Your Software Is Your Competitive Advantage, from the Harvard Business Review.
In our previous blog post we examined how companies are realizing that they are software businesses (to competitive advantage). Recently the HBR suggested that “whoever builds the best software wins” (“In the Digital Economy, Your Software Is Your Competitive Advantage”, 1/18/21). This is an interesting perspective, and one I may examine further in a future post. For the purposes of this post, I’ll assume the premise is at least near true. The author (Jeff Lawson, founder of Twilio) further asserts that software needs to be tailor-made to your specific business needs. Especially in those aspects of your business that affect customers and their experience. Why? Because using configurable off the shelf software makes it almost impossible to differentiate your business. This is particularly true if your competition is using the same or similar configurable software. In essence, differentiate your business by customizing your software.
A cogent argument is made for bringing app development in-house. In recent years, software development has become much easier with microservices, point and click, and modern developer tools. With this in mind, the benefits of self-built apps are numerous. Applications can be tailor-made and built to spec for your business. Quicker addition of features can be achieved. You can decouple your business from vendor dependencies, etc. This approach also allows you to include the application development team in the problem examination phase of the business. Note: the author seems to overlook one vital element to this paradigm shift. Quality Assurance Testing. Critically, testing needs to be conducted to insure customer experience is maintained and unnecessary risks are eliminated. In other words, differentiate your business by customizing your software.
The author states that “every organization will embrace the builder’s mindset in its own way”, and I agree. Ultimately, change is inevitable. You have a choice on whether to lead it, react to it, or ignore it.
MCANTA helps companies achieve competitive advantage through sensible digital transformation, automating software quality assurance, and business process automation. Please contact us to for a free analysis of your unique needs.