Innovation is a never-ending cycle. Businesses announce groundbreaking products and services that consumers soon find they can’t live without, writes Nigel Abbott, Director at GitHub. Customers then demand more and these same businesses feel the pressure to keep up, so they must continuously innovate and better their offering. This is easier said than done and, to keep bringing new ideas to life in a digital economy, businesses need to invest wisely. In a world increasingly driven by software, organisations need to invest in developers: the hidden heroes fuelling digital transformation, so businesses can turn their visions into realities.
Developers: The Catalyst to Innovation
Creating digital experiences that will keep customers engaged is a tough job. People expect better experiences in shorter time frames, from shopping and banking through to transport and entertainment. This is both a blessing and a burden for businesses. Businesses have an audience looking for fresh digital experiences, but this audience is also quick to show disinterest.
The solution to keeping customers engaged lies with one important group: developers. They make business ideas come to life. For example, creating market-leading apps that operate seamlessly, making customer interactions easier and facilitating innovation to stand out in a crowded market. These are the people that make the customer’s life easier, and are therefore central to a business’s success in this on-demand era.
Making the Transformation
Creating new digital experiences requires an open mindset and agile operations. Both of these features epitomise the role of the software developer. Open source software has a huge role in fostering this agile and innovative mindset. Open source has become the fastest method for developing software, allowing developers to collaborate across the globe and encouraging them to solve new problems. The skills of the software developer, in addition to the collaborative benefits of open source, are enabling a fundamental cultural transformation that is conducive to innovation.
Just look at the most successful disruptors and it’s clear to see how innovating the digital experience has not just transformed a particular sector, but redefined the customer experience and their expectations. From black cabs struggling to compete with Uber, or Netflix stealing the attention from traditional TV, software development has been a critical to these transformations.
In order to be successful, organisations must first understand the needs of their audience, the gap or issue that can be addressed, and the unique solution they can offer. And then, they need to move past the idea stage, creating the solution at speed and scale.
ClickMechanic, a London-based car repair service is a prime example of how open source software development has transformed a customer experience and addressed common pain points. ClickMechanic service acts as the digital liaison between customer and mechanic, arranging guaranteed prices for parts and labour, prior to the work being carried out. What’s more — the repairs are done at the customer’s house or place of work, eliminating the need to arrange alternative transport to and from a workshop. The lack of physical premises and its completely online service means customers reap the associated time and financial benefits – saving on average 50% over a traditional mechanic. This is a great example of how developers are bringing disruptive business ideas to life to improve customer experience.
Reaching Your Goals
By its very nature, software development fosters an innovative and creative culture. As developers become increasingly important to an organisation’s success, their culture is translating into the operations and mindset of the broader business. For startups and disruptors, the developer sits front and centre of their core offering, creating a digital experience that sets the organisation apart from the market.
For traditional businesses, the developer is integral to not just keep pace in the market and to keep customers on board, but to also reach fundamental business goals, which are becoming more and more challenging. For example, Deloitte has reported that the UK public sector is focusing on technology innovation to generate service improvements for citizens and drive savings. In addition to developers creating groundbreaking experiences for the customer, they are also building time and money saving solutions for businesses. This in turn frees up resources for organisations to focus more on their audience. The case for developers is therefore just as, if not more important in organisations that are often lagging behind in digital transformation.
Keeping customers happy is an ongoing challenge for organisations. The key to success sits with developers. By hiring the best talent and giving developers a remit to move fast and fail forward, businesses can make smart ideas come to life and offer market-leading solutions to their customers. Without them, organisations quickly become irrelevant.