Thursday 22 December 2011

Custom Application Development vs Ready to Use Solutions

Mainly large multinational corporations invest in custom application development, which is considered as more expensive than implementation of ready to use solutions widely utilized by small and medium sized enterprises. Nevertheless, small and medium sized businesses also take advantage of custom-made software, mainly dealing with enterprise-specific business processes and procedures that are not incorporated as best practices in ready to implement software products.

Usually, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system would feature built-in best practices applied within the respective industry; however, a ready to use solution is not expected to cover procedures and business processes that are utilized only within a particular enterprise. The same applies, largely, also to customer relationship management (CRM) systems that are widespread among businesses within a variety of industries. In contrast, home users usually rely on software applications that are product of generic software product development.

Therefore, a large part of business require custom software at a certain stage of their development, which is now a more affordable option due to the growing reliability of products developed through outsourcing, mainly in India and other countries in Asia. Eastern Europe is also emerging as an offshoring center for software development along with a number of countries in Central and South America.

On the other hand, contemporary business software solutions are highly configurable, or, in other words, business software can fit a wide range of needs and requirements. Nevertheless, configurability does not provide a universal solution, thus customization is largely used when ready to use software is not applicable. Software vendors in developing nations like India gradually matured and are now able to offer fully functional business software at extremely competitive prices. Those countries produce large number of well-educated software experts experienced not only in managing software development but also able to tailor software to produce a best fit.

Actually, custom applications are used everywhere, replacing old-fashioned spreadsheet solutions that have been widespread for decades. Both generic and custom-made software, however, are undergoing a process of massive transformation caused by the emergence of new technologies, utilizing to the utmost the online capabilities of modern hardware and software.

Software-as- a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) are relatively new phenomena but all of them rapidly gain market share, especially in fields where the matter in question is how to lower the costs related to software licensing and maintenance, like in ERP systems, for example. Although those services offer a cheaper alternative to classic software solutions, only a few of them are customizable to an extent to satisfy the needs of large corporations and medium sized businesses.
In fact, they are not developed with customizability in mind but are designed to be utilized as ready to use solutions, deployed on remote servers. In addition, large and medium sized enterprises often voice concerns that applications run on remote servers do not offer the level of security and privacy required by internal corporate standards, allowing third parties to access, in theory, their company information.

Therefore, custom application development is enjoying stable growth, with numerous organizations taking advantage of tailored software in a competitive environment, where development of complex solutions can be outsourced easily.

Friday 16 December 2011

Benefits of Outsourcing Software Consulting Service and Software Development to India

Outsourcing computer software development services, and related software consulting service, is a recent phenomenon that provoked heated debates in the United States and member states of the European Union. Nevertheless, contracting a reputable software consulting firm in India to conduct less expensive research and development or provide consultancy services is now a widespread practice in the West, with a growing number of enterprises realizing that they can only benefit from lower costs and acceptable quality offered by Indian software developers and consultants.

Traditionally, a large number of well-qualified software specialists graduated in India find a job abroad and relocate soon after graduation. Even so, local universities are able to fill the gap and produce well-trained software experts, hired by local software consultants, which in turn are able to provide extremely competitive services due to the markedly lower labor costs. India-based software development companies now account for over 30 percent of the global market of outsourced software services, with cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune creating and maintaining the necessary infrastructure to encourage the growth of the local software consultancy and development services industry.

As a result, the country has enjoyed an annual 30 percent growth of its software exports in the past few years, signaling that the exported products are able to compete on equal terms with software solutions provided by leading world software vendors. The low prices are just one side of the coin; demanding Western customers are looking not only for a less expensive consulting service but also for a quality one, while specifics of India’s labor market allow local enterprises to hire well-educated and trained experts and nonetheless offer competitive prices. Thus, computer software development services obtainable in India allow for marked cost savings through off-shoring of this otherwise expensive process.

Evidently, a software consulting firm in India is able to provide competitive prices but access to intellectual property and IT knowledge and expertise is a new driving force behind Western companies’ desire to outsource to India. Local universities and research centers enjoy good reputation in the field of information technologies while both academic and non-academic research centers compete for orders in the sphere of software development services. Such a healthy competition additionally lowers prices, without lowering the overall quality of services provided, and gives the West an opportunity to hire local talents without paying the high price for getting similar services at home.

The use of worth-hiring software consulting service usually requires a significant financial effort in the Western world, while Asia/Pacific software consultants have developed and apply wide-accepted best practices and possess operational expertise that can hardly be developed in-house by the vast majority of small and medium sized Western enterprises. Thus, contacting a software developer or consultant based in India looks like a reasonable move for business owners that have trouble sustaining their competitive advantage or abilities in the field of IT.

Computer software development is a relatively expensive service as well as customization of existing software solutions. Implementation of new business software like customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems requires significant investment and can be extremely time consuming, resulting in even higher implementation costs. Therefore, outsourcing the whole or part of the process to external consultants is a wise move whatever the case may be. Getting software consulting service provided by an India-based company can prove to be the best fit for both large corporations and small and medium sized businesses that want to get access to IT expertise at affordable prices.

Thursday 15 December 2011

The Role of Business objects in Software Architecture

Business logic and business logic layer play an important role in designing software architecture, separating the business logic from other software layers that usually include a data access layer and user interface. In 3-tier software architecture, the business logic is usually occupying the middle tier, modeling real life business objects like accounts, inventories, schedules, etc. Software developers utilize business logic as a tool to design methods stipulating how business objects are accessed and updated, while developing algorithms for business objects to interact with each other.

Naturally, business logic applied in software architecture development is using business rules referring to real life business policies and objects like prices, products, locations, logistics, etc. In addition, it deals with workflows, which comprise of tasks aimed at passing data from one system to another. Thus, the use of business logic allows developers to further partition businessobjects into business processes and business entities, where business process objects usually contain no actual data elements but feature algorithms and methods prescribing how business entities are supposed to interact with each other. It is most visible in procedures like data exchange between a database and software user interface, but the same communication is also involved in many other processes and procedures that run beneath the surface of a well-designed business software.

Commonly, business logic is developed and applied as a separate module in a multilayered architecture, occupying the business services layer, which is often referred to as the middle tier. Basic principles of modern software architecture, however, allow software developers to combine methods, algorithms, and procedures used in all software tiers, resulting in a complex system where software tiers are interlinked and cross dependent.

Businessobjects within a business software application are expected to manage behaviors and be part of a broader structure of objects linked with strong business relationships. Thus, all and every businessobject should feature a set of properties, which determine its behavior and relationships with other objects. A businessobject can be a “Business Partner,” where its set of properties would include attributes like “Company Name”, “Address”, “Country”, etc. Furthermore, the afore-mentioned businessobject could be associated with contact personnel or other employees to map the object within a broader structure of similar objects.

In fact, object oriented programming deals with various types of objects not limited to financial and business concepts like “business partner”, but covering real-life objects or concepts such as an automobile, where complex data should be dealt with and managed. Furthermore, a business software application can be developed in such a way that its data access layer, after some re-programming, to be able to successfully communicate with other databases using the same business layer and business logic. It is extremely useful when complex modular business systems are implemented that are expected to interact with third party software in the future.

Thus, businessobjects are core elements of any business logic used in software architecture, securing the reliable performance of operations conducted when the so-called business entities interact with each other

Wednesday 7 December 2011

India-based Software Consulting Services Gain Popularity Worldwide

With a domestic IT services market worth $9.5 billion in 2011, India ranks third in Asia/Pacific region while India-based software consulting services are gaining momentum thanks to growing local market and increasing demand for outsourced IT consulting. IT software consulting, especially outsourcing of those services to reputable consultants based in India and other fast developing markets, is becoming a widespread business practice worldwide, with a growing number of large multinational corporations looking for ways to reduce costs related to IT services and infrastructure.

While India’s domestic market for IT services is highly fragmented, according to a recent report by Gartner. Inc., finding a reputable India software consulting firm is relatively easy thanks to the widespread use of industry specific best practices and growing number of well educated local IT experts. Local companies are now considered able to provide worthwhile software consulting services covering all aspects of the IT service, from software applications, to infrastructure, to core business processes. As a result, a rapidly growing number of enterprises look for IT software consulting provided by India-based consultants, which can also offer extremely competitive prices.

Evolving standards of local tertiary education led to a situation where enterprises look for India-based IT software consulting even if they do not plan to enter the local market but want to reduce their costs through off-shoring and outsourcing. The wage gap between India and the West is still quite wide and local companies are able to provide high quality consultations carried out by well-educated IT professionals. Therefore, the so-called labor arbitrage is working definitely in favor of India-based consultants.

Access to talent plays an important role in the global shift to outsourcing of consulting services of all kinds, and Indian software specialists have a proven record of accomplishment in providing quality software consulting services. Furthermore, local software vendors and consultants are already able to compete on equal terms with leading global companies when the matter in hand is to provide knowledge based approach toward development, implementation, and customization of business software and related processes.

In fact, IT software consulting is one of the fastest developing IT industry segments because of the growing role that software applications play in a wide range of business processes and procedures. On the other hand, the narrowing gap in the sphere of knowledge skills required for software development, assessment, and implementation makes it easier to hire a reliable third party software consultant. In addition, external consultants can provide consultations remotely thanks to standardization of software development and implementation practices across the world. Thus, a medium sized enterprise based in the United States can obtain valuable consultancy service, provided by an India software consulting firm, on implementation of new software that is developed by a Western software vendor, for example.

Globalization has led to a situation where organizations are no longer required to use local software consulting services in implementing new software solutions or configuring and customizing existing applications. In addition, organizations involved in all sectors of the economy are forced to reduce costs, including IT related costs; thus outsourcing software consulting services to providers in India is a wise move for managers looking to reduce costs while not sacrificing the quality of service they get.