There are almost 3-billion Internet users in the world, of which two-thirds are from developing countries.
In this landscape, ICT has become the cornerstone of innovation, with software the glue, says Dariel MD Malcolm Rabson.

“In May we celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day to help raise awareness of the role ICT plays in empowering societies, economies, and people,” he says. “But, despite advances in the hardware and devices we use, we should not forget the impact software has on changing the way we live and work.”

This influence is far reaching. In a report published last year, Gartner pinpointed software-defined applications and infrastructure as one of its top technologies that will be strategic for most organisations in 2015. It wrote that agile programming is essential to enable organisations to deliver the flexibility required to make the digital business work.

“And with more businesses utilising the likes of cloud computing and mobile applications, decision-makers are turning to developers to integrate these and leveraging software-defined applications into organisational structures and processes,” adds Rabson.

“Such is the corporate environment that the only way forward is to innovate through software that provides not only a competitive edge, but offers the business a platform to provide customers with unique offerings.”

This also puts the software provider under pressure to be flexible and adaptable to meet a number of business and industry sector requirements.

“Could subscription pricing for enterprise be the next big thing? Or what about the growth of mobile customer relationship management applications? One only needs to browse the pages of an ICT analyst report or a business publication to find any number of key software trends to be aware of. However, it is one thing to identify how software will impact a business and quite another entirely to align business practice with this realisation,” Rabson adds.

The art of software development is therefore a considerably more nuanced one than in the past. Whether a developer is working for a software provider or directly at an organisation, he or she needs not only the technical skills to complete a project, but also the understanding of business strategy.

“This is perhaps the defining aspect of the new movement in software development – one that is part of the business and not removed from it. Those companies willing to take this step and embrace software as an integrated part of their strategy will be the ones to succeed more effectively in the connected world,” Rabson says.