Consumer society changes software development market forever
Decisions of ready-to-use software solutions are made just simple: to pay or not to pay. This is typical both in Russia, and worldwide. We entered the epoch of mass consumption of IT solutions and services, when likes and donations of ordinary people define the trend of future evolution in IT industry.
Principles of consumption society reached IT community. Large IT companies do not strive to develop unique, tailor-made systems. Today, IT leaders compete with bright marketing, out-of-the-box packages, and maximum fast delivery to a customer. Minimal costs pf each separate IT product, unlimited scalability, independence of IT infrastructure, rapid integration with newest technologies – all are the main advantages. The IT industry has already come through development of brand new algorithms and entered the phase of their practical application. Today, the situation resembles automobile industry evolution in early XX century. Automobiles were elite products. Then came Henry Ford and said that everybody can have a car. The biggest IT companies strive to follow Ford’s approach in IT industry. They tell that software is not expensive anymore; this is a ‘must have’ for ordinary consumers. They bet for IT as a mass product, easy-to-have, self-serviced, with simple integration capabilities. Cloud stacks and shops for ready-to-use IT services are created for all business demands.
This trend substantially mitigates the role of custom software development that offers expensive, time and resource consuming IT production. Yes, so far IT companies try to develop custom software at any specific case with sensitive profits. But we all know that mass production finally outcomes any customized activities.
Customer independent from developer is free to choose development tools and experiment with contemporary technologies. As a bonus, such developer can have an independence from client’s IT infrastructure, from unexpected expansion of requirements even after signing tech specs. “Not happy with our functionality? If you don’t want, just don’t buy it”.
Of course, there is always alternative. In general, custom software development still stays in demand for the software that does not presume mass production of software. These are military and national defense customers, and banks which require more protection and observance of specific requirements. But developers working in this direction just do not receive considerable share of total IT market.
In future, we are about to have several big market players and multiple small companies. There will be no “middle class” companies.
Strategy of survival is simple – but only in paper. In reality, to keep technology leadership, IT companies need to fully re-build their corporate culture and become accelerators of new IT projects.
Dmitry Rogov, Director of Technology Development, “ID – Management technologies”, LLC