Offshore Software Development Trends in 2012

The Drivers of Offshore Software Development

The offshore Software development trend has been around for a while now and many IT as well as non-IT companies all over the world are engaged in outsourcing their software development needs to offshore software development centers due to the various benefits provided by the outsourcing process. One of the leading drivers of this trend has been the reduced cost factor associated with the outsourcing process in general. During the credit crunch caused by the global financial crisis, companies were focused on reducing costs and the offshoring process helped reduce overheads and improve the outsourcing company’s bottom line. In other cases, non-IT firms with no or minimalist IT departments also outsource their software development requirements as developing such software in-house often tends to be cost prohibitive. The lack of expertise of a company with regard to use of a specific set of software tools/platforms necessary for developing one or more applications is another driver commonly associated with such outsourcing. Such non-IT firms include industries from a wide range of sectors including but not limited to transport and logistics; education; healthcare as well as banking and financial services. Each of these sectors and even companies within the same sector, however, require unique solutions suited to their own needs. Many organizations also follow a blended approach by mixing outsourcing with in-house expertise to develop the necessary solutions.

Leading Offshore Software Development Priorities

Many companies across the world are currently engaged in developing new software products/applications according to the requirements of clients. New software development is expected to account for a major portion of the software revenue in 2012 and beyond. A close second is the requirement for companies to upgrade their existing software application by integrating new technologies/modules into their already deployed solutions. In 2012, the integration aspect is expected to gain more ground as new technologies/applications increase the benefits provided to organizations by the current solutions. The main benefit of such integration is the reduced deployment time for the company as well as the decreased cost of development as compared to in-house development. The consumerism of IT (CoIT) trend is also beginning to affect the market as users demand a superior user experience delivered by these solutions. As the market for solutions which go beyond delivering basic functionality expands in 2012 and beyond, the focus of many an offshore software development company is expected to shift towards using new technology to develop better User Interface (UI) and graphics for solutions, which were deployed earlier in the enterprise. Such development is often classified as custom software development, is also expected to witness robust grow among offshore development companies in the year 2012 as well as the recent future driven by increases demand across multiple industries.

Other key functional areas for offshore software development operations include performance improvement-based software development as well as the continued maintenance and support for existing solutions. As more and more companies deploy software solutions in order to gain a competitive advantage in the intensely competitive market, the number of performance enhancement contracts between organizations and offshore software development firms is expected to increase. Another software development area expected to witness rapid growth in 2012 is the development of dedicated mobile apps. The focus on developing apps for mobile is expected to continue in the recent future driven by increased enterprise mobility requirements and the growing adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) philosophy by enterprises. A related area which is forecast to grow in 2012 is the development of cloud apps for use by the enterprise as well as the development of improved security solutions to ensure superior data security and compliance with all existing regulations of data protection.

Leading Deployment Areas for Software developed at Offshore Locations

The requirement of software developed by offshore centers is not limited to any specific industry therefore the list of probable deployment areas is quite large and expected to grow further in 2012 as technological advancements open up new application areas. However, the development of data storage/management/Business Intelligence software is expected to be the leading business area for offshore software developers in 2012. Such solutions are deployed by a wide range of industries to cope with the explosion of digital data and facilitate an informed decision-making procedure, which is expected to propel continued growth of the Business Intelligence solutions market. Other leading deployment areas for software developed at leading offshore locations include applications required by the financial and healthcare sectors as well as solutions deployed for managing processes/projects and applications which are necessary to facilitate enterprise-wide networking and communications. Other areas of interest for these companies in 2012 include applications for facilitating the deployment of e-commerce, CRM, content (document) management platforms, online analytics etc. Overall, in 2012 and beyond, the industry is expected to witness robust growth as companies increase their IT expenditure with the intention of gaining a competitive advantage in the market.

Development Platforms Preferred by Outsourcing Enterprises

Among the available software/application development platforms currently in use today, internet/web-based development platforms are expected to dominate the offshore development market in 2012. However, enterprise application development platforms and SaaS/Cloud-based platforms are also expected to witness growth as more organizations issue contracts for new solutions based on these emerging platforms. The emergence of BYOD is also expected to result in the development of various mobile platform-based applications in the recent future, while desktop application and embedded platforms are expected to witness only marginal growth in 2012 due to the perceived restrictions inherent to these platforms.

Leading Offshore Destinations around the World

Over the years, India has traditionally been the leading offshore software development destination for firms based in the US and Europe. This situation is not expected to change in 2012 even though emerging players are expected to partially erode India’s current lead in the global offshore development market. Emerging markets, where organizations are currently outsourcing their software development requirements include Central and South America mainly Brazil and Mexico; various countries in Eastern Europe; China; countries in the Asia-Pacific region such as Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam; as well as Russia and Ukraine. Over the next few years, these emerging players are expected to provide stiff competition to software development centers based in India. The key criterion for competition among these offshore development centers is forecast to include overall cost, development quality, project/client handling procedures and the total development time required. However, even in the face of such challenges, India is expected to retain a dominant position in the global offshore software development market in the year 2012 as well as in the recent future.

What Is a Software Development Life Cycle?

A set of instructions for the computer to read and understand to perform a specific task is called a Software. Software development is the process to use computer programming to develop a software. This is not new for many, but the topic under consideration will be new for many. SDLC or Software Development Life Cycle, is the process of developing a new software.

The process of developing a software is not difficult to understand. The procedure of SDLC goes like this:

  1. Gathering and then analyzing the requirements to develop a software
  2. Designing of the software
  3. Coding or programming
  4. Testing the software
  5. Deployment
  6. Maintaining the software

Gathering and Then Analyzing the Requirements to Develop a Software

This is the initial phase. Like starting any business, starting to work on a new software requires a plan. The planning phase will include the project managers, stakeholders and even some senior software developers. No matter how professional or for how long the software development company has been operating, the planning is not an easy phase to follow. Although, it would take less time for experts to plan a new project and then to start working on it but still there will be some questions that must always be answered before taking on any project. Following are some questions, which needs answers before taking on the project:

  • Who will be using the software?
  • How they will be using it?
  • What is the required data to input?
  • What will be the output of the input data?
  • What is the purpose?
  • What skills are required?Will there be a need to hire new personnel or the current staff have the right skills and the capacity to work on this new project?

Find their answers. Is the project worth it? A thorough analysis is required here. There will be more questions that need to be answered before taking on this new project. All the work is documented for future reference.

Designing of the Software

Now comes the second phase, the designing of the software. On the basis of the documentation and the results of the first phase, the system and the software is given a design. From this, the developers comes to know the requirements of the hardware and system required to complete their new project. This phase will also define the system architecture. The designing phase will set the requirements for the next phase.

Coding or Programming

Here comes the role of the software developers. The system design documents are now divided into modules and the developers now start their job. This is going to be the longest phase of all. Programming is done here and it’s known to all that programming isn’t an easy job. It needs plenty of time, expertise and patience. Once done, the software developer sends their work to the tester.

Testing the Software

When in the production business, the quality of the product is always monitored and tested. So is the case with a software development. When the coding is done, the software developer sends their work to the Software Quality Assurance department /personnel. They will overlook the work of the software developers. The software quality assurance or the SQA for short will look for bugs and test the software. The test will be made as per the requirements and the guidelines mentioned in the requirements document. Unit testing, integration testing, system testing, acceptance testing is done by the SQA and if found deviations or errors, it’s sent back to the software developer. The procedures will keeps on repeating themselves until the software is bugs free and ready to deploy.

Deployment of the Software

On successful completion of the software and the testing, it is sent to the concerned client or is available to the public.

Maintaining the Software

Only the non-serious professionals or the ones not willing to carry on their business will not look back to their software but the serious developers will. Every software needs updating and maintenance. Whenever the software encounters some troubles, the software developing company will be there to fix it.

SDLC follows a simple procedure and it doesn’t require you to be a businessperson to know all the phases of SDLC. Every software developer and software developing company knows it all. So when hiring a software developing company you can rest assure that the procedure will be done in a professional way and the best product will be delivered.

Ways To Effectively Convey The Business’ Needs To The Software Developer

The Need For Effective Communication

Many experts believe that the first step in the software development process is properly conveying the needs and requirements of the business to the software developer. This belief cannot be any truer as the need to effective communication between the business and the software developer is extremely integral to the overall success of the development project. There are countless stories where clients and software application users grumble about novice and unskilled developers who delivered a product completely at odds with what they were paid to develop.

Ways To Ensure Proper Communication

Looking at all these trends, it barely needs to be emphasized how crucial it is for businesses to communicate what they want. Effective communication can help businesses to develop and deliver the software within the prescribed deadline and budget. The following steps can help businesses to ensure the best possible outcome:

Define the business need -It is obvious how integral it is for a business to properly define its needs and requirements before the project is initiated. However, businesses need to keep in mind that It is equally important that the software developers are conveyed what the requirements of the business are. If the business does not make an effort in conveying details on requirements in an articulate and eloquent manner, the final product of the project is bound to come out different and the software developers cannot be blamed for it.

Describe the problem rather than the solution -Once the goals and objectives of the project have been successfully established by the software development company, it needs to devise a strategy that defines how these goals should be approached by its team of developers. It is best to help software developers identify what problems need to be fixed. It is also important for the betterment of the project to value the input of the developers and to trust them on their recommendations as this helps to boost their confidence.

Define the users -Businesses should also define the audience to whom they plan to make the software available. This is essential when the software has to meet certain personalization criteria which require it to be tailored according to the specific tastes of the client. Defining what market niche the software is targeted to will help the software developer to better understand its requirements and dynamics.

Distinguish between user interface, platform, and content -Businesses are naturally possessive and personal about their software projects.However, developers may not necessarily employ the same perspective when they look at things. There is a high chance that developers will see some important differences that differentiate their roles. These differences are the user interface, platform, data managed and the actual data. The business should make sure that the software developer is able to distinguish between these three aspects during the development phase.

Conclusion
This discussion simply explains tips that are essential in order to convey to the developers what the requirements of the business are. It does not detail how a right developer is to be chosen or how to ensure successful completion of the software development project. However, it is enough to help businesses clearly define software requirements, which is the first step towards successful completion of the project.

Job Roles Defined: Tasks That a Software Development Company Generally Carries Out

Introduction

Companies who handle the task of manufacturing the software service follow a process consisting of certain strategies step by step in order to deliver optimized software on the basis of the client’s requirements.

But prior to that, comes the procedure of developing software. Tailoring a software from the scratch or modifying existing software for the further modification compels the developers to go through a monotonous, painful and frustrating method. But most of them don’t know that there are thousands of ways through which the software development process can be facilitated.

SDLC or Systems Development Life Cycle

A software is always created for future use. Most of the organizations produce it for their own usage and some of them are produced for the clients. Sometimes, the organizations make the software from scratch and sometimes, they modify the existing software. Due to this reason, most of the big software development companies adopt SDLC or Systems Development Life Cycle method also known as the Software Development Life Cycle that actually splits the entire process into separate phases that includes computer programming, planning, developing, documenting, testing, bug fixing and finally deploying & maintaining frameworks and applications that consequence in a software production.

Drawbacks

Splitting of this entire process may facilitate the procedure, but it also produces certain risks that may come up at the time of estimation, scheduling, and testing. To avoid this thing, most of the organizations maintain a set of rules or proven guidelines for a successful project handling as per the customer requirements.

What strategies do the organizations use nowadays?

The SDLC models that the big organizations or MNCs follow can be of various types. Nowadays, the Agile software development methodology is in use the most because of its easy-to-use technologies and cooperative strategies.

The entire process can be divided into two portions. First is the Software Creation and second is the Software Project Management. A proper project delivery depends on the proper execution of the multiple operations to accomplish the targeted result within the deadline. But creating the software is not enough. Testing and maintaining of the software for the lifetime takes a lot of efforts of the developers.

Purpose of software creation service maintenance

There is a vast difference between creating website or application and producing software. To be very frank, developing software itself is an entire process and most of its parts are elusive. This is because the technologies are highly volatile and are constantly changing. That is why most of the software are custom made and are made on the basis of the requirements. The frequently changing nature and the advancement of the technologies are quite vulnerable to the business & environmental challenges that produce risks for which it is important to maintain the software production service.

The necessity of a software project manager

For the proper maintenance, most software development companies deploy software project manager. The challenges that the software project manager generally handles are as below-

Maintaining the quality of the software.
Delivering the quality software within the deadline.
Following the process and SDLC methodologies while developing the software.
Keeping the cost within the client’s estimated budget.
The software service is a vast subject that can’t be covered within one article. Please do follow us for more upcoming articles.

5 Benefits of Agile Software Development

Agile software development describes a unique approach to computer programming. The popularity of the concept really took off more than a decade ago in 2001 when a group of experienced software developers got together to document the best way to develop software. This effort culminated in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, a publication detailing the 12 core principles of this unique approach to creating software.

Over the years, the popularity of the agile approach is increasing as individuals, project teams, and entire companies recognize a variety of benefits.

A primary feature of agile software programming involves breaking projects into a series of regular, predictable iterations, or development time periods (also referred to as “sprints”). While the length of these iterations may vary project to project and team to team, they typically last between 7 days and one month.

Agile software development is often contrasted with the waterfall approach to programming. One of the major differences between the two approaches involves the issue of software testing. In the waterfall approach, software is created and then tested just before implementation. With agile, software testing is done on an ongoing basis, repeatedly throughout the coding process.

The scrum framework is another popular methodology used by many teams engaged in the agile approach towards custom software development. This is an organized, collaborative approach that encourages cross-functional teamwork, regular communication, and a clear focus towards well-specified common goals.

5 Benefits of Agile Software Development and Scrum

The popularity of agile software programming has grown exponentially over the past decade for a number of different reasons, and there are now many champions of this approach. Follow along to learn five benefits of the agile approach to software development:

  1. More Productivity – During agile software development, the workload is broken up into smaller chunks and the deliverables are completed in shorter iterations. This decreases the chance that programmers get too far off track on a project, and when problems do happen, they are more easily identified and corrected more quickly.
  2. Increased Morale of Programmers – Many computer programmers prefer to do their work in smaller achievable pieces, rather than big overwhelming tasks that may lack clarification. This helps people recognize accomplishments and better measure progress which tends to increase overall morale both individually and on a team.
  3. Clearer Communication – Both agile and scrum encourage clearer and more frequent communication between all of the business partners involved in a software project. The scrum framework establishes an organized process for daily communication and responsibility, creating tighter team bonds and greater project clarity.
  4. Higher Quality – Agile and scrum often lead to a better end product because the project work is divided into smaller units which are easier to test and validate along the way. In the end, this typically leads to fewer errors and higher overall quality.
  5. Predictable Costs – Because cost estimates are typically required at the beginning of each iteration in the agile software development work cycle, estimating costs tends to be easier and more transparent. Predictable costs also improve decision making about priority features and project changes.

While agile programming is dynamic and includes a range of approaches and preferences, the fundamental structure to agile software development yields some clear benefits for business leaders, software developers, project managers and others.

An increasing number of companies are seeking talented people trained in the agile and scrum approach and more software consulting and IT staffing firms are featuring career opportunities for individuals with these skillsets. Given the many benefits of this unique approach to programming and project management, it is likely that the popularity of agile for developing software will only continue to increase.