How to Uncover a Greenfield Opportunity

February 25, 2021 - by Synoptek

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The software development industry is getting increasingly complex, with user demands escalating with each passing day. Meeting these demands requires teams to embrace the right tools and approaches; and a greenfield opportunity can allow you to develop cutting-edge software – from a clean slate. However, uncovering a Greenfield Opportunity is not straightforward. Read on to learn about tips on how to uncover a Greenfield opportunity and the steps you can put in place to successfully move forward with this type of projects.

What is a Greenfield Opportunity?

In the world of software development, Greenfield refers to a software development opportunity where the solution can be developed for an entirely new environment. Since code is written from scratch, it overcomes all the problems associated with legacy code, known vulnerabilities and other restrictions or dependencies.

A pure greenfield project offers the freedom to build a state-of-the-art technology solution from scratch, providing a clean slate for software development. Since there is no pressure to work within constraints or challenges of existing systems or code, teams can build modern solutions – without dependencies.

Why You shouldn’t Ignore Greenfield Opportunities

Greenfield projects provide development teams with the opportunity to build products for a market that hasn’t been exploited in the past, giving them the freedom to define a market on their own terms. But despite the many benefits Greenfield Opportunities offer, many leaders tend to ignore them. Here’s why!

  • The Freedom to Use the Technology You Want: Since Greenfield projects start from scratch, the degree of risk is comparatively higher; using new technology to develop a solution for new customers can be tricky. But at the same time, they also offer the freedom (and flexibility) to build a solution with an entirely new technology stack, programming languages, frameworks, infrastructure, and tools. Using an Agile approach, teams can develop small iterations of the project, share them with internal and external users for immediate feedback, and take steps to handle these risks quickly.
  • The Luxury to Kick Off the Project with No Dependencies: Greenfield opportunities require software teams to define all aspects of the project from the very beginning, which can be time-consuming. But planning the project from scratch means teams do not have to worry about older versions of the system, legacy file formats, inherent risks, or backward compatibility. Since there are no inherent dependencies, teams can devote all their time and effort in building solutions that are in line with the demands of the market.
  • The Privilege to Get Everyone Involved: Given that Greenfield projects are a fresh start, teams have several development roadmaps to choose from – which can lead to lack of clarity on what approach to take. However, getting every stakeholder involved to make critical decisions can help determine scope and ease out the planning, while ensuring efforts are always driven in the right direction for successful outcomes.

Where to Discover Greenfield Opportunities

Given the benefits greenfield opportunities offer, there’s a lot of creative freedom organizations can enjoy. But most projects today are often brownfield projects, spanning across refactoring, upgrading, or mere enhancements – making greenfield opportunities difficult to discover. Here are some tips on how you can uncover a greenfield opportunity:

  • Social and professional media such as LinkedIn are boons for sales and marketing professionals looking for new leads and opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell products and services. Groups on such sites provide insight into which potential customers are looking for a company’s product or product type and in which geography. Entire blue oceans of markets have been uncovered via previously undiscovered enquiries for products and services in the case of small and mid-segment companies, as listings on such sites.
  • Specialized forums with such project listings have cropped up, making it simpler for sales professionals to filter out and list potential clients to collaborate and engage with, when pitching products and services.
  • Software companies such as Microsoft, SAP and Oracle that liaise between potential clientele to ensure a win-win situation of their product getting sold and ensuring business to vendor-partner companies.
  • Referrals from older customers who may suggest software companies as potential vendor partners to sister-concerns or other companies with related business or those who provide auxiliary services to the customer. This of course depends on the level and quality of engagement that the customer has had with the software company being recommended.
  • The traditional cold calling approach is also a great way to uncover a potential opportunity. Cold calling prospective clients based on information through leads, company databases, and simple calling cards is a method that still does bring up the odd surprise of a convertible greenfield opportunity.
  • Holding trade shows and seminars for specific industries is another sure-shot way of attracting customers from the required target market. It ensures that representatives of companies that are genuinely in need of the offerings of products and services would attend. These shows open up avenues for opportunities of new conversations around possible greenfield projects, while reducing efforts in due diligence of potential customer companies.

What are the Next Steps?

When you’re building from the ground up, the path forward might seem a little complicated. But with the right approach and methodologies, you can ensure a seamless journey. Here are some tips you can keep in mind while working on a Greenfield Opportunity:

  • Start with a great product idea that perfectly fits the needs of your audience in the specific market you’re aiming for. A great idea can not only help solve a real problem that people have; it can also ensure alignment with your business vision while helping you in achieving your business goals.
  • Rely on modern and robust infrastructure to base your Greenfield solution on; sturdy infrastructure can ensure the product you develop is built on the foundation of top-notch performance, scalability, and security.
  • Use tools and systems that provide visibility across the development lifecycle. Since lack of transparency between different team members can lead to the inability or unwillingness to showcase or explain current progress, a centralized hub where all members can feed in their efforts on a regular basis can help strengthen collective effort.
  • Use automation to quicken the pace of development. Since Greenfield projects are notoriously known for being time-consuming, automation – whether in the form of automated code, automated build, automated testing, or automated deployment – can help accelerate the development journey while simultaneously improving the quality of the solution under development.
  • Engage with a qualified product development partner to set foot in the right direction. Given the many risks Greenfield projects carry, an expert partner can help in every step of the development journey: right from what product idea to choose, what infrastructure and tools to rely on, what best practices to follow, and what workarounds to implement if an issue occurs.

The Bottom Line

The software development landscape is filled with several Greenfield (and Brownfield) opportunities. Although Brownfield projects are more widespread, the freedom and flexibility that Greenfield projects offer is unmatched. With a Greenfield project, since you’re starting from scratch, you can drive all your focus towards building a modern technology solution that perfectly fits the needs of the new market you’re catering to – and avoid getting tangled in the constraints imposed by previous code, interfaces, and infrastructure. If you want to capitalize on a Greenfield opportunity, you might want to partner with a qualified partner who can offer unmatched Product Development Services and enable you to make the most of the opportunity at hand.

Discover more in the series:
Greenfield vs. Brownfield Software Development. What’s the Difference?
Forging the Path Forward with a Brownfield Project