Whether you're running a large company with thousands of employees, or a boutique firm with just a dozen, it's time to start rethinking your approach to software development. This article is intended to serve as a synopsis of moves our clients have made in an effort to consolidate and modernize their technology stacks.
We'll begin by examining the many advantages that arise from modernizing, as well as some of the popular frameworks and tools we use. Next, we'll discuss the role of software development partners, followed by guidelines we recommend clients use when building a team of their own. Lastly, we'll end by discussing software as it relates to customers service and the role AI will play as we move forward.
ADOPTING MODERN TECHNOLOGIES
When's the last time you booted up a Windows 2000 PC? We'd wager it's been quite a while. No doubt, Windows 2000 can still tackle common tasks such as simple web browsing, emailing, and number crunching, but newer systems like Windows 10 have made tremendous improvements. There's no question about it.
Too many businesses allow their software stacks to become crusted in the same way. They simply stick with what works, rather than adjust to the times and improve to meet ever-changing customer demands. In many cases, legacy systems allow businesses to meet goals and objectives, but it often comes at the expense of efficiency and user experience.
If your company has considered modernizing, there has never been a better time. Today's full stack tools and development frameworks make experimentation, live rollouts, and on-going maintenance amusingly simple and affordable. Technologies such as Node.js, serverless computing, containerization, and artificial intelligence are just some of the powerful tools available to any company whose goal is to streamline their IT front.
In 2016, Forrester Research touted Node.js as a "Swiss army knife" that will "underpin digital transformation" moving forward. Long gone are the days when Node.js was just the "shiny new toy" used by penny-pinching startups; today the platform is a battle-tested, enterprise-ready framework.
Along with Node.js, dynamic businesses are also discovering the power of serverless computing. Unlike server-centric providers, serverless vendors provide "on-the-fly" backend services as requests come in. Ironically, computing does take place on an actual server, however, the name is derived from the fact that developers are freed from traditional server upkeep and management duties.
Much of the same is true for containerization as well. Though serverless is often lumped together with containerization, in reality they're two separate and distinct technologies. Cloudflare says "serverless computing is a method of providing backend services on an as-used basis," while "a container 'contains' both an application and all the elements the application needs to run properly, including system libraries, system settings, and other dependencies."
And lastly, there's AI. While we don't yet have the fully autonomous robots most often associated with the technology, artificial intelligence is steadily working its way into more and more business facets. Companies large and small are using AI to help with data collection and analysis, marketing, hiring, and customer relations.
Consider Finding a Tech Development Partner
If you don't instantly see how your organization would benefit from tools like AI, Node.js, serverless computing, or containerization, you should consider hiring a development partner.
Software development partners such as Techtonic provide a wealth of advantages to companies that are looking to modernize, grow, maintain, or otherwise improve their business systems. While cost is often one of the primary reasons businesses look to outside firms like ours, other benefits including new perspectives, improved development time, smaller in-house staff, risk mitigation, onshore development teams, and higher quality standards also tend to be powerful motivators.
For starters, unless you're running a development firm, odds are, software creation isn't your core business. Managing a team of full-time developers can be troublesome for many small and mid-size companies. IT partners like Techtonic are here to help businesses focus in on their core product or service rather than manage a team of in-house developers.
Always abreast of best practices and industry trends, development partners afford enterprises more fluidity than in-house staff.
Going further, TechRepublic says "the software industry had a higher turnover rate than any other sector in 2017." Sometimes cited as high as 23% (depending on the role), experts say the abnormally high turnover is due to fierce competition and compensation discrepancies.
A software development partner can help put an end to this ever-revolving door of incoming and outgoing talent.
What's more, unlike hiring full-time, salaried employees, our Denver-based software development firm allows companies to avoid costs associated with training, sick time, and holidays.
Innovative Ways To Generate Software Development Talent
PowderKeg said it best, "a company is only as good as the talent it can hire and keep." While a development partner can serve as a perfect outlet for some companies, others still require an in-house team to supplement development. If this sounds like your company, to win over the best possible employees, you must learn to be innovative in your approach to hiring.
As the software engineering talent gap continues to widen, those who insist on fishing in the same talent pool will miss out. Rather than take the traditional approach, forward-thinking companies must consider recruits that sprout from atypical sources. Companies that embrace non-traditional universities, self-taught coders, apprenticeship students etc. will have the luxury to fill more of their open positions.
In addition to our software development services, Techtonic also offers a steady pool of newly-trained software engineers that leave our program ready to tackle real-world challenges.
Rethinking Your Customers Experience
A post about rethinking your company's approach to software development would be incomplete without mentioning software as it relates to customer service. Forbes predicts "by 2020, an estimated 85% of all customer service interactions will be handled without a human agent."
As customers increasingly expect more, AI-based service bots are being used to take care of common issues, such as lost password, refunds, and shipping hiccups. The bots allow human customer service agents to focus on more challenging, less common tickets.
Not for nothing, AI is still a long way away from becoming a one-size-fits-all customer service solution. In the meantime, even less advanced changes to your software development approach such as UI/UX modernization can reap dividends. CMS Wire lays out a list of common design mistakes that include turn-offs such as too many fonts, congestion elements, and desktop-centric design.
Regardless of your industry, today's customers constantly demand faster and better. Companies who uphold customer service when rethinking their software development strategies will discover there's a whole world of tools available to meet demand. Hiring Techtonic as your software development partner will help ease the burden associated with integrating the various frameworks and APIs into your stack.
AUTHOR - NATE ASWEGE
If you're interested in learning more about Techtonic please CONTACT US today! Techtonic is the premier partner for developing onshore, commercial-grade software. We've also developed a unique method to simultaneously close the talent gap that exists within technology, by tapping into a new and highly diverse workforce. Our model is pioneering the way clients develop and hire top talent, and we'd love to work with you!