How CEOs Can Gain Value from Software Development Outsourcing
In-house creation of a complete and sophisticated software application requires large amounts of resources and time. Maintaining an in-house team amid the coronavirus lockdowns has added to this and become increasingly complex. Frankly, in these turbulent economic times, software development outsourcing can prove more profitable to your business than ever before.
Software development outsourcing offers limitless possibilities to CEOs. As the world is connected by the power of the internet, you can access the talent you would normally be hard-pressed to find. Additionally, finding an expert offshore software development company that meets your fast-approaching deadlines is another benefit.
As CEO of your company, before you take full advantage of software development outsourcing, you need to know how you can leverage outsourcing effectively. Here is a comprehensive guide that will help you understand various aspects of the offshore software development process and prepare you to face the challenges it can bring your way.
Does Your Business Need Offshore Software Development?
For most businesses, hiring an offshore development partner’s services has helped them breathe easy and take the load off their shoulder. Here are a few scenarios where the offshore software development model will prove to be the best solution for your company.
1. Do you require talent with narrow expertise?
Software development outsourcing improves the quality of your team as it gives you access to a vast talent pool with narrow specialization. Such resources allow you to leverage both international perspectives and onboard the best talent.
2. Do you need to scale your team?
If you lack an excellent in-house team that can undertake multiple projects simultaneously, it is time to consider offshore software development. This allows you to scale up your team of experts without spending a fortune or risking output quality.
3. Do you want to concentrate on your product?
Software development outsourcing can help you automate most mundane operations such as payroll and accounting. This will help you concentrate on the growth of your company and innovation.
Advantages of Software Development Outsourcing
Software development outsourcing can help your company experience higher production levels without spending too much money or energy. Partnering with the offshore software development team will help you carry out temporary tasks, improve the pace of your growth, and reduce your labor costs. In other words, it gives your company a much-coveted competitive advantage by improving customer service while ensuring limited-budget product quality. Here are some specific benefits of offshore software development.
1. Saves costs
Cost-saving is one of the most significant benefits of software development outsourcing. Whether you want to scale up your employees or scale down, outsourcing a whole project is much cheaper than hiring each developer separately. The difference in salaries across the globe can save you millions of dollars. Offshore development allows you to get the same amount of work done, with the same quality, in the same amount of time at a much lesser cost as different countries have different living costs. For example, the average offshore software development rate in India per hour is $30, whereas, in the USA, the hourly developer rate will cost around $100.
Once you offshore your development requirements, you do not have to spend time recruiting, training, and housing new employees. Besides, it is impossible and impractical to hire a full-time in-house contractor for your short-term projects. Software development outsourcing gives you the option of choosing developers for a single project. You can find talent that fits perfectly without investing in a permanent position. This will give your core team some relief as they can concentrate on mission-critical activities essential to run the company and focus on the development process.
3. Saves time
Offshore software development relieves you from searching for new developers and preparing them to suit your needs. It can also improve speed to market as it helps your management and key employees to focus on the core business. Since it can eliminate secondary tasks, you can redistribute your services for more essential aspects of the organization.
4. Centered approach
One of the most competitive advantages is the ability to have a focused strategy. If the in-house team needs to deal with several projects simultaneously, they may be forced to compromise on quality. However, Software development outsourcing can streamline your business process. This will allow your employees to take a centered approach and produce high-quality output within the set timelines.
5. Technological advantages
Businesses seeking to gain a competitive advantage will develop cutting-edge innovations using the latest technologies without expending an additional amount of time and resources in learning them themselves. This is possible when they team up with strategic offshore development partners with a proven track record.
6. Compensate for the lack of in-house experience
Software development outsourcing can bring in additional knowledge and power to reach your business goals. Outsourcing offers the flexibility to use your resources where there is a need as it allows you to scale up or scale down as required. It means that you can either let go of certain talent in one field while allowing you to quickly add specialists to your pool of experts in another field. You can employ a team of varying size, complexity, and cost. Such a team will be able to find optimal solutions contributing to the growth of your company.
Best practices to follow while offshoring software development
Here are a few points to consider when you decide to outsource your software development project:
- Get introduced to all the developers who are supposed to work on your project.
- Ensure to have a full-time on-shore lead and an offshore lead to help establish necessary coding standards, solve technical issues, and mentor the offshore team.
- Use video conferencing to arrange regular meetings to handle any problems and resolve the same in a timely and efficient manner.
- Use appropriate tracking tools (project management tools) to plan tasks efficiently and prioritize work accordingly.
Offshore Software Development with Fingent
Since 2003, Fingent has been a reliable and capable offshore partner for leading global brands, including many Fortune 500 companies. With an impeccable track record as an offshore software development team, Fingent has helped improve cash flow and increase business efficiency for many clients. We help your organization scale up as required without the need to hire or fire any of your team members.
Our diverse offshore talent pool includes experienced developers and tech professionals who leverage the latest software development trends, such as automation, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), 3D Web Configurator, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Mobile application development (native, hybrid), Microsoft solutions, SAP solutions, and so on.
Our experts are available to provide you with inputs on your project. Let’s get talking and find out which process fits your project.
How Sanity.io manifests the value of headless CMS
In our recent white paper, we stated that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator in 2020. We also discussed how the rapid evolution of both customer expectations and CX technologies is a wakeup call for both CX and IT leaders.
So, that’s it! Any business failing to deliver omnichannel customer experiences or remaining inactive across their website, mobile application, voice assistant, email, social media profiles, or online customer support is sure to face peril. This has set in a new level of expectation as to how digital content should be managed. Definitely, this puts the onus on companies to adopt a headless content management system (CMS).
Now, the question is what’s wrong with the traditional CMS? If WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla allows you to have both the CMS and the website’s design in one place, wouldn’t it be easier to make updates and manage your content seamlessly? Then why did leading brands like Cornerstone, Cloudflare, and Eurostar move to Sanity, one of the top headless CMS platforms?
Here, we tell you what’s a headless CMS and why many industry leaders have adopted Sanity.io.
The Headless CMS Movement
Remember the “pre-CMS era” where you had to update HTML pages manually and upload them on the website via FTP and perform a lot more steps? The birth of popular content management systems like Drupal and Joomla not only gave us relief, also did they tempt us with convenience. However, these legacy platforms often force us to solicit assistance from developers working on a specific CMS and require us to spend more time, resources, and budget for maintenance and enhancements.
A traditional CMS ideally fits an enterprise-level small business website or a personal website, especially if you do not have to share content with multiple digital devices or platforms. With cross-channel content dissemination at the speed of light becoming the Holy Grail, the monolith, single storage feature offered by traditional CMS is easily giving way to headless CMS.
Decoding Headless CMS
In simple terms, a headless CMS is a content-first CMS where the content repository (body) is decoupled/separated from the presentation layer (head). It’s a back-end only content management system that makes content accessible to external clients for display through APIs.
The result: Even a non-developer can create or edit content without getting worried about how the content will be displayed or consumed by the external systems. If you need to publish content on multiple platforms all at once, headless CMS is the best choice.
The beauty: Headless CMS is front-end agnostic. You can choose the framework or tool you like for displaying content to the end-user. It allows front-end developers to solely focus on the presentation layer without thinking about how the content will be managed.
5 reasons to go for Sanity, the popular headless CMS
“Build with structured content” is the byword of Sanity. However, the platform makes no assumptions about how your content is structured, created, validated, and presented. This offers you the flexibility to deliver structured content into any digital devices or applications via Sanity’s real-time, cloud-hosted APIs and customizable open-source editing environment.
1. Get started in no time
You can quickly get started with Sanity.io by downloading CLI from npm and use it to launch a new project. Alternatively, you can go to Sanity’s starter projects that will help you get started in minutes with its preconfigured Sanity Studio and a functional front-end with a range of frameworks to choose from, all deployed to Netlify with source code on GitHub.
2. Superior editing features
3. Exceptional APIs
The primary reason for choosing a headless CMS is its API-first pattern that allows you to access the content through APIs.
Sanity offers two powerful APIs for reading, writing, querying, and patching documents:
- api.sanity.io which is the live uncached API
- apicdn.sanity.io which is the CDN-distributed, cached API
Sanity also supports deploying GROQ and GraphQL APIs to query your content. The platform’s Data Store resides in the cloud and can be accessed via Sanity API either using Sanity’s client libraries or through the HTTP API directly.
4. Matured technology stack
5. User-friendly headless content models
Need more reasons to fall for headless CMS?
To give you an example, Sanity prevents you from getting “locked-in”. Despite being a SaaS platform, Sanity allows you to easily export your content and use it wherever you need. Same with the front-end frameworks that we saw above. Customized editorial experiences, structured content approach, minimal hidden costs, pay-as-you-go pricing model, and a number of stunning features will make you say “Yes” to the headless CMS model.
If you would like to know more about Sanity.io or any other headless CMS platform that you’re currently considering, drop us a line immediately.
What are the most trending technology stacks of 2021?
What are the crucial things that you would consider when developing a software for your business or startup? Along with planning your budget, time, and effort, you need to choose the right technology stack to get your project off the ground successfully.
What is a software stack? Why do you need to choose one? What are the popular development stacks out there in the current market? This post explores.
What is a technology stack?
A technology stack, also known as software stack or development stack is a data ecosystem that enlists the underlying tools, frameworks, and libraries used to build and run your application. For instance, Facebook’s exhaustive application stack includes PHP, React, GraphQL, Cassandra, Hadoop, Swift, and a host of other frameworks.
Why choose a software stack to develop your application?
Software stacks are to your applications, what a deep foundation and girders are to a building. The competitiveness and viability of your application depend upon the technology stack that you choose. Your software stack choice has a long say in your web application development as it influences:
- How your app works
- How it will behave in the future
- The scalability of your product
- The purpose of your project/business
- Your choice of data and application storage (Cloud or Local)
- The capacity of your server systems (whether it’s made for high-read operations or high-write traffic)
As software development standards and trends change within the blink of an eye, it is important to be updated on the most popular tech trends that currently reign the market. By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of popular application stacks, you can start developing your product with improved confidence, as you get to know the ways to mitigate development risks.
So, what are the leading stacks of software development in 2021? Here they are:
1. The MEAN Stack
Read more: How we optimized a MEAN Stack project for better performance
2. The MERN Stack
Since 2021 is all about enhancing UI, MERN stands to gain. However, while working with React, developers have to deal with limited core functionality since React is a library and not a framework. Hence most developers resort to third-party services.
3. The MEVN Stack
In this version of MEAN, Angular is replaced by Vue.js as a front-end framework. This framework has shown immense popularity over the last few years. Its popularity is expected to continue to 2021 as it is a lightweight solution compared to Angular. Vue.js offers basic out-of-the-box functionality. This functionality can be extended using third-party services. You can say that Vue.js combines the best features of Angular and React to give you great performance and a rich set of tools.
4. The LAMP Stack
The LAMP can be called a classic, time-tested stack of technologies – Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. The LAMP still remains one of the most common ways to deliver web applications and was one of the first open-source software stacks which is still widely used. Popular open-source CMS such as WordPress and Drupal use LAMP. The stability, simplicity, and power that accompany LAMP have made it the platform of choice for developing new custom web apps.
The LAMP stack can efficiently handle dynamic pages wherein the content changes every time it is loaded. LAMP being open-source and non-proprietary, you can choose components based on your specific business requirements. Instead of using Linux as the OS, you can use Microsoft Windows to form a WAMP stack or MAC OS to form the MAMP stack. PHP can also be swapped for Perl or the increasingly popular Python language.
Read more: Why Is It High-Time To Find Alternatives For Microsoft Silverlight?
Since the LAMP has been around for more than a decade, you can avail of the benefits of a substantial LAMP ecosystem.
5. The Serverless Stack
2021 is the best time to build on cloud infrastructure or in other words- to go serverless. Serverless computing platforms provide all the services and tools thus making infrastructure management much simpler. You can easily scale up to hundreds of thousands of users overnight. AWS Lambda was one of the first serverless platforms. Google cloud is another significant provider of serverless computing services.
6. Flutter for Web
Flutter for Web can be called a game-changer in the cross-platform development world. It uses the same UI and business logic on all platforms. With Flutter, you don’t have to spend time on deployment. You can fix bugs, add new features, and build UI without compromising on speed.
What should be your next step
Having learned the tech stack meaning and its impact on your application development, here are a few tips that will help you make a wise choice:
- While building software or an application, employing a consistent, standardized software stack is of utmost importance.
- You have to create your backend with a set of tools designed to work together, reducing development time and streamlining resources.
- In today’s overcrowded stack field, you are spoilt for options. You cannot go for a one-size-fits-all approach while choosing a stack for your project. You need to find a web stack that provides unique advantages for your application.
Now that you’ve made it this far, do you agree that these are the most important tech stacks for software development in 2021? Can you think of any other names that need to be included in this list? Do let us know!
Here at Fingent, we set out to adopt the most efficient technology stacks that can make your software product highly competitive and fulfill your organization’s unique requirements. If you have any questions left, our technology consultants are ready to offer you a piece of expert advice. Feel free to drop us a message, any time.
Fingent Stamps its authority as a leading CodeIgniter developer of February 2020.
When talent is met with persistence and skill, it reaps out rich results. Fingent keeps this mantra in focus and works tirelessly in giving the best possible CodeIgniter solutions to the clients. Our efforts have been appreciated by TopDevelopers.co, as in their recently done press release of top CodeIgniter Developers they have ranked Fingent amongst the leading developers for February 2020.
CodeIgnitor is a framework based on PHP. The CodeIgniter framework includes libraries and drivers that help build websites much easier and faster. Fingent excels in this technology and empowers businesses with CodeIgniter solutions to make procedures smarter and achieve a competitive edge.
Fingent was established in the year 2003 with the core objective to provide customized software solutions that solve complex business challenges. We have been front runners in catering CodeIgniter development services and have an active client base in more than 14 countries in the past 17 years.
In an interview with TopDevelopers.co, Deepu Prakash – Senior Vice President Process and Technology, Fingent, emphasized on maintaining top level client satisfaction technique and why it is important to shape the culture in the company. “We are highly proficient in providing cloud computing, Hybrid app development, Digital Transformation, IoT services and much more apart from providing top class CodeIgniter development services.”
Our elite clientele includes market leaders such as Sony, PwC, Johnson and Johnson, NEC, and many more. Our skilled app and web developers have experience in providing services in more than 20 different industry verticals. We have also proven our excellence in offering great software solutions for businesses, which lists us among the renowned web development companies.
We have a dedicated research and development team to analyze products based on the market trend and the targeted audience. The dedicated team enables us to give an extra edge to our clients that allow them to thrive and relish the cut-throat market scenario.
Visit Fingent’s profile on TopDevelopers.co and understand our procedure of work, areas of focus, industry focus, client feedback, and service updates in detail. Or directly get in touch with our experts to know how we can help you solve complex business challenges with the right technology.
Every new project in an organization goes through an analysis phase. The information collected during the analysis forms the backbone for critical decisions with regards to the complexity, resources, frameworks, time schedule, cost, etc. Over the years, there have been several techniques to simplify the project analysis phase, but most of them still remain inadequate when considering the accuracy of the outcome. Even clearly defined projects can fall out during the later stages without an accurate analysis methodology in place.
Mitigation of risk in software projects turns out to be of prime importance. Usually, it starts with delineating precise measurements concerning the scope, performance, duration, quality and other key efficiency metrics of the project. Advanced analysis techniques like Function Point Analysis (FPA) bring a clear picture regarding each of these metrics, chiefly related to the project scope, staffing, cost and time, which helps in the management, control, customization of software development right from its initial planning phases.
Function Point Analysis is a standardized method used commonly as an estimation technique in software engineering. First defined by Allan J. Albrecht in 1979 at IBM, Function Point Analysis, has since then underwent several modifications, mainly by the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG).
What is Function Point Analysis?
In simple words, FPA is a technique used to measure software requirements based on the different functions that the requirement can be split into. Each function is assigned with some points based on the FPA rules and then these points are summarized using the FPA formula. The final figure shows the total man-hours required to achieve the complete requirement.
Components of Function Point Analysis
Based on the interaction of the system components internally and with external users, applications, etc they are categorized into five types:
- External Inputs (EI): This is the process of capturing inputs from users like control information or business information and store it as internal/external logic database files.
- External Outputs (EO): This is the process of sending out data to external users or systems. The data might be directly grabbed from database files or might undergo some system-level processing.
- Inquiries (EQ): This process includes both input and output components. The data is then processed to extract relevant information from internal/external database files.
- Internal Logic File (ILF): This is the set of data present within the system. The majority of the data will be interrelated and are captured via the inputs received from the external sources.
- External Logic File (ELF): This is the set of data from external resources or external applications. The majority of the data from the external resource is used by the system for reference purposes.
Below are some abbreviations which need to be understood to know the logic in-depth:
Data Element Type (DET): This can be defined as a single, unique, non-repetitive data field.
Record Element Type (RET): This can be defined as a group of DETs. In a more generic way, we can call this a table of data fields.
File Type Referenced (FTR): This can be defined as a file type referenced by a transaction (Input/Output/Inquiry). This can be either an Internal logic file or an external interface file.
Based on the number of DETs and RETs, all the five components of FPA are classified into High, Average and Low complexity based on the below table.
For Internal Logical Files
And based on the complexity, the FPA points are calculated
For External Logical Files
And based on the complexity, the FPA points are calculated
For External Input Transactions
As the External input is a Transactional type, the complexity is judged based on FTR instead of RET.
And based on the complexity, the FPA points are calculated
For External Output Transactions
As External Output is a Transactional type the complexity is judged based on FTR instead of RET.
And based on the complexity, the FPA points are calculated
As Inquiries is a Transactional type the complexity is judged based on FTR instead of RET.
And based on the complexity, the FPA points are calculated
As we now have the reference chart to find the complexity of each variety of functions discovered in the system and that we also have the Points that should be assigned based on the complexity of each component. We can now look into the calculation.
Steps to Count the Function Points
Below are the steps used in counting the function points of a system.
1. Type of count: The very first step of this process is to determine the type of function count. There are 3 types of function point (FP) count.
- Development Project FP Count: This measures the functions that are directly involved in the development of the final system. This would include all the phases of the project from requirements gathering to the first installation.
- Enhancement Project FP Count: This measures the functions involved in the modifications brought in the system. That is the changes made to the system after production.
- Application FP count: This measures the functions involved in the final deliverable excluding the effort of already existing functions that may have existed.
2. Scope and Boundary of the Count: In the second step, the scope and boundary of the functions are identified. Boundary indicates the border between the application being measured and the external applications. Scope can be decided with the help of data screens, reports, and files.
3. Unadjusted Function Point Count: This is the main step of this process where all the function points produced from the above FPA components (External Inputs, External Output, Internal Logic files, External Logic files, Inquiries) are added together and labeled as unadjusted function point count.
4. Value Adjustment Factor: In this step the value adjustment factor is determined. VAF contains 14 General system characteristics(GSC) of the system or application that defines the types of application characteristics and is rated on a scale of 0 to 5. The sum of all the 14 GSC rates are calculated to give out a mathematical value and is labeled as Total Degree Influence(TDI). TDI is used in the calculation of VAF and its value may vary from 0 to 35.
Below are the 14 GSCs listed and the mathematical formula for calculating the VAF.
- Data communications
- Distributed data processing
- Heavily used configuration
- Transaction rate
- On-Line data entry
- End-user efficiency
- On-Line update
- Complex processing
- Installation ease
- Operational ease
- Facilitate change
- Multiple sites
Once the unadjusted function point and value adjustment factor is calculated, the Adjusted Functional point count is found out using the two values. This is done with the help of the following formula.
The Adjusted FPC is then multiplied with a numeric value, which is the effort based on the technology. Some of the examples are below.
If the technology selected for a particular requirement is Java, then the formula to calculate the final hours are as follows:
FPC = (Non-adjusted FPC*VAF) * 10.6
This will give the total hours of effort required to achieve the requirement under analysis.
Merits of Function Point Analysis
- FPA measures the size of the solution instead of the size of the problem
- It helps in estimating overall project costs, schedule, and effort
- It is independent of technology/programming language
- It helps in the estimation of testing projects
- FPA gives clarity in contract negotiations as it provides a method of easier communication with business groups
- International Function Point User Group (IFPUG) – https://www.ifpug.org/
- ProfessionalQA.com – http://www.professionalqa.com/functional-point-analysis
- Geeksforgeeks – https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/software-engineering-functional-point-fp-analysis/
Custom Software Development: What To Do and Not To Do
The “build versus buys” debate in software development seems to have tipped in favor of custom software development as more and more businesses recognize the implications of customization on their growth. With rising competition, it has become imperative for each business to differentiate itself from its competitors in every way and custom software development rests at the core of this differentiation.
That being said, software development has seen its fair share of fails even when it is labeled custom. This makes it extremely important that your project is carefully planned out and well-executed. With many years of experience as custom software developers, we have put together a list of do’s and don’ts to help make your custom software development project a success. This blog will discuss 5 of them. Before that, let’s drive home the reasons why custom software is imperative for businesses.
Custom Software: The Backbone of Business
Custom software fulfills specific business requirements, which are unique to specific businesses. This helps businesses gain a competitive advantage and leverage the software to build processes that define an effective USP. While this in itself is an uppercut to reckon with, let’s have a look at a few more points that will help deliver the knockout punch in favor of custom software development.
- Solution Matches Need: Since custom applications are developed with your specifications in mind, the final solution will effectively address your needs. Therefore, it simplifies the entire business process saving time and effort.
- Minimal training: Tailored features make it very easy to use and require minimal training to get started on the software. When the software is optimized for each department, the interface requirements will be customized to match the needs and skill level of your employees.
- Works with your Business Model: As the custom solution is built around your business model, it will have the user roles and interoperability functions that your departments need to function effectively.
- Unique Code and Enhanced Protection: By developing a unique code that is specific to your software, custom software minimizes external threats and unauthorized access.
- Long Term Cost Benefits: Custom software helps automate several manual processes and thus saves on manpower. It also eliminates the licensing costs that accrue with off-the-shelf solutions.
- Increased Scalability: Custom software developers work on a long-term basis and can easily scale the software according to the growth of the business.
The Dos and Don’ts
There are several key steps involved in creating custom software. It involves a combination of foresight and creativity. Here are a few time-tested Do’s and Don’ts to help avoid the usual pitfalls that have been known to crop up in this process.
Don’t: Do not Ignore Preparation
Clients who are looking for a quick solution for their app requirements generally hire developers who agree to unreasonable deadlines. Under such circumstances, the planning and research step is often ignored and that has a ripple effect on the following stages. Not acquiring the necessary materials from the beginning can leave the company unprepared. This can lead to additional changes and the timeline for your project will have to be pushed back, not to mention escalating the costs involved.
Do: Prepare, Prepare!
The planning stage is crucial because it allows the developer to do a thorough SWOT of the idea. At this stage, some have found it helpful to include sketches or outlines and functionality options of the application. It works best to gather all the necessary information at the earliest stage to ensure your project stays on budget. This allows the project to stay on schedule.
2. Ensure its Customization
Don’t: Create for Yourself
You must have heard of the False Consensus Effect, where one thinks that others also think the same way he/she thinks. This can happen while designing the app. It is easy to put our ideas into a design and expect others to like it just because we liked it. That works contrary to the thought of customization.
Do: Keep it User-Centered
Consider carefully what the general user would appreciate. Developers must stick to the requirements drawn up at the planning stage while continuing to give their inputs on the initial ideas. Take pride in creating a user-centered app.
3. Technical Feasibility and Prototype
Don’t: Allow Misunderstandings
Misunderstanding the business’ requirements, miscommunication about the platform and the format can lead to major issues in creating the app.
Do: Keep Lines of Communication Open
Actively communicate with the team about the technical requirements and provide a timeline for building the prototype. It is difficult to visualize what an app would look like and how it will function unless there is a prototype. Ensure that you communicate frequently with management and obtain feedback at every stage of the development.
4. Design and Development
Don’t: Ignore Key Requirements
Design and development are the stages that take the most amount of time. Ignoring key requirements might lead developers to spend valuable time coding for a bad end-product. Functionality demands might be misread which leads to a loss of time and missed deadlines.
Do: Understand the Needs
It is vital to understand the UI/UX needs of the business to gain clarity and minimize work. The app will go through a lot of different changes. When changes are required, ensure that the development team and management are on the same page. Once decisions are made, stick to them.
5. QA Testing
Don’t: Be Negligent
The testing team should not be negligent towards post-development issues such as bugs, form functionalities, and security licenses. This could negatively impact the launch of the application. It could either be delayed or the app might face a post-launch backlash. Ensure that the app is not launched until all aspects have been tested and are up to the standards required.
Do: A thorough QA Test
App testing is a tedious job, but it is an important final stage. Compatibility, interface, security, and performance are some of the factors that should go through a rigorous check. Remember, after this whatever happens with the app will be in full public view.
Achieve Efficiency and Growth with Custom Software Development
Leading companies save time and costs in the long run when they customize their software according to their business model. Whether it’s creating accounting software or an HR solution or a customer-facing application, custom software allows you to choose the features you need for your business and employees. If you want to find business flexibility and growth, custom software is the right answer. It meets the needs of the company while allowing the business to grow without being limited by on-the-shelf software. To find how custom software development can do wonders to your business, call our experts today!
Find Business Success with Agile Software Development Methodologies
Agile software development methodologies have proven their mettle in recent years and “agile” is becoming a buzz word in software development and project management. It makes sense, therefore, to understand what drives the success of these methodologies and consider if your business could benefit from implementing it.
What is the Agile Software Development Methodology?
Agile Development works on the principles of iteration and incremental development. It does not rely on a linear method approach but focuses on rapid delivery of fully functional application components. The focus is not on tasks, but on time phases called “sprints.” These sprints are of specific duration and begin with a detailed plan of what is to be delivered at the end of a sprint. Continuous testing, feedback, and improvement are vital aspects of the agile methodology.
At the heart of the agile methodology is its focus on individuals and interactions rather than processes and tools. Rather than focusing on comprehensive documentation to prove a project’s worth, the primary measure of progress in agile methodology is delivering working, tested software. This serves as a basis for collaboration between teams and customers, gaining feedback and swiftly responding to change. Value-driven development is given prime importance with the focus on delivering visible results and business value continuously. This way, stakeholders and projects have complete visibility on where the project stands and the business value they can expect at any given point of the project.
Scrum is an important aspect of the agile methodology and deserves a mention in the context of discussing agile methodologies. Using the principles of agile methodology, Scrum advocates a self-organizing and cross-functional team. The Scrum method is supported by two specific roles – the Scrum Master (who acts as the coach to direct teams towards agility and high performance) and the Product Owner (who helps the team build the right product and represents the company and end users).
Why Agile Methodology Trumps Traditional Development Methods
There are many reasons why Agile Methodology is being favored over traditional methods worldwide. We have listed out a few:
Faster and Better Workflow:
Agile Methodology is completely different from traditional Waterfall Methodologies, where projects follow a linear approach and progress from one step to another only after the previous step is completed. The traditional time-consuming method of relying on comprehensive documentation and analysis before the design and commencement of the project is eliminated.
Implementation and development begin almost immediately in agile development and the processes and development is refined in increments based on continuous feedback from customers and project teams. This also cuts out the verification and maintenance stage in the Waterfall Method, where the end product is tested, bugs are fixed, and the code is maintained. In the agile method, this testing and bug fixing is already being done continuously throughout the project, ensuring that the final product is refined and ready to be deployed.
Multilevel and continuous planning:
The absence of detailed analysis before implementation in agile methodology does not mean that the project is initiated without any substantial planning. On the contrary, multi-level and continuous planning is a vital feature of the agile development methodology. The planning follows a just-in-time approach, which aligns the information available with what details are necessary at the time.
The planning usually happens on at least two levels – the release level and the iteration level. At the release level, planning involves identifying and prioritizing the necessary features required in the software. This gives a basis to decide which features must be worked on first. Planning at the iteration level involves which features must be implemented next and the optimal size of batches which can be practically delivered in a single iteration.
The most important feature of agile methodologies is that it places the customer at the center of the development process. Teams are directed to think of product design through user stories and use cases, which ensures that customers are always kept at the heart of the process. User stories specify the needs of the end users and the various scenarios that they will use to fulfill that need.
Use cases show how the product developed will help end users achieve the outcome they want in the user story. In this way, the whole development process becomes focussed on what the customer needs. This is the foundation of Customer Experience (CX), which is fast becoming the defining success factor for companies today.
Business Success with Agile Software Development Methodologies
Businesses the world over are embracing and implementing agile methodologies in their efforts to improve their project management capabilities and improve performance. The 9th Global Project Management Survey, which surveyed 3,234 project management professionals from all over the world attests to this fact.
According to the survey, 71% of organizations use Agile approaches in their business. “We believe that agility could also be used in multiple ways— in everything we do,” says Phillippe Husser, a survey respondent and Senior Partner of Progress Direction Michelin. “In fact, the world is changing very quickly around us, so much so that we cannot afford anymore to have projects taking two to five years to deliver, because, during this time, the initial requirements have changed.”
Case in Point: Ericsson
Ericsson is a leading provider of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers and covers 40% of the world’s mobile phone traffic. The company with around 100,000 employees is a classic case in point to show the successful implementation of agile methodologies even in large-sized companies.
The company used to use a plan-driven software process but switched to agile in 2012. One of their main areas of focus was to develop a XaaS platform and services that the customers would use as a service. The results have been phenomenal.
Steve Dennings, an expert on agile methodology and author of The Age of Agile, summarizes the success points of Ericsson’s adoption of agile methodologies this way: “Now with Agile management, Ericsson has over 100 small teams working with its customers’ needs in three-week cycles. The result is faster development that is more relevant to the specific needs of the customers. The client gets value sooner. Ericsson has less work in progress. And Ericsson is deploying one to two years earlier than it otherwise would so that its revenue comes in one to two years earlier.”
Find Success with Agile Software Development
Agile development and methodology is an integral part of Fingent Technologies and creating agile software products for different industry sectors such as healthcare, finance, education, entertainment and media, real estate and retail amongst others. Get in touch with us so we can discuss how you can get effective in your agile journey and find success.
The digital transformation wave that is transforming businesses across the world has had major influences on the way custom software development is treated by technology teams. Today software development is all about improving the experiences at multiple levels for businesses. Experiences include customer experiences from their end customers during a transaction journey and operational experience of staff who utilize technology solutions to drive more customer love. Technology is bound to change and business owners must be willing to meaningfully bring about changes in their custom software development concepts to incorporate the best solutions to run their business smoothly.
Reap your success in the digital age following these 5 custom software development trends
Let’s have a look at the changing trends in custom software development that warrants big attention from businesses across sectors. Following are our picks of the top 5 contenders in technology trends that every team engaged in custom software development must be aware of:
1. The growth of open source technology
A decade ago, you might not have found too many takers for open source technology. But, today only less than 3% of worldwide businesses do not use any form of open source software in their enterprise technology stack. In the initial days, it was largely seen as a playground for beginners in software development to try out building applications for free. Today the world’s biggest technology companies like Google and Facebook utilize open source software to run their most mission-critical systems. They also contribute significantly to the maintenance and growth of developer communities around these open source technologies. Take a look at all the leading application development technology available today like Java, PHP, Angular, React, Hadoop, etc. They are all open source and powers some of the world’s biggest enterprise and consumer-facing digital applications. If your business has frequent technology requirements, then this is a trend in custom software development that definitely needs to be on your top priority.
2. AI-ready software
AI is already a mainstream component of almost every digital platform that people use today. From e-commerce to movie streaming, companies are rolling out machine learning capability to help software learn more about its users and automatically provide them with great experiences. AI-powered chatbots are today serving queries of billions of people online and businesses are investing heavily in making these bots more intelligent by the minute. For software developers, it is essential to know the in and out of writing code that blends well with self-learning algorithms to provide optimal value for businesses utilizing applications that run this code. AI has a key role to play in the future when it comes to interacting with end customers directly. Hence custom software developers need to focus their skills on creating meaningful front-ends that can resonate AI actions, scalable back end engineering that can supplement complex AI algorithms and powerful databases that can deal with the huge volume of data that needs to be handled by AI systems to create meaningful experiences.
Related Reading: Find the top AI trends of 2019.
3. Cloud takes new dimensions
The world’s best run businesses today run their technology core on the cloud. From platforms to infrastructure, cloud computing has transformed the way enterprises use software applications. 73 % of the world’s businesses have at least one application or an infrastructure element on the cloud. From becoming more agile in terms of application engineering to saving fortunes by removing on-premise infrastructure costs, businesses are re-inventing themselves in the digital age. The benefits are endless – scalability on demand, global availability, top gun service providers in every niche, etc. With cloud computing, your technology workforce can be empowered with mobility i.e. the freedom to work wherever they want and with whatever resources they need. This is yet another trend that every business needs to take seriously to improve their ROI on technology investments.
Related Reading: Find how a cloud platform like INFINCE can untangle technology for business.
4. Security to be given a top priority
While the rise of cloud computing and the transition of on-premise software engineering to rich internet applications have created better digital experiences, they have opened new cans of worms for developers to deal with. In the US alone it was reported that there are over 130 large scale targeted breaches of confidential user data residing on enterprise applications of businesses. This figure is growing at an exponential rate of 27% every year as well. Security aspects cannot be overlooked now not even for the smallest of applications. Any vulnerability in your code will turn into a feasting ground for cyber threats in an increasingly internet dominated world. It’s not enough to write a great code but also to practice secure coding standards to enhance safety and ensure customer data is never compromised.
5. Customers are the heart of everything
Today it is not just your sales process or your customer relations team that needs to have end-consumer centric thinking on their operations. Even your custom software development team needs to have a work objective centered on a customer-first philosophy. Human behavior of your target digital audience needs to be modeled and referred to while creating applications. This is crucial for recommendation systems, lasting user experiences and above all improve brand loyalty by creating wonderful digital experiences. Feedback systems need to convey responses directly to core technology teams and they need to drill this feedback into the very depths of every implementation and every programming logic they use to achieve business goals.
These are our picks for the top 5 trends in custom software development that businesses of all sizes need to consider today. In an increasingly digital age where customers dictate the fate of every single of your investment, it is imperative for organizations to have a comprehensive look at how these trends can be incorporated into their technology roadmaps. Those failing to do so are in for massive repercussions as it doesn’t take decades for big corporations to fall to their heels for lack of innovation. The examples are right in front of you. Investing in the right technology with the right advisory is crucial for businesses to continuously innovate and stay relevant in changing times.[Custom Software Vs Off The Shelf – Fingent]
The Experts Speak: The Adoption of AI and ML in Software Development
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is transforming nearly every industry. In our previous blogs, we discussed how it is transforming finance, customer service, supply chain & logistics, and other industries. In this blog, we will talk about how AI and ML are radicalizing the software industry. We will look at the benefits of the adoption of AI and ML in software development and what industry experts have to say about it.
The Fundamental Shift in Software Development
At its very core, software development involves writing reams of rule-based code. Traditionally, developers had to specify every detail to let the system know what to do, and then customize the features of each piece of technology. With the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, this process becomes much easier.
Author, scientist and Google research engineer Pete Warden puts it well:
“The pattern is that there’s an existing software project doing data processing using explicit programming logic, and the team charged with maintaining it find they can replace it with a deep-learning-based solution … What I see is that almost any data processing system with non-trivial logic can be improved significantly by applying modern machine learning. This might sound less than dramatic when put in those terms, but it’s a radical change in how we build software. Instead of writing and maintaining intricate, layered tangles of logic, the developer has to become a teacher, a curator of training data and an analyst of results.”
Practically, this means a revolutionary change in the very essence of software development.
AI and ML in action
“Modern IT environments are incredibly (and increasingly) complex and ever-changing, leading to large amounts of time and resources devoted to monitoring, troubleshooting, and course correcting,” says Phil Tee, Cofounder, and CEO of Moogsoft Inc. “It’s a reactive position for most companies, but when teams use AIOps technology they can leverage change-tolerant algorithms and access indexed information. This allows them to spend more time focused on proactive, meaningful work rather than fixing the same problems repeatedly or spending time managing rules and filters.”
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can transform the entire Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Three ways in which it does this are:
- Synthesis of large volumes of data to predict the success or failure and business value of a project.
- Predicts accurate project delivery timelines, delivers project status updates and creates project schedules.
- Automatic diagnosis and rectification of problems in the project.
Let us consider the details of how this is achieved.
1. Turn Idea into Code Quickly and Effectively
The process from the inception of an idea to its actual execution into workable code is time-consuming and complex. Traditionally, developers must go through a long process of trial and error to get the basic code in place. Obtaining funding approvals for the project is complicated as well and requires getting the project to a prototype level even before requesting for funds. All this can be made easy with AI and ML. In the future, the system itself could learn to process ideas from natural language and suggest machine-executable code without human intervention. AI and ML are making this possible even now by teaching systems to suggest code completion. This way systems will slowly learn to generate code through predefined modules.
Considering the viability of a project also becomes easier and faster with AI and ML. Machine learning can help developers identify and prioritize the effects of the project based on business risk. This way, time and effort on unnecessary regression testing and rectification can be eliminated. A sound decision on whether the project is feasible or not can thus be made in the earlier stages.
2. Effective Project Management
Through pattern detection, AI and ML can be trained to use details of past projects to provide accurate estimates of the current project. Historical project details like bugs, test phases, actuals, and estimated values can be fed into the system and used to fine-tune the level of accuracy. Through this, the system will learn to predict accurate delivery schedules and create work schedules for individual members of the team. Risk Management, as well as Resource Management, can be better executed this way.
3. Automation of Testing and Error Detection
Pattern Detection is one of the most valued benefits of machine learning. This can be used effectively to automate the testing and debugging process in software development. One of the challenges of software testing is to come up with a list of most likely cases and scenarios that could affect the program’s performance. Through pattern detection, systems can look at past logs and generate a test case list automatically. They can also identify and classify error types and in time learn to automatically fix these errors.
Joe Colantonio, an expert on software automation and performance testing discusses what is possible with AI and ML. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could answer the classic testing question, “If I’ve made a change in this piece of code, what’s the minimum number of tests I should be able to run in order to figure out whether or not this change is good or bad?” he says. “Many companies are using AI tools that do just that. Using ML, they can tell you with precision what the smallest number of tests is to test the piece of changed code. The tools can also analyze your current test coverage and flag areas that have little coverage, or point out areas in your application that are at risk.”
Apart from making a big difference in the software development process, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will also change the way applications are made. With the power of AI and ML, developers will be able to design apps, which will be able to listen, think, speak, reason and make decisions. Vision Recognition technologies, Optical character recognition, and many more AI-powered capabilities will help developers create faster, smarter and better apps in the future. At Fingent, we endeavor to put this into action every day. There is no area that is immune to the changes that AI and ML can bring and we are determined to stay on top of it.
Related Reading: Top Artificial Intelligence Trends to Watch Out for In 2019
Software Development has shaped the economic and social face of the world in the last three decades. What was once considered gibberish and confined to the elite minds that put humans on the Moon and cracked the German Enigma is now a popular profession that has created landmarks like the Silicon Valley and icons like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. With the spurt in revolutionary product ideas in the late 90s, the need to put those ‘ideas’ into execution demanded the best development-skills, and this ‘demand’ has been only growing with time.
This brings us to an aspect of software development that has always been a vital business decision for companies – the most cost-effective engagement model. Business Software development has moved from being a mandatory in-house requirement by relaxing its rigidness and now accepting offshore and even freelance development. Choosing the right engagement model for software development is therefore essential to create state-of-the-art products without which it is impossible to survive in this cut-throat market.
Here is what we think about choosing the right engagement model:
1) The Package Tour aka the Fixed Price Model
Imagine this: You have decided that you want to visit a popular tourist destination, and it’s just to check an item off your bucket-list. The best bet you probably have is to take up a package that includes every attraction in the city; you may even fix the sightseeing spots which interest you before the tour starts!
This is a great option if you have done some meticulous research on the places you need to visit, the distances between them, the time spent in traveling from one location to another, the opening and closing hours of museums and galleries, and so on. The flip side is that you are in no position to experience flexibility. However, you can be satisfied that everything you’d asked for was provided and that you are not paying anything more or anything less than what you had agreed on initially.
Extend this to the realm of software development engagement; if you know your requirements, and your financial and temporal limits, this ‘Fixed Price’ model is the best choice for you. The Fixed Price model can also serve as a litmus test for hiring freelancers or development partners.
- It’s well-defined and well-negotiated. There’s no room for lapses.
- There is a push to get the complete picture of the software even before the development starts.
- There is no room for flexibility. Your eureka moment of a new feature should wait to materialize.
- Any gaps in communication would mean that the delivered product could be unsatisfactory.
The Fixed Price model works best for developing products on a short-term basis with features that are hot in the market, maybe with some additions and features that give it an extra garnish of appeal!
2) The Chauffeur-Driven Hired Car aka the Time & Material Model:
So, you’ve arrived at your destination, and you are feeling a bit adventurous and you are sure that you do not wish to confine your experience to a ‘package’. So, you decide to hire a car with a driver and pay that person for the time spent and distance covered (the experience and expertise of the driver would be an added variable).
In this manner, you are free to add items to your itinerary, and you are free to remove them at your will. You feel free to stop at any place and enjoy as much as you want, as long as cost and time are not concerns.
This is what the Time and Material model feels like for both companies and freelancers alike. Great products are not built because of a moment of realization, but by systematically accumulating and integrating ideas. For this to happen, flexibility is an essential attribute, which in this fast-paced market, in Sherlock’s words, is Elementary, Dear Watson!
This model also ensures continuous communication and a transparent and healthy vendor relationship.
- You Only Pay For What You Get (If only there was an abbreviation like WYSIWYG!).
- There is a definite possibility for networking, not just on professional, but also on social lines.
- Granular Monitoring on a regular basis, especially in Agile Methods.
- You pay until you get what you want.
- In rare instances, in unethical companies, there could be a deliberate delay in development.
We’re yet to come across a situation or an industry where this might not work; who would not want to get into a development method that is so flexible, accommodative and modular.
3) The Self-Driven Car aka the Dedicated Developer Model:
You arrive at your destination, and instead of trusting a package, or instead of hiring a car by the hour, you decide to take a car all by yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you drive your car for an hour in a day or 23 hours and 59 minutes in a day, it’s all yours. Drive it on the road, and (if the car allows) offroad – there’s no stopping you!
However, this comes with a condition – you will need to know where you’re going, and everything about where you will go, maybe not the route map, but at least the time and distance. All this might sound difficult, but at least, the comfort-point you have is that the car you’ve hired is as good as yours, except that it’s not.
Hiring dedicated developers to work like that – you can take them in-house, and you need to pay them a fixed amount on a monthly basis. Once your product is done, you can, without the guilt of firing or the pain of attrition, ask them to leave. This also means that you have saved up on the recruitment costs, and you don’t have to keep paying for a resource you no longer need.
This model brings the best of both the above models – you have agreed for a fixed payment on a monthly basis (with no hard restrictions on the product-features) and you are free to alter the product or the features, or even shuffle the resources based on their skill-sets!
- You are in complete control. It’s almost like having an in-house team.
- You don’t have to go through the hassles of administration and hiring.
- There is a sense of ‘belonging’ for the dedicated developers in terms of both- the product and the organization.
- It needs management skills and a blue-hat vision of the product to get the best out of a dedicated team.
- If you have both in-house and dedicated developers, there is a chance of conflict.
- Or even worse, there can be possible siphoning of talents!
You might have already sensed that we’re leaning towards the Time and Material model as it gives significant control, and with strategic planning, it could be cost-efficient as well!
Our recommendation is still strong towards the Fixed Price model for smaller products with limited functionalities, and for short-term projects like developing a module for an already robust tool. Conversely, if your project is long-term and extensive, it makes more sense to hire dedicated developers.