Software product engineering helps businesses turn their vague concepts into definite realities. Ideas, when executed using software code and programming languages, can come out in the form of software products. Such ingeniously created software products can help businesses solve complex problems, attain a competitive advantage and even add new revenue lines to their portfolio.
Think, a taxi hailing app that runs on software code but connects cab drivers to passenger in near vicinity, on the road.
With technology becoming tightly integrated into our daily lives, it is no surprise that product engineering is often used in place of software product engineering. Software products like mobile apps, an e-commerce website, a software script, a CRM or a CMS can turn an idea into a multi-million business venture.
What is pushing the needle for software product engineering?
In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, companies are under tremendous pressure to reach their customers living in the digital world. Software products help bridge the gap between businesses and their customers. There are several ways how a software product can turn around fortunes for a business.
Some proven benefits of software engineering include:
- Use of innovative technologies for problem-solving
- Faster go-to-market time
- Customer engagement all throughout the product development lifecycle
- Response to dynamic customer preferences
- Lower product development cost
In the process of continuously improving their products, they also stand to improve their internal culture and processes, thus becoming a smarter company than ever before.
Here are some ways how product engineering can help companies become better at what they do.
Productivity through Connectivity
Technologies like the Internet of Things and BLE are enabling businesses and customers to interact and do it better. In fact, new business models like the replenishment economy are grounded on this concept of connected ecosystems. Sensors collect information from customers and provide businesses with accurate insights about what their customers would want to buy next, when their next visit will be and how they can be better served.
In fact, insurance companies in the US and UK are already spearheading Usage Based Insurance models based on data collected from connected cars. The data so collected enables insurers to price recurring annual insurance premiums the right way that justifies the owner’s driving behavior.
Manufacturers who have been long reliant on manual logs and spreadsheet programs are now able to collect real-time information from equipment. This help predict downtime in advance and plan preventive maintenance. This proactive style of working in place of erstwhile reactive style results in improved productivity. The same model of proactive planning can be replicated across multiple industries in various forms.
Thanks to the Cloud and instant messaging platforms for the workplace, collaboration now has an entirely different meaning. Some Hollywood movies are now made by directors and technicians collaborating with each other from different countries. A cloud-based collaboration system packed with video conferencing, file sharing, voice calling and endless other features connects them together.
This ‘social’ part of digital transformation can turn an entire multinational corporation into a closely knit huddle. The miles between their locations would no longer be a hurdle to productivity. As Michael Dell said, “Collaboration equals innovation”, the workforce of a business that collaborates well definitely will be quick at innovating. NASA, which uses Slack to collaborate, is a testimony to this fact.
Multi-vendor marketplaces or double-vendor marketplaces have re-imagined the e-commerce industry. They have even turned home makers and individuals into self-employed entrepreneurs. E-commerce platforms offer the right stage for these players to participate in a larger market without being overrun by larger enterprises.
E-commerce brands like Amazon, eBay, etc. have created a business model that can be easily replicated by retailers who are working with several wholesalers and retailers.
In fact, the on-demand economy, which is based on a single entity acting as an intermediary for multiple service providers, is software product engineering at its best. Brands like UBER, WeChat, Airbnb, Lyft, etc. are all classic examples.
Data-driven business performance
With so much data of being created and captured by businesses on a regular basis, analytics is but a natural choice for businesses to make smarter decisions. Data can tell stories about how a business is performing and the many areas where operations can be tweaked for better efficiency and profitability.
Emerging technologies like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will enable businesses to dive deep into their data and discover patterns and anomalies. The possibilities are literally endless and apply to almost every industry including finance, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and even government agencies.
From optimizing driving down costs in manufacturing to increasing average order value in e-commerce, or reduce stock wastage in brick and mortar retail, there are so many ways an analytics-based product can help a business.
The difference between the physical and virtual worlds that we live in is slowly fading away. Immersive realities like augmented reality and virtual reality are blurring the lines between the physical and digital.
Imagine being capable of showcasing a product through an interactive video? Or a marketing campaign that turns onlookers into participants? For marketers, these possibilities are a dream come true to increase brand engagement and brand recall value. Augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality concepts like 4D and 7D can make that possible.
The fact is that the market is not mature and the technologies are also too expensive to become mainstream right now. But, steady progress is already taking place at various levels. In the near future, we should be able to see many successful product engineering stories with immersive reality at the heart of it.
In A Nutshell
Building great products for the future is what makes ordinary companies into smarter companies. Technologies like the cloud, IoT, immersive realities, etc. are helping companies turn their product ideas into realities.
But, to turn an idea into a completed software product, businesses need the expertise of a technological partner—one that is well-grounded in the cutting-edge technologies and their diverse applications. Such a partner can help a business pick the right technology and create a software product that will catapult their business to new heights.