Is Industry Change Unprecedented?
I attended the National Outsourcing Association’s Offshoring Day in London last week. Reading the agenda I was rather sceptical about how useful it would be for Future Processing, but actually there were several interesting speakers from end-user, advisory and supplier organisations and while it covered all types of outsourcing, there was plenty of content pertinent to offsh
I attended the National Outsourcing Association’s Offshoring Day in London last week. Reading the agenda I was rather sceptical about how useful it would be for Future Processing, but actually there were several interesting speakers from end-user, advisory and supplier organisations and while it covered all types of outsourcing, there was plenty of content pertinent to offshore development.
The day was chaired by Michael Stock, the NOA board member for offshoring. In his opening remarks he said something along the lines of: these are the most interesting times that the industry has seen. The recession coupled with new technologies like cloud computing mean that it is hard to predict even the short-term operating environment. This sentiment was echoed by the second speaker, Nivedita Krishnamurthy, who said that she hasn’t seen so much change and such rapid change as the industry is experiencing now. As well as cloud computing she identified agile development as a key factor in bringing about this change.
I was not sure I completely agreed with their comments on change. These are definitely interesting times for the industry, but the most interesting? Are we witnessing such great change and is there really such unpredictability?
Being no expert, I have drawn on collective wisdom and spoken to my colleagues about this. Based on what I see at Future Processing, the recession hasn’t really lead to unpredictability. We have seen growth and the Future Processing team is sure we will continue to see this, whether Europe ends up experiencing a double dip or not.
Jarosław Czaja, our CEO, made a very good point regarding change: technology is in continual iteration and the same thing can be said about software development methods. As an industry offshore development is used to, dare I say, even expects change. In fact, from my software developer colleagues’ point of view, cloud computing and agile methods, are in many ways, simply new environments. Jarosław would expect that as good software engineers they are not only able to learn them but generally embrace the challenge of something new.
I discussed this further with my colleagues. It seems to us at Future Processing that the continuous evolution of tools and technologies is an integral part of the software industry. And while the introduction of cloud computing has certainly made waves in the industry it is not the first technology to do so. One of the best examples came from Jaroslaw – the transition from mainframes to PCs. Whether the expansion of cloud computing will eventually have similar effects is yet to be seen. Similarly Agile has lead to a significant change in the delivery of software products. However development methods have always evolved and continue to do so. To us Agile feels less like a sudden change and more like a gradual evolution.
So, in our collective experience, these are interesting times be involved in the industry and we are seeing lots of change, but this isn’t anything new, rather we are just continuing to move along the maturity curve.