Digital Transformation: The important roles of developers
Digital transformation enables businesses to become more agile, as well as improve and innovate the way they deliver products and services to consumers. Besides, digital transformation also helps businesses make informed data-driven decisions.
In 2020, Digital Transformation is increasingly becoming a critical focus of many companies in various industries, regardless of size.
Generally, the management teams will rely on in-house IT departments, and their team of software developers to make digital transformation a successful endeavor. Typically, developers will be responsible for the process of designing and building software and tools for digital transformation, which are necessary to provide the new and enhanced experience to both customers and internal employees.
Yet, one of the most common problems organizations face is the lack of technical resources to execute the transformation. This puts pressure on businesses where there is a prominent technical skills gap between in-house developers and what is required of digital transformation. Furthermore, another challenge of digital transformation is that business users who are owners of digital processes do not know where to kick-start their DX projects, resulting in a close collaboration required between the two teams.
Digital transformation requires not only emerging technologies but also a modernizing way of carrying out development and delivering software. Successfully modernizing the development process can indirectly increase the likelihood of success for digital transformation.
So, with IT departments and developers playing an important role in a digital transformation initiative, how should the development team move forward?
Below are some of the important factors businesses should consider before undertaking their DX project:
Purchase vs. In-house development
Typical Dx initiative requires new tools and software applications, which can be developed in-house or purchased from a third party, depending on the complexity of the business requirements and objectives of DX. The important factor here is that businesses must be able to find out whether they want to purchase out of the box solutions or build in-house, and the answer can be a mixture of both. Purchasing off-the-shelf can help accelerate the process while building in-house helps ensure the organization's particular requirements can be met via custom development.
Thus, all business needs should be thoroughly examined in order to determine the decision of whether buying or building in-house. Most of the time, the same objective can be achieved through a purchased solution, which allows developers to customize the solutions based on unique requirements rather than starting from scratch. This also frees up developers’ time to focus on other tasks which will have the strongest impact - ultimately accelerating time to completion.
Agile Software Development Methodology
After the software applications become available and are released to the public, business organizations should expect bugs and errors to be identified and reported for fixing and improvements - at a very quick pace to ensure customer satisfaction. Developers are required to constantly work on releasing the new build and making updates.
But when it comes to digital transformation, developers are expected to speed-up in order to keep up with the fast pace of change in business requirements. In particular, developers will have to learn fast and iterate more often, thus, it’s important to establish an agile culture within the IT department of your organizations.
Additionally, adopting a DevOps can allow your ops development team to work closely together, which enhances collaboration and reduces the time taken for release. This approach also enables your organization in adopting Digital Transformation practices, delivering a more pleasant experience, and ensuring one single source of a shared database.
Developers might need to be aware of any future planning such as annual plans or quarterly plans that are created and executed in silos, separately leading to slow down in digital transformation progress and implementations. By harmonizing the whole operation, businesses can gain insights into the real progress of transformation, therefore taking appropriate actions for improvements, building a culture that welcomes changes.
As changes are very likely to occur and because it also happens very frequently, companies need to carefully consider the software architecture in order to allow the developers team to respond to changes appropriately and in-time. A more loosely coupled, modular design can help the developer team to quickly perform their tasks with fewer dependencies, allowing them to make changes and updates, as well as replacing components over time to meet customers' expectations and business needs.
The advantage of being able to reconfigure or replace components without affecting the entire system also supports the purchase vs in-house development decisions, with the developers team can add-ons later to solve problems quickly.
Today, the business systems are operated in a collaborative, interconnected manner. Interoperability and data-sharing, as well as external APIs are all crucial when businesses release into the market new software applications as part of their digital transformation initiative. Digital transformation boils down to creating a digital ecosystem that allows a flowing both way within and outside of the digital transformation. Business organizations need to carefully take into account these aforementioned factors to enable a well-rounded, and smooth digital transformation approach.
DX should be an on-going process, Not a Destination
A successful digital transformation endeavor should be considered as a long-term on-going process, instead of an end-goal. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and digital transformation is necessary to enable businesses to stay competitive, keeping up with market trends, as well as become lean and agile.
As soon as your organization can accomplish a milestone, new changes will be introduced and required business to continue innovating, and re-adjust their works to reach the next goals. Adopting a process-oriented approach, the development team will be well-equipped to make the transformation successful.
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