Successful Software Company Strategies for 2021 and Beyond

It’s time to move from crisis mode to plan for success in the long term.

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Innovation in the software space is occurring faster and faster – is your business keeping pace? Consider these insights from industry leaders into strategies you need to implement today and others that will position your business for competitiveness in the future.

ARM

Keith Pitt, CTO of Buildkite, says many software company strategies reflect anticipation of a shift to ARM. “Engineers have long been able to write software that worked on either Intel or AMD CPUs. In fact, the majority of software that exists today can run on either of those platforms. However, newer areas of technology, like Internet of Things (IoT), are making use of the newest player in the CPU space: ARM, which is cheaper, faster and more energy-efficient.”

“As barriers to entry for ARM CPUs lower, I expect developers to begin building ARM-native software and companies to transition their software to run fully on ARM,” he says.

Service Mesh

Marco Palladino, CTO and Co-Founder of Kong, says service mesh use will increase throughout 2021, “Not for what it adds, but for the complexity it removes.”

Palladino says service mesh, which connects the distributed infrastructures that companies navigate when modernizing their IT infrastructure and enabling microservices, enables technology teams “to replace all of an organization’s ugly, unreliable, and non-compliant code, providing infrastructure freedom and cloud connectivity for teams.”

“It is already a must-have for large organizations, and even SMBs will need a service mesh strategy if they plan to deliver stable and reliable services. Eventually, we expect service mesh to permeate every workload that a team runs, and the technology will get better and easier to use the more it matures,” Palladino says.

WebAssembly

Reza Shafii, VP of products at Kong, says to watch WebAssembly, an open standard that defines a portable binary-code format. “It will take center stage this year because of its portability and the fact that it can be executed to run anywhere and integrated into many environments,” Shafii says. “By contrast, we expect that fewer companies will use serverless computing, leveraging serverless mostly for side projects but nothing mission-critical, due to its lack of portability. Serverless technology should make a comeback as we near 2030 and the larger tech ecosystem has evolved,” he says.

GitOps

Shaffi also expects GitOps to go mainstream as a part of software company strategies. “As we transition to an Infrastructure as Code and Infrastructure as Declarative Configuration, the benefits of the proven Git workflow will combine with CI/CD automation benefits.”

“Vendors and technologies that can support this workflow will thrive; those who don’t will lose more relevance. Organizations will recognize that GitOps is the playbook for success in the cloud-native era. The guiding principle of GitOps is that Git is the source of truth for an organization’s system, reflecting all changes made to both applications and infrastructure, and traceable in great detail,” he says.

Progressive Delivery

Patricio “Pato” Echagüe, co-founder and CTO, Split Software, forecasts the rise of progressive delivery, a unified lifecycle for improving products, encapsulating planning changes, writing and deploying code, testing safely, and releasing and measuring impact.

“This year, the pieces will finally come together to make progressive feature delivery not just a reality, but commonplace throughout the enterprise market,” Echagüe says.
He adds, “In 2021, we will see several rising disciplines come together – for example, CI/CD has become ubiquitous across software companies of all sizes; service management software has grown rapidly to provide IT professionals with the tools to plan and manage production changes safely, and experimentation and measurement tools that enrich the entire process with understanding will drive success and provide direction for future iterations.”

Partnerships

Not all essential elements of wining software company strategies relate to specific technologies. Alex Hripak, VP of Technology at Credly, says, “The necessity for integration is higher than ever. Software as a Service (SaaS) in 2021 will likely lead to more crossover between platforms enabling smooth user experiences that are underpinned by integration.”

Hripak predicts that SaaS companies will respond by forming partnerships that address their customers’ needs. Those needs, however, extend beyond basic functionality to data sharing that enables streamlined processes and real-time decision making. “Data is king,” Hripak says, “but only at the right place and time.”

Mahe Bayireddi, CEO of Phenom, adds that integration is also necessary for businesses to reach their goals for greater efficiency through automation. “Overall, automation technology is improving at a remarkable rate, and its integration versatility keeps the user experience more efficient and centralized,” Bayireddi says.

How Are You Updating Your Software Company Strategy?

After a turbulent year, remote work and now a return to the office – or not – business leaders may have been focused on putting out day-to-day grass fires. But it’s time to refocus on your business’ future. Update your roadmap to reflect meeting industry demands and achieving your business goals.


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Mike Monocello

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of DevPro Journal.