Software development is a challenging task in itself because of the dynamic industry trends and innovation standards. Hence, there is continuous improvement and demand for accelerating releases from clients, stakeholders and competitors. All this, coupled with economic uncertainty, can affect organizations. Not to mention the pressure of putting together a competent development team in a limited time, which never goes away.
We have shortlisted six major challenges that are a hurdle to software development and need to be addressed.
1- High Competition from Across the Globe
Technology products are usually created for a global audience, and there are companies worldwide that are brainstorming and creating innovative solutions. Hence, with all this competition, there is a high chance of someone already working on the idea you have. Since every team is scrambling to reduce their time to market, a similar product might be released a few weeks before your launch date. As a result, other factors affect the competition, including price structure, client reach and service level agreements subject to the team’s location.
A project manager works with business executives, stakeholders and other involved parties to evaluate all the factors that may affect the success of their idea. They complete the research and calculate the return on investment before giving any project the green signal.
2- Outdated Legacy Systems or Infrastructure
Businesses invest their financial and human capital in the implementation, enhancement and maintenance. It includes patching new updates or solutions with older legacy systems and architectures. Over the years, organizations have become more and more reluctant to replace them despite knowing the challenges they bring. The older systems hold companies back from developing and releasing very advanced apps or software.
The resistance comes from the company and the various stakeholders who also have a vested interest in the old infrastructure or legacy system. To convey the benefits to them and dispel their fears, project managers have ways to communicate with third parties.
3- Quickly Evolution of Trends
Digital transformation is old news, yet some companies have yet to make the transition to newer systems and processes. Their outdated technology includes legacy systems that affect their end user’s experience. The information often cannot be located and is inaccurate, which causes organizations to promote poor decision making and lose money. They miss out on many opportunities that are hiding in their unorganized datasets.
Many digital transformations fail to bring in the guaranteed growth and increase in revenue. They fall short of expectations which further convinces the management to give up on introducing changes and updating systems. However, the reason is poor project implementation with clear business goals and no clarity amongst the lower-level employees.
Keeping up with trends requires development practices that are mature and follow Agile principles. You cannot develop them without investing in the right talent, data and tools. The digital transformation project should have a broad view and include long-term goals for the company as well. It would be best if you were prepared to include any new technology that will be trending in the coming years and always look far ahead.
4- Regressive Company Culture
The biggest change in the software development industry goes beyond technology and is related to the company culture. The way teams collaborate and work together has evolved over the years. A development team has processes and structures that make it easier for them to adapt to the dynamic work environment. They can quickly shift their focus to something new and respond to the customer’s varying needs.
Although it does not sound complicated, changing internal processes and breaking down existing silos is the biggest challenge in software development. Organizations do not realize the importance of such practices and how they maximize the output of new projects. The company culture should be in-line with the strategy for it to succeed.
No alignment leads to a disconnect between the upper management and employees. It does not promote a customer-centric approach and becomes harder for the implementation of Agile or DevOps practices. The challenge to cultural change is that the adoption should be in the top-down order. All employees have to be on the same page about the new changes and understand why the management added them.
The CTO’s job is to work with the HR department and make sure everyone is comfortable with the innovations and keeping up with the new processes. The communication plan should include an internal one as well as an external version for stakeholders.
5- User Requirements and Demands
Software often has multiple levels of users, starting with the basic, advanced and administrator level. Each user profile requires access to different functions, data and privileges. The teams should be aware of the different types of users and have specific systems in place for them. These are supposed to manage their rights and permissions but can be very complex depending on the size and scale of the business.
There is a lot of technical knowledge required to implement user-specific models and implement that their individual experience is smooth. The user requirements also continue to change, and they require more access or control depending on their level. These challenges are much more pronounced in financial systems, especially when they adhere to external standards such as those by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
6- Allocation of Funds/Budget
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have had to make many adjustments. As a result, businesses adapted to smaller budgets and figured out ways to keep up standards. Even though some sectors of the industry were booming, they still had to revise their budget allocation to make sure they were prioritizing with the current situation in mind.
The top-performing organizations focused on new ventures and ways to grab more opportunities. The CFOs revaluated business goals and redirected their investments towards digital transformation and strengthening of internal resources. Those who no longer rent office space could use those funds to hire more staff to promote new strategies or launch an upcoming solution.