November 7, 2017 - by Brijmohan Bhavsar
The software industry is one of the fastest moving and evolving industries, which is highly complex and requires that developers have both industry-specific skills as well as the requisite software development expertise. If companies aren’t careful, they can fall as fast as they started, due to domestic and international competition.
A majority of companies today are seeking to build cutting-edge software to drive growth and solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges. Unfortunately, the process of state-of-the-art software is never straightforward; developers have to cross a host of hurdles in order to achieve what they’ve set out to accomplish.
Solving Software Development’s 5 Greatest Challenges
So what are these roadblocks? And how can developers overcome them in the quickest and most efficient manner? Let’s have a look:
1. Unclear Vision Between Project leadership and Developer
Any software solution should provide value to a business, help generate revenue, and make life easier for end-users. All too often companies aren’t exactly sure what they want from a software solution; they end up having too many features which rarely help their core business succeed.
The project funders, leadership, managers, and developers should agree on the same vision – from functional and non-functional requirements, to how the software solution will interact with internal modules and hardware, human user interactions, the problem that the solution aims to solve, and a description of how the system is expected to perform. From there, a clear framework with all the necessary features can be developed – a solution that makes most sense and delivers maximum business value.
2. Lack of Communication Between Team Members
Software development requires clear communication at all times: communicating expectations to the development team, clarifying the understanding with client, providing status updates, and communicating issues. Clear communication and timely feedback helps determine whether the project is going in the right direction, whether the required features are being implemented on time, and whether the development team needs to drop or add features as the software takes shape.
Around 80% of software development companies today rely on Agile to provide software solutions. Agile methodologies foster the principles of clear communication between the team through daily scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. Such activities make sure that every team member is focused in the right direction to ensure maximum throughput, including on time delivery and a quality end product that meets the needs of the users.
3. Misjudging Overall Costs and Overspending
Judging the overall cost of a custom software package is tricky. What’s obvious is close and regular interaction with the software development team to obtain a cost estimate from the beginning. Making room for additional costs that arise due to the addition of new features, or unforeseen circumstances is always advisable.
Embracing software development best practices and lean development cost saving measures helps in accurately gauging the time and budget required for a successful project. Such practices can ensure the delivery of a great product at the right price and in the shortest possible time.
4. Complexity of Integrating Different Systems and Technologies
The availability of data from various sources brings with it a host of integration challenges with different third party systems to create a single platform. Creating a flexible application that addresses such integration needs is extremely important. Integration not only brings together data from various sources but also maps this data such that it makes sense for users.
Connectors like SFDC, Eloqua, and Marketo are a good way to fuel integration. By simply plugging these into any other application, developers have to deal with minimal configuration, fostering reusability and minimized costs.
5. Lack of Proper Expertise Among In-House Developers
Developing modern, cutting-edge software is often beyond the capabilities of many businesses, even in the presence of in-house development teams. As a result, the final product delivered may have bugs and might not perform as intended.
One way companies can overcome this challenge is to hire a third-party software provider or consultant who has sufficient experience and expertise creating software solutions for a wide variety of clients. Such software providers often employ modern techniques of automation and machine learning that improve the efficiency of the software development process and help deliver a comprehensive and professional product.
In today’s business landscape, software is at the core of every company’s ability to create products, systems, and services. The demand for technologically-savvy, agile software solutions with high integration capabilities is growing, compelling software development companies to drive their efforts towards innovation in order to drive their business forward.
Software development is complex; it is no surprise that each project brings with it a host of challenges that need to be looked into to reduce their impact on the end product. Embracing modern software development practices such as agile, automation, machine learning, and lean development is what will differentiate one company from the other – the only way forward.