Current key challenges to consider in Software Development right now

As globalisation continues to expand, there are obstacles that can limit the success of general business operations. For companies to progress they need to figure out and address the challenges. 

Language Barrier 

A leading challenge facing software companies is language barrier. Text within the software needs to be translated correctly for the intended users. Incorrect software can cause the user to have difficulty navigating through the software. This can lead to an inadequate user experience. 

However, to solve this, a lot of software companies partner up with agencies that adapt the product in each of the target languages required. Regardless of what the companies operating platform is, the agency will ensure that the software is translated correctly. This will cause the users to be more satisfied and proficient in using the company’s product. 

Costs 

When a company becomes global, some of the projects may be completed in other countries. This can be seen as beneficial because it lowers costs for the development of the software, but it can also cause an increase in costs or cause delays when completing a project. It can also be a challenge to budget effectively because of the currency exchange rate. 

However, the simple solution to this is proper budgeting. If the company sets a price in pounds sterling (for instance), and they pay at that set price then it should be fine. Do not let the currency exchange rate increase the price. 

Pricing 

Just like costs, pricing is also a challenge facing software development. Prices vary between different countries and this is due to the value of money in one country compared to another. Therefore, pricing a product for another country can be a challenge. 

In order to solve this problem, companies can either accept a lower valuation or risk not selling any products in that country. 

Global Functionality 

When creating programs that rely on local knowledge of systems, the company creates a software package that requires a great deal of functionality. Each country has different systems and legal requirements so, several versions of software need to be made or one that can do all. 

One of the possible solutions would be to create one software that does it all because creating several can be a problem. Firstly, it creates a lot more work which creates problems with updates and maintenance. 

There are several challenges, but it is important to remember that for every problem there is a solution. Companies just have to develop plans that will counter all the foreseeable challenges.

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Are We Facing a Talent Crisis in Software Development? 

As just about every industry trades in its traditional means of business for a digitalised model, the need for those who can understand, implement and develop modern business is growing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the amount of those ready to offer this already over-subscribed talent is already completely surpassed by the quantity needed, causing the talent crisis in software development that many of us are already familiar with.

But just how much of a problem really is? 

According to research released by ComputerWeekly in August, only 11% of employers are not expecting a shortage of skilled technology professionals over the following year. Furthermore, a study by recruitment firm Robert Walters in partnership with Jobsite and Totaljobs backs this up further, finding that a majority of firms think the next year will see moderate to severe shortages of technology talent. 

Beyond that, according to HR Dive last year, the effect of this talent crisis can be expensive too, with a “new report from market research firm Forrester [predicting] that those employers that lag behind in attracting critical digital talent will wind up paying up to 20% above market salary rates for new hires with particularly in-demand skills — a group that includes data scientists, high-end software developers and information security analysts”.

What does this issue come down to?

Firstly, this problem is largely linked to the hiring of junior talent, or lack thereof.  According to director of Robert Walters Manchester, Ahsan Iqbal, in conversation with ComputerWeekly, despite the “unprecedented growth” in the technology industry of the past few years (including more skilled entrants into the field), firms are not hiring as much junior talent because of the 2008 financial crisis. 

“Junior-level hiring dropped significantly during the recession, and this has created a skills bottleneck at the mid-level today, with an insufficient number of professionals and the required experience available to meet demand”. 

Moreover, the most sought-out skills are specialised, meaning that employers are actively seeking individuals already trained in cyber security, business intelligence and data-related roles, as well as software development. Roles in this area generally require certain level of skill, meaning that skill shortage is felt most at mid-management level. Furthermore, even if we turn directly to the hiring of junior level talent, 36% of employers expect a “struggle” even in the recruiting of junior technology specialists. 

Additionally, as we look to the new year, it seems the situation won’t necessarily get any easier, with the influence of Brexit creating uncertainty across all industries and prompting us to question whether the UK’s tech talent pipeline can match industry needs after Brexit.

What can be done to face this issue? 

According to Ahsan Iqbal, firms should think about how they plan to attract and importantly, retain technology talent using competitive salaries, flexible working and more interesting projects. In terms of finding professionals with the requisite skill set, “employers may also want to consider attracting candidates who are willing to relocate, both in the UK and internationally. Engaging with international recruitment agencies can give hiring managers access to talent from around the globe”. However, with the UK’s current rules regarding the acquisition of skilled workers entering the region already causing an issue, the addition of Brexit may make this even more difficult. 

In spite of this, director of Totaljobs, Martin Talbot, maintains that the best way to find workers with the right talent for your business is train them up in the job. Talbot suggests that firms should focus on other skills that the candidates may have in the hiring process, including “project and programme management, as well as strong interpersonal skills”. Furthermore, businesses can offer education incentives to new talent who require additional, formal training. 

All in all, it seems that the only way to face this problem is to hire flexibly, younger and be willing to nurture and develop roles within in the business. After all, this is a talent that is only going to get more sought-after in an evermore difficult business environment. 

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The new trends in tech based Sales for this year

The world of sales has been constantly changing throughout the last couple of years as new technology has evolved and become more accessible to businesses and sales teams. We are now well into 2019 and some people may be asking ‘what will be the biggest sales trends in 2019?’

Artificial Intelligence and Sales 

The use of AI has probably only scratched the surface which means there is only more to come in 2019. The more companies implement Artificial Intelligence into tools used for selling, the bigger the impact on their productivity will be. 

AI can help sales people be more productive in several ways, including the following: Firstly, in order to personalise a sales strategy, AI has the ability to analyse huge amounts of data in a short time. Secondly, AI provides recommendations based on massive amounts of data which will save time in regard to following up and reaching out to the right people. Finally, by analysing your past years work, AI will be able to predict your next quarter. It will be able to do this because it has access to a lot of data, and it can also analyse the data. 

A strategic approach to sales 

There has been a lot of growth over the last couple of years when it comes to sales, especially when it comes to sales enablement. More companies are implementing sales enablement strategies which is definitely going to continue in 2019.

According to Forbes, in the new year, there will be a more strategic approach to sales enablement. First, a proper strategy and plan with clear objectives. Second, a bigger focus on helping sales people develop their skills and be better at their jobs. Next, an easier way to help new sales people get comfortable with selling. Finally, a bigger focus on new technology that can help the sales process. 

The Omni-Channel Experience 

With technology and Artificial Intelligence being where it is; everybody expects an integrated experience across all types of business channels. People nowadays use various devices to research products and services online before they buy it and most times, they want a personalised experience that flows seamlessly. 

Creating Omni-channel experiences plays a huge part in sales, for instance, in bringing the relationship between the sales and marketing department closer. In the past these two departments have been quite far from each other but with the use of an Omni-channel experience, there will be a closer relationship between the two. 

In order to do so, there are a few things that need to be done. Creating a smooth transition between all channels e.g. if a customer starts an inquiry on their phone, they should be able to switch to another platform while continuing the same inquiry. Also, without having to say it, social media plays a huge part in the 21st Century and therefore it should be implemented and integrated into all platforms.  

For companies to improve productivity and overall sales, it is important to stay on top of trends (like those mentioned above) and implement new technology. 

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