The software industry has always been at the forefront of innovation. However, chances are you feel pressured to modernize your products and processes at an even faster rate since the onset of COVID-19.
You’re not alone.
According to McKinsey’s Innovation Through Crisis Survey, most business leaders believe that innovation will be critical in the post-COVID economy. A further 85% of tech executives expect the pandemic to be one of the biggest growth opportunities in their industry.
Yet, only 21% feel their organizations have the commitment, expertise, and resources to face the challenge.
The good news is that innovative software development may be easier than you think. Let’s explore a handful of tried-and-tested business strategies you can use to successfully encourage innovation in your software team.
How to Drive Innovation in Software Development
The secret to building innovative solutions at a consistent rate is to set up your entire business process with innovative software development in mind. From the company’s culture and organizational structure to your teams’ daily activities and the tools they use, everything should encourage agility and creative thinking.
While there’s no one “best” organizational structure for innovation, consider implementing the following business practices as a minimum:
1. Enable an Innovative Team Mindset
Here’s a harsh truth: Only 6% of innovative ideas are commercially successful. But you shouldn’t let that figure dishearten you.
While some creative ideas can prove to be bad, encouraging creativity is the only way to have the rare strokes of genius that lead to real innovation and breakthrough software products.
Embrace that fact and give your software engineers reasonable room for brainstorming, failures, learning, and continuous improvement. Ensure that everyone feels welcome to make suggestions or implement changes and lead by example by not being afraid to make mistakes and test new ideas.
2. Give Your Developers Time and Space to Innovate
Every now and then, creative ideas may just pop into your mind seemingly out of nowhere. For the most part, however, the creative process is more about consistency and hard work than inspiration. Innovative software development takes time and steady effort.
To foster innovation in the long term, block out dedicated time slots to think, research, and strategize and actively encourage your software development teams to do the same. Incentivize the sharing of knowledge and set up channels for exchanging ideas and open, judgment-free communication.
3. Build Flexible and Scalable Software
Creative ideas alone don’t result in software innovation unless they are tested and successfully implemented at the system and architecture level.
With this in mind, you may need to adopt a more agile approach to software development. Leave room for change in your system and architecture and opt for fewer interdependencies and simpler, size- and audit-friendly solutions.
Microservices architecture can be indispensable in this regard. Unlike traditional monolith architecture, microservices break applications into numerous decentralized and loosely connected modules or services.
This allows developers to build, test, deploy, and maintain these services independently and simultaneously, making the software more flexible, scalable, and easily manageable and saving precious business resources.
4. Outsource Innovation
Coming up with innovative software solutions on your own can be challenging. If you are understaffed, running on a tight budget, chasing short deadlines, or your developers don’t have extensive experience in churning out actionable ideas, innovation may not be on the top of your to-do list.
This is where innovation outsourcing comes in. Instead of trying to go it alone and putting all the pressure on your software development teams, consider delegating some of the research, idea generation, and strategizing to an external provider. This way, your in-house team can focus on building products, project management, and running day-to-day operations.
Other benefits of innovation outsourcing include:
- Access to a larger talent pool: You get to partner with senior software engineers with extensive experience in agile services.
- Faster time to market: The extra hands on deck can help speed up the development process.
- Scalability and flexibility: External teams are much easier to scale than in-house ones as your project evolves.
- Access to mature processes: Why reinvent the wheel when your outsourcing partner has already developed and thoroughly tested the processes required to create the products you need?
Innovative Software Development & Innovation Outsourcing with Zartis
At Zartis, we know that modern and creative software solutions are the key to success in today’s economy.
To help you stay relevant and competitive, we created our bespoke innovation outsourcing services. They can help you close existing in-house skill gaps, benefit from the expertise of our senior software engineers, avoid costly mistakes, and develop industry-leading products.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and tell us about your needs. Then, sit back and relax as we leverage the latest advances in software engineering to help you achieve your business goals.