Software is everywhere. If you’re reading this, you are a consumer of software. Software is in our homes and at our place of work. Software startups are among the biggest disrupters of the business world in the 21st century. In fact, many formally great companies have met their demise by software startups. Disruption by software has even been given a name, Digital Transformation:
As a consumer or business leader, there is really no escaping software. Likewise, not a day goes by where you don’t come across some reference to Digital Transformation (a.k.a. applying software to change a business operation or consumer experience). But as a business, must you enter the deep end of the software world?
It’s easy to envision how software may enhance product or service offerings. And for every successful mature business, there may be a dozen small software startups dreaming of ways to steal their lunch (a.k.a. disrupting through digital transformation).
Great companies that make fantastic physical products are finding that their products can be even better if enhanced by software. In fact, they must be enhanced to stay competitive. No one wants to be the next Blockbuster!
But do these great companies now have to become software companies? Do they have to become software development companies?
Rest assured, we are not going to do away with physical products and cease to exist in a physical world. However, software technology combined with internet technology and advances in wireless communication and microprocessing are providing businesses with a significant opportunity to improve the lifetime experience that their customers have with their products and services.
The phenomenon of physical products interacting with or enhanced by digital software is more recently referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT provides software enabled capabilities to improve the lifetime experience and scope of physical products!
For companies that traditionally produce and support physical products and services, entering the software business can be daunting and full of trial and error that includes risk associated with hiring and retaining the right software development and support teams.
One mechanism for reducing development risk is to subscribe to a Software Platform to accelerate the transformation into the digital world.
A software platform by itself is an accelerator, however, it does not eliminate the need to hire and retain a software development community that you can rely on and trust.
A better way may be to outsource to a company staffed with software expertise and “white label”, or brand the finished product under your own label.
Watch this video for an 8-minute overview of what is involved in developing software to complement a physical product or service.
At Bridgera, we offer an alternative to in-house software development by providing a Full-Stack Outsource Service that not only includes development, but in many cases, cloud hosting, support, and continuous innovation services.
For IoT solutions, we offer a robust IoT Platform as a starting point to reduce development cost and the timeline. Many of our customers enter into a “white label” arrangement allowing them to re-brand the software by packaging it with their physical products.
The key is to not only outsource development, but outsource the entire lifecycle of the solution – development, hosting, support, and continuous improvement. This allows the client to focus on their own core competencies.
There are many factors and complexities that go into investment decisions made by businesses. Incorporating digital capabilities into product and service offerings may seem like do or die based on many highly publicized case studies. Perhaps the real decision is not “if” you do it but “how” you will execute. In-house, with a platform, or outsource. Most important is to consider all options and understand what is really required to be successful.
About the Author: Ron Pascuzzi leads sales and marketing at Bridgera, LLC in Raleigh, NC. Ron is an evangelist for the Internet of Things and believes that IoT initiatives should not be compromised due to a lack of software development skills. Contact him to learn more leveraging Bridgera as a Software Outsource partner and about Bridgera IoT, which is not just another IoT Platform but Custom Software-as-a-Service for the Internet of Things.