Why Software Internationalization Efforts Fail

Internationalization is a key strategy for companies to take advantage of the global marketplace by making their software relevant to markets all over the world. But doing so isn’t always as simple as flipping a switch.

Decoding the most important aspects of software tools for local market use requires a distinct process, taking into account the diversity of other nations and cultures. As your company expands to new markets, there are some common errors to avoid.

Common Mistakes in Internationalization

Lack of Market Research

As companies launch in new markets, they need to understand that what works well for one market might not work so well in another and that there are specific local nuances users may need or expect to understand the service.

Locale-specific market research allows companies to understand the real needs of potential users in diverse nations, and then provide software that is both useful and relevant to them. Using research helps your company to understand the value of various features, or to add subtle features that another market may expect to see.

Underestimating Time Needed

Localization can be a time-consuming process and requires resources from your team. It is also important to complete localization efforts along with other project tasks for the most efficient completion of software. Often, teams believe this localization can be completed after full software development in their local market, but this can add months to the process. Working on localization during the development process using agile methods rather than a waterfall approach can save time, resources, and bring your product to market more quickly. Tools such as Lingoport’s  Globalyzer and Localyzer can save your company valuable time and resources when performing these essential processes.

Internationalization ≠ Translation

If you’re running a software company, it is imperative to know that localization involves not only language but formatting for numbers, dates, times, addresses, phone numbers, currencies, and non-textual elements like images, sounds, and videos. 

Localization is a step in the process of adapting products for international audiences by understanding how cultural differences can influence their perception of a product or service and incorporating changes during development to address global markets. If you want to globalize your business effectively, companies must create consistent, relevant content across all aspects of their software. 

In many cases, companies try to use one message across multiple markets but fail because each culture has its own set of values that might not match the ones created in the original country where the product was launched. If you are trying to sell a messaging service for kids, for example, you should consider cultural factors in the ways children communicate, as well as understand their needs based on their age group, and differing family circumstances.

Developers have traditionally been focused on features, design, delivery, and deadlines. By incorporating localization during development you’re letting them keep that focus and making localization an easier to manage step in the development process. No more post development localization woes, more time to broaden your global reach.

Bottom Line

Making your software relevant to other countries can give you an incredible edge against competitors and open up other revenue streams. To take advantage of this benefit, you must create a strategy for localizing and internationalizing your product. The best way to do that, as well as save time and resources is by internationalizing during development. Avoid the old pitfalls of internationalizing software after development, let Lingoport help you internationalize and localize at the speed of development. 


Picture of Adam Asnes
Adam Asnes
Adam Asnes is the Founder and CEO of Lingoport, the industry leader in software internationalization products and services.
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