The past year has prompted a PC renaissance as PCs and other home devices, like tablets, experienced exceptional growth with more people purchasing individual devices out of necessity to stay connected. Understandably, this surge in demand for at-home connectivity skyrocketed in 2020 to now accommodate remote learning, work and play, urging users to seek solutions that enable them to navigate IT challenges, device damages and mitigate security risks at home.
In response to this shift in usage, leaders in technology companies must reevaluate the way they approach and invest in IT software solutions to ensure consumers are equipped with the adequate level of protection and aid needed to support new computer usage habits and provide safer, more reliable computing. The path to achieving this will require a simplistic, agile strategy and close consideration of users’ needs and wants.
The New Normal has Adapted for Simplicity, so Should Software
Complexity still ends up in IT solutions far too often and is an area for improvement that still needs to be addressed. Solutions and applications should be built with ease of use in mind, from the application itself, to how the device is set up, to access and security, whether via the cloud or a corporate VPN—this should never be a test of the user’s technical capability. When you look at this strategically, the core design approach is to create solutions and devices that adapt to the user, not forcing the user to adapt to the new device.
We have brilliant devices today that can still be rendered completely useless due to simple roadblocks, such as outdated VPN access codes, old operating systems, reconfiguration of long-held data and more. The difference is the software layer and enabling device-to-device connectivity. Your device should know where you are and determine whether or not it is safe to open up its access. This removes the complexity of the user having to decide if they’re operating in a secure location and if they can work in that location with the data and applications needed.
Adapting to New Software Strategies Proactively vs. Reactively
When it comes to software strategy, we’ve made so much progress in the technology that the focus now—and rightly so—rests on the problems that need fixing, and the route we take to get there is never certain or predictable. Software planning cannot be done the way it’s been done for years, it has to be proactive and in step with the way our customers are heading, not where they came from. It’s changed for good.
You now know where you’re going strategically. You now know you can’t get there in a straight line. It’s the software-cloud-edge-client model that enables development teams to be agile and iterative, placing you in the position of knowing where to go next. The customer wins because they get to market faster and enjoy the benefits of the solutions sooner. The software developer wins because the customer is happy, and the approach taken has been effective, fast, and profitable. As a strategy for software development, this is the way forward.
Developing Software with the Customer at the Epicenter
Understanding how and if you are providing something of real value, defined on the user’s terms, is the key to differentiating between success and failure. To understand the importance of the software release, you must start with the needs of the user. Creating a solution that satisfies the user’s desired outcome or objective and not on how many features the user might think they want, is the difference. It is also the difference of seamlessly combining hardware and software that will define the value of that solution.
With hardware, it’s often about performance definitions, as if you’re describing a motorcycle’s performance. With software, it’s around what the device can do that’s different and valuable—which is the fun you can have on your bike, where you can go with it, and whether you want to race it. You need hardware as well as software, and combined, they bring value.
Putting these Values into Practice
Improving the dependency, uptime, functionality, and simplicity of today’s user experience will mean the difference between exceeding demands and expectations or losing pace with the rapidly changing software environment. A new dawn has risen and will continue to rise where software solutions are more proactive, simpler and more customized for the end user than ever before. By evaluating your current software strategy and ensuring you have the infrastructure and staff to be as agile as possible, you will set your organization up to rapidly identify opportunities to offer maximized value to customers that align with the demands of this new and dynamic normal.