credit or debit card.

Despite this trend, cash remains the dominant payment method in Togo. However, with the emergence of online payments and purchases, a question arises for merchants and service providers who want to enter e-commerce in Togo: how to implement efficient and secure solutions for accepting online payments?

In this article, we provide insights and concrete solutions for accepting your payments online if your business is located in Togo.

State of Online Payment in Togo

Togo, although small in size, is becoming a dynamic player in the field of online payments in West Africa. Togolese consumers have access to a variety of payment methods to make their online transactions. Credit cards, such as VISA, MasterCard, and GIM UEMOA, are widely accepted. Additionally, Mobile Money payment solutions, including Moov Money by Moov Africa Togo and Tmoney by Togocom, have become essential for many Togolese.

According to a report published by TINA TOUR in 2023, the online payment landscape in Togo is booming with the emergence of several actors playing the role of aggregators or payment gateways. These actors greatly facilitate e-commerce by offering solutions tailored to the needs of merchants and consumers. Among these major players, you can find: CashPay from SEMOA, CinetPay, PayGate, Fedapay, KKiaPay, QOS, Paydunya, MaPay, PayPlus, and Bizao.

These solutions not only stand out for their reliability but also for their adaptability. Most of them offer an API and a web application, making it easy to integrate with various e-commerce platforms. Additionally, some of them, such as PayDunya, MaPay, or FedaPay, also provide a mobile application, enabling merchants and consumers to have an even smoother payment experience. Special mention should be made for SEMOA, whose CashPay solution allows issuing invoices via the Dédé chatbot accessible on WhatsApp, demonstrating constant innovation in this field.

In summary, Togo presents a maturing online payment ecosystem with a multitude of actors offering innovative solutions adapted to local needs.

Which Solutions to Choose for Online Payments in Togo?

When it comes to choosing a solution for accepting online payments, several criteria come into play. Of course, the security of the payment infrastructure, aggregated payment methods, transaction fees, and withdrawal conditions are essential factors to consider. However, it is equally crucial to pay attention to the accessibility of customer support and the quality of the API documentation to ensure smooth integration of the payment solution into your website or application.

At PANDORA, we have had the opportunity to test several of these solutions. While some platforms, such as CinetPay, Paydunya, or Bizao, offer more direct online access and responsive customer support, one solution, in particular, has stood out to us: CashPay from SEMOA. Although creating an account and requesting API integration are not immediate online processes, SEMOA more than compensates with the robustness of its infrastructure, the diversity of its features (including QR Code, Payment Link, Online Store), and its ability to enable payments via mobile money and credit cards. Furthermore, being a Togolese company, it offers valuable proximity for local merchants.

Moreover, if your priority is to accept payments exclusively via Mobile Money without the need for credit card integration, PayGate could be the ideal solution for you.

In conclusion, the choice of the payment solution will depend on your specific needs, budget, and target audience. It is essential to thoroughly evaluate each option to ensure an optimal payment experience for your customers and efficient management for your business.

Conclusion

The rapid growth of internet usage and digital payments, coupled with a variety of online payment solutions, puts Togo on the map of digital commerce in West Africa. However, choosing the right payment solution is crucial to ensure not only transaction security but also an optimal user experience.

At PANDORA, we believe that the key lies in a thorough assessment of the specific needs of each business while staying abreast of market innovations and trends. With the right tools and partners, such as SEMOA and other major players, your transition to e-commerce in Togo will not only be smooth but also fruitful.