We live in a time of digital disruption.
The next generation of product development will require wholesale change to the types of skills companies need. As my colleague James Staten recently wrote, an earthquake in Silicon Valley is turning every company into a software vendor. It is this notion, that every company becomes an ISV, that will profoundly change the nature of business, and in particular product development:
- Software, and customers interaction with that software, now defines companies and their brands.
- Developing software-enabled products requires sophisticated technology and architectural design skills. This presents tremendous challenges — even more so for companies for whom technology is not in their DNA.
- Companies must look in the mirror and evaluate if they currently have the skills and expertise to navigate this new environment. In this new world where customers interact with you through software, do you have the skills to develop products and services which will create intense and enjoyable customer experiences?
Increasingly, companies realize they lack the skills and capabilities to make this transition alone. As a result, firms increasingly work with a broader array of partners and suppliers. To help companies navigate potential options for service providers that can help you make this transition, we have just published Forrester’s first wave evaluation of the software product development services (PDS) market.
I want to extend my thanks to each of the 11 vendors that participated: EPAM Systems, GlobalLogic, HCL, Infosys, Mindtree, Ness Technologies, Pactera, Persistent Systems, Symphony Teleca, TCS, and Wipro.
In a time of exciting transition, this evaluation showed the cross-roads we are at, as organizations struggle to shift to an age where technology comes to define every product. So what did we learn? It is clear the software PDS market is in the midst of transition:
- Leaders in the evaluation have a clear vision of the evolving PDS market. These providers increasingly focus on serving buyers who need help developing software-enabled products. This requires suppliers to develop new capabilities such as Agile and design skills.
- Increasing focus on business metrics from both providers and clients. Clients expect providers to act as strategic suppliers — and that means achieving and being measured on business outcomes. Clients almost universally scored their provider highly on reducing the time to market of their products. However, they rated their service providers less strongly in helping generate innovation and driving the use of technology in products.
- Many engagements remain relatively immature. Many engagements involved vendor resources being used simply as an extension to the client’s in-house team. The result? That service providers don’t yet take significant responsibility for the success of the end product.