As employees and customers alike depend on digital products and services to sustain in these unprecedented times, cloud support services have increased pressure to perform without hiccups, while also offering more services to cater to constantly shifting business and consumer needs. Software development in Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has been well occupied in the process of accommodating businesses of all shapes and sizes, both local and international, to establish themselves onto the digital space.
While the move to digital was an overwhelming one, it nonetheless shed light on newer, fresher aspects that were required in order to embrace a ‘new normal’. Whether this was for employees, business owners or software developers, the potential to transform the prevailing technology landscape was massive. More people were opting for e-commerce and contactless purchase systems, while remote work was slowly being established for companies that were otherwise heavily reliant on in-person interactions. Add to this the already existing on-demand culture by today’s consumer base; with options aplenty for any product or service, capturing the attention of your target audience and delivering relevant conversions was now a task that was more challenging than ever.
As businesses shifted their strategies to accommodate drastic changes in work and shopping environments, this also influenced what IT outsourcing providers could and should offer, in order to keep clientele in business – and very much satisfied. While trends are always changing in the technology arena, they have made massive leaps during the past year. AI, for example, has become so mainstream that SaaS-based subscription services are now available for solutions that offer it as a key ingredient. Machine learning is also something which software and application development professionals are now getting familiar with, so bespoke programs can be generated by companies at the hands of skilled developers. As the world gets accustomed to shopping online by browsing with the help of technologies such as Augmented Reality, such trends are only here to stay, owing to convenience.
Whether it’s for buying groceries or for conducting your daily duties at work, the services provided by IT outsourcing agencies have hit home in due course of maintaining business continuity. Here are some trends that have taken flight, while others have been consistently prevalent through and through.
Although a norm in today’s technology landscape, the cloud computing market is still a perpetual trend for IT outsourcing in general. Encompassing the very foundations that other technologies depend on to function, the cloud in itself is constantly shifting and evolving to deliver more robustness and reliability through its varied services. What was once merely a storage service in a virtual environment has transformed to offer so much more; from application development environments to entire Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings, the cloud is a realm in itself. As a matter of fact, enterprises now have the opportunity to exclusively tie hands with a cloud service provider of their choice, to make it convenient for obtaining any service required (such as becoming a dedicated AWS partner).
While the cloud started by focusing on satisfying large-scale enterprise requirements, it has moulded to also deliver functionalities on a small-scale and individual level. Whether you’re a boutique business or a single-handed venture, there is a solution for everyone out there. SaaS-based services have made the reach of such offerings much more accessible, with subscriptions starting at nominal fees per month, sans any long-term commitment. Apart from providing cloud space to store files and other data, numerous collaboration tools are also part of the mix, such as IM and video conferencing. This way, users need not toggle between multiple applications to get tasks completed, and reliance on one central source adds to efficiency and transparency
AI has long since moved from being a technology that was only attainable by corporate giants, and for very selective uses. It has made its mark as a technology that is available on a SaaS basis; from subscription-based content paraphrasing to chatbots, nothing is off limits for the average business, when it comes to AI. Followed by machine learning as well as other auxiliary technologies such as Natural Language Processing, AI is well on its way towards becoming the norm, rather than an exception.
Data is an asset in today’s day and age, and AI is fuelled by it. Assisted by machine learning and substrata technologies such as deep learning, programs are being trained through data classification. As data gets fed in each round, the program learns to identify patterns better, and therefore make autonomous decisions without any manual intervention. Numerous leading IT outsourcing companies in 2021 already have the bandwidth to undertake such operations, and are subsequently also training programs on behalf of their clientele
The rise of smart devices has been a gradual one, but it is something that is growing with greater momentum thanks to social distancing and other restrictive policies. From home appliances to wearables, even the simplest of devices are getting digitized, so that they can function autonomously and optimally. Many IoT devices are equipped with edge computing capabilities, so devices need not rely on a central environment to process data and output relevant actions; all of this can be carried out locally from within the device. Whether it’s for healthcare or manufacturing, well-programmed IoT devices are going to be a boon for businesses large and small alike, as operations can be conducted autonomously – and sans any contact, to assist a ‘new normal’ post a pandemic.
IT outsourcing companies in Sri Lanka have long since jumped onto the bandwagon by custom-developing solutions to enable IoT devices for clientele, both locally and internationally. The trend is slowly starting to gain momentum as more end users seek better customer experience, and as businesses aim to reach customers better in the absence of in-person sales and/or contact. This goes well beyond offering software and application development services alone – a giant leap forward in terms of staying on par with the latest trends, and delivering the very same to ever-changing client requirements
This goes hand-in-hand with the concept of IoT and smart devices, which can reduce (if not completely eliminate) the need for any contact to be made at any point in a user’s purchase journey. With the rising popularity of on-demand services, the typical user journey has significantly lengthened, as multiple third-party services are integrated into a unified business model. As a result, some form of contact was inevitable during the buying process. However, a significant shift in how life has changed and how businesses have also had to adapt in order to maintain continuity has persuaded many to re-think and re-prioritize benchmarks surrounding customer journeys and overall buyer experience.
While software development operations aren’t responsible for other aspects that make a typical buyer journey successful (such as the quality of customer service or the product/service in itself) it is certainly a key driving factor in ensuring every step of the process is promptly activated, once its preceding step is completed. This calls for streamlined throughput, and one that is made intuitive with the intelligent use of data, interfaces and integration environments. Add to this the contactless variable, and modern software development/IT outsourcing firms have a challenge of great magnitude on their hands
The blockchain technology has been at the forefront of applying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to more mainstream use. However, the concept can also be applied to other uses, namely cybersecurity services. Decentralized Digital Identity (DDID) is a concept that has been gradually garnering much attention among technology enthusiasts lately, owing to its high transparency quotient. With users being given more control over their data, DDID allows for a more democratized approach towards handling data, thereby minimizing the risks associated with data breaches. Whether it’s for cybersecurity, real estate or any other industry, blockchain is a highly proficient technology that can be applied to more purposes than one – something which today’s software development teams can make the most of for their clientele, with careful strategy and deliberation
As software development companies aspire to build bespoke and optimized solutions, it will always be inadequate if a relevant security threshold isn’t included into any newly implemented system. Cybersecurity is an industry that is extensive yet intricate at the same time, and determining exactly which tools are required to safeguard enterprise systems is one that can seldom be determined from a ready-to-use subscription-based package – especially for larger organizations. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) are therefore highly sought after, as are solutions such as Unified Threat Management (UTM). By consolidating a variety of niche solutions and also offering hands-on expert assistance, vendors have strategically positioned themselves to adapt to any specific need.
With cybersecurity spanning so widely, software development agencies need to understand their clients’ varying cybersecurity needs, and address them appropriately. Whether it’s by obtaining security components by themselves, or by collaborating with an MSSP, software development teams need to stay at the very top of what’s unfolding in the cybersecurity space, in order to implement the right tools for their clients
With enterprise software vendors providing a bundled package of solutions, it is quite apparent that today’s software offerings are obsolete from individual, niche products (at least on a mainstream level). From VoIP to project management, many popular categories are replete with SaaS solutions that need little to no configuration, and can be used right out of the box with a nominal fee. In the context of software development, such solutions need to be considered from an integration standpoint. But they also call for perspective in terms of developing an overall solution that not only meets client requirements, but is also unified enough to handle numerous operations on its own.
When it comes to integrating third-party applications onto proprietary software, the focus needs to be on maintaining a unified quotient in order to deliver a holistic solution to end users. Whether it’s ERP, MSSP, UCaaS or pretty much anything else, software developers are gradually aiming towards maintaining seamless workflows within one centralized system – and between interdepartmental software.
As IT outsourcing continues to be a market which is determined by shifting business trends and consumer requirements, advantages pertaining to cost savings, flexible resource allocations and budget adherence are now positive by-products – as opposed to being primary motivating factors for businesses to pursue IT outsourcing. Cloud computing remains an essential requirement for any technology application, let alone IT outsourcing, while cloud service providers diversify their offerings to ensure software development teams and businesses alike have everything they need to maintain smooth technology operations, under one roof.
AI and machine learning are other incumbent technologies which are garnering more demand, especially after becoming more readily available. Software developers have long since adapted to building programs that are ‘trained’ based on data classifications, so they can operate autonomously once taught to deliver relevant results. Decentralized Digital Identity (DDID) is another concept that is powered by blockchain technology, which ensures optimum transparency and control to users and their data. While the applications for blockchain are still few and far between, the opportunities to use the technology are manifold – something that today’s software development teams can strategically think about.
Cybersecurity is another key area that IT outsourcing companies need to pay attention to, mainly because the protection of confidential data and networks is paramount in this day and age. Custom-built solutions need to have bespoke security components so that clients’ intellectual assets are safeguarded – and this can be done either directly, or in conjunction with a third-party MSSP. Last but not the least, unified solutions are a norm in today’s technology landscape, which puts the onus on software development teams to also consolidate auxiliary services for an all-round system. Whether it’s directly or via a vendor partner, integrating the right components to create a centralized system offers users a single point of approach, instead of having to toggle between multiple applications.