After a Pandemic, Software Developers Will Be at the Forefront of the Digital Acceleration that Will Restore Normalcy

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a variety of challenges, however it has also provided opportunities for businesses to be innovative and agile in their decision making. Chief Executives and Chief Financial Officers of organisations of all sizes have had to develop new strategies and act promptly. Having acquired these skills, they will now be looking ahead to the “next normal” that will follow the pandemic.

Technology plays a major role in many current trends. However, it is not enough to simply focus on technological development. For businesses to be successful, they must seek the help of qualified professionals. Businesses that are looking to progress could benefit from the expertise of software engineers in areas such as consultancy, innovation, cyber security and software design.

Companies are now facing the challenge of achieving in a few months what would have taken years to accomplish, highlighting the necessity for speed. Additionally, competitors are intensifying their efforts in anticipation of the pandemic’s end, so businesses must sustain their current velocity if they wish to remain successful. In this article, we examine how outsourcing software engineering is aiding digital acceleration in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Consulting

In order to undertake a successful digital transformation, it is essential that a business has a clear understanding of their current situation and any future objectives they may have. Expert software developers can provide invaluable research and consultation in order to help design an effective strategy.

Many businesses have been struggling to adjust to the challenges of operating a remote workforce since the beginning of the pandemic. Whilst some have been able to cobble together a solution using a variety of off-the-shelf applications, this may not be a viable option in the long-term. This is an issue that needs to be addressed as many businesses that have adopted a remote working policy want to maintain it even after the pandemic passes.

A digital strategy for the future could include the development of a platform that integrates multiple processes, such as communication, production and operations, which are currently managed by separate applications that are not always compatible. Software development professionals are aware of how other organisations are addressing similar challenges and could offer solutions based on their own insights.

Innovation

Businesses across a range of industries can benefit from embracing new strategies that make use of technology. This includes the technology sector itself, as well as energy, healthcare, e-commerce, manufacturing and retail. An example of this trend is the increased adoption of telehealth as a viable method of delivering medical care. However, it is important for medical professionals to be able to assess the efficacy of their treatments.

Software specialists can provide solutions to healthcare facilities, by suggesting existing solutions or developing customised programmes to meet specific requirements. The retail sector has been significantly impacted by the necessity of social distancing, however, new technologies such as ‘touchless’ shopping and online support may help businesses to recover.

Chatbots and robots are becoming increasingly prevalent in many industries. Their purpose is advancing beyond the traditional role of an FAQ generator, to providing more sophisticated solutions utilising Natural Language Processing (NLP). This allows them to provide more tailored and comprehensive responses to customer inquiries. In the future, chatbots could be used for a whole range of tasks, such as making appointments and monitoring patients’ vitals.

Robots are proving to be incredibly beneficial in the healthcare and industrial sectors, as they are able to take patient temperatures, clean and deliver meals with increased efficiency. It is possible that robots may even be able to carry out routine office duties such as typing and taking phone calls in the future. Amazon, being renowned for its extensive use of robots in its warehouses, trucks and drones, has recently purchased a robotics business, further demonstrating the potential of this technology.

Security

As technology advances, it becomes increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially in the case of IoT and other cloud-based, internet-connected technology. Unfortunately, due to a lack of expertise, businesses often prioritise more pressing issues such as meeting sales and production goals over cybersecurity.

The potential ramifications of failing to adhere to the correct protocols can range from relatively minor issues, like production delays, to far more serious outcomes, such as the loss of confidential customer information. In the event of the latter, resources that could be used for innovation, production or customer service may need to be redirected to address the problem.

Cybersecurity professionals are becoming increasingly aware that internal threats must be taken into consideration. As a result, Zero Trust security frameworks are gaining popularity. Continuous authentication, authorisation and validation of all system users should be implemented, and experts in the field can help organisations to devise suitable strategies to achieve this.

Even businesses with an established internal IT team may find it beneficial to consult a cybersecurity specialist prior to making any significant technological alterations.

Engineering Complex Software for Large Organizations

Software professionals with experience in advising, inventing and resolving cybersecurity concerns are well-placed to create and develop bespoke applications. For example, omnichannel communication is essential in order to meet consumer expectations of being able to contact support staff at any time, and on any device.

The issue is that off-the-shelf business systems may not be able to offer the necessary requirements. Software engineers are essential for businesses that require tailored functionality in order to deliver a product that meets their own and their customers’ needs.

Professionals in this field can help businesses become self-sufficient in software development. Low-code and no-code platforms allow individuals without programming expertise to create customised software by simply dragging and dropping graphical components. These options may be limited when it comes to developing complex systems, but can be a viable choice for simpler and more streamlined systems.

Innovating the New Norm

It appears that the ‘new normal’ post-pandemic will be similar to the one that has been accepted during the pandemic. Going forward, digital transformation will be characterised by innovation, quick decisions and the removal of obsolete restrictions. As companies embark on this exciting journey, they should learn from the experiences of those that have already gone through it.

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