Technology, IT, innovation, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) are the ultimate dream of an informed investor. And this interest will not go anywhere in the near future. As a result, such professionals as solution architects, project managers, programmers, and testers are in high demand. The IT industry is moving forward, which means it is getting more competitive than in the past.
A few years back, starting an IT company was much more straightforward and simpler. It does not mean that all startup ideas have already been exhausted, but it's not easy to develop an innovative idea that can provide sustainable cash flow in the long run. And even if you can, you still need to find a way to protect it from being copied and to be able to navigate in a blue ocean or avoid ending up fighting for customers in a red ocean.
It is interesting to watch how our understanding of competitiveness in business has been changing as technologies evolve. In the past, building a website meant developing from scratch an own CMS (Content management system) and developing and hand-coding it through the years by adding more and more functions.
Past vs. Present
Today hand-coding solutions from scratch is not how the business works.
In IT, you do not try to convince a customer to reinvent the wheel and offer, for example, to build the whole new ERP solution from scratch. Today's need is to build connected ecosystems, and with the availability of frameworks and APIs, the need for hand-coding from scratch has significantly reduced. Low-code and no-code development platforms, headless solutions like headless eCommerce, or headless CMS - these are the approaches that drive the business today. Think of Hubspot for Sales or Magneto for eCommerce.
It actually means that a solution developer consultant should always recommend the best solution, or best-of-breed, by picking and combining the best alternatives in the market; the rest is APIs' doing their magic. Competitiveness of the market is not something to be taken lightly. If you had taken the approach of reinventing the wheel, you could not compete with software houses that chose the consultancy path regarding prices and delivery models. What is easier: configuring eCommerce and making some tweaks or entirely building it from top to bottom?
IT now focuses on being experts in libraries, technologies, and frameworks that allow us to extend the functionalities of complete products and even integrate them all together (like us using Frends iPaaS to create a healthy integrated IT landscape for our customers). And this is the only way we can be ahead of the growing number of companies joining IT competition.
Meeting customers’ expectations
Let's have a closer look at what customers expect today from a modern IT house:
For example, there is a decision between two expert DevOps Teams of consultants with equivalent experience and skills. What will define the choice? The three aspects that can change one's mind are:
Rates are pretty simple. There can be some room to stretch the margins, but any business should aim at growth and profits. How to keep the rates competitive without compromising quality or speed? The quality and speed are more complex factors and should go hand-in-hand. It is crucial to have proper DevOps tools that both increase the quality, speed up the development and reduce project costs.
From an IT consumer's standpoint, it is easier to integrate multiple systems in the form of a drag-and-drop BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) diagram. And, as a result, to have in the future easier monitoring and management of the processes. What comes to consultants' work, solving a production issue via just viewing the instances of failed processes is much faster than reading thousands of lines of logs.
For this reason, planning the tech stack and providing the right tools is so important. The right technologies can ease the DevOps and BizDevOps struggle and bring a competitive edge to you as an IT house and to your customers.
From our vast experience in Frends, we have been observing the growing demand for businesses in various industries to go towards:
- best-of-breed instead of all-in-one
- building an infrastructure for faster deployments, which means a shorter time-to-market, and the launch of new services
- the possibility for hybrid deployments & reducing compatibility issues
- legacy systems' lifetime extension
- better transparency and visibility of processes
- unifying real-time data sources for decision-making and BI (Business Intelligence)
- DevOps 2.0 or BizDevOps, which means lowering the barrier of participation and aligning development and business
We see from our very same experience that offering an integration platform as a service as the backbone for the projects that address the demands listed above is the most optimal and modern approach. As a consultancy, you fulfill "Rates. Quality. Speed." demand, and a customer receives an agile and flexible solution that is easy to maintain. A true Win-Win for both sides.