Software started as a small discipline in the 1960s, and limited applications kept it fairly isolated from most other industries. There were large computers, then personal computers. But then we blinked our eyes and software was everywhere. It’s now engrained in virtually every company. As consumers, we benefit from hundreds—if not thousands—of software programs each year, often without even realizing it. It’s become ubiquitous to our life experiences.
As consumers, we’ve come to expect that software will continue to make our lives easier and more enjoyable in just about every way. (Why go to the grocery store when we’re out of coffee beans if Alexa can remind us we’re running low, order more before it runs out, and make sure it’s delivered to our doorstep?) Our appetite for innovation and convenience has totally changed our expectations of companies in every industry. We want everything to have a tech component, and we expect it to work as well as our iPhones.
This is a tall order for most companies—especially those that are relatively new to software.
Some leaders think that they should just keep chugging along with their current software initiatives and will make the right progress over time. But is that truly the right answer, or is there a better solution where specific changes would make a huge impact?
Here are 5 signs your company needs a software transformation:
- You see the outsourcing of much of your software development processes as a long-term solution. If you’re spending a lot of money to purchase software solutions from the traditional big 5 consulting firms, or you continue to rely on an outside firm to manage this part of your business, you probably haven’t developed the right software expertise internally. It can be a smart move to engage an outside firm to help you build the right internal capabilities (that’s what Envorso does), but this works best as a short-term solution. Remember: your company is in the software industry now! That means software is a part of your business that’s here to stay—and your developers should ultimately be employees rather than contractors.
- You don’t have compelling career tracks for software developers to enhance their skills and get promoted. Retaining top talent is the name of the game. Once you find the right people, it’s crucial to develop them, help them grow, and give them desirable career opportunities within the firm. If you don’t, they’ll leave. It’s as simple as that.
- You have a large percentage of product managers/project managers/analysts compared with software developers. The right ratio for most companies is one manager/analyst for every four developers. This often comes as a big surprise to companies that are in the beginning stages of focusing on software! To compete in an industry where everyone is trying to improve the technical components of their offerings, it takes a lot of developers.
- You don’t have a software expert who has deep technical knowledge leading your team of software developers. Apple follows the philosophy that experts should lead experts. It’s like joining a world-class sports team where players want to learn from and play with the best. Employees are no different. That’s why you need a software leader developers will be inspired by.
- You don’t have a solid understanding of how specific software enhancements tie to your company’s strategic priorities. There are always a variety of options for continuing the build and improving software, but some initiatives will be much more impactful than others will. Senior leaders must partner with software developers to make sure everyone is aligned on how digital enhancements help differentiate your brand and improve the customer experience. This will ensure that work is being properly prioritized and internal resources are being used in the best ways possible.
Going through a software transformation can seem intimidating, but it’s worth it! When you have the right people and processes in place, you can make exponential improvements. Most companies that lean into their transformation and work with an outside firm to get started can become self-sufficient within a year.
If you’re interested in learning more about software transformation and how Envorso can help, contact us today.