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Digital Transformation Challenges and Solutions

[University of Michigan Law School]



Digital Transformation Challenges

Software Engineering and Digital Transformation focuses on developing advanced knowledge and expertise for the design and development of software and digital services and the digital transformation of business processes.
Following are the main challenges stopping digital transformation from taking off in full swing. Fortunately, these challenges were exactly what software engineering was designed for.

- Time to Market

The 21st century is a dog-eat-dog world. Companies will do anything to stay ahead of the competition. What this does is enable customers to expect new innovations to be available as soon as possible. The same goes for new features for existing products. This challenge of increasingly reduced time-to-market keeps companies on their toes.

- Flexibility

Let’s assume that a company manages to adhere consistently to the strict time-to-market pressures, it still has to plan for changing customer needs. The competition pounces on any opportunity that it sees. Therefore, companies have to produce flexible and agile product models that can take up new functionality or they may fall behind the competition. 

- New Technologies

In a world where new devices and technologies are launched regularly, software developers and companies have to prepare for relatively new concepts to stay competitive in the market. 

- Technology Heterogeneity

With the rapid supply of new technologies come heterogeneous devices. Companies have to standardize the interfaces between completely different technologies.

- Customer-Orientation

Since the advent of smartphones, software development has shifted most of its focus from functionality to customer experience. This forces companies to keep user-interface in mind at all times when developing consumer applications.

Solutions to Digital Transformation Challenges

- Microservices

In a nutshell, microservice is a group of little autonomous services that work together. Microservices fixes three of the aforementioned challenges instantly. It reduces time to market because each small service is autonomously designed by separate development teams. Hence, new functionalities can be released without a central restriction. 

Supports technology heterogeneity with its use of service interface. That is, different technologies can be used within each microservice. It enables flexibility as each microservice can take up new functionality of its own.


- API Design

Application Programming Interface (API) is what connects microservices. API is a big deal in software development. Big social media platforms like Google cannot function without an API. The API offers business functionality, gives flexibility to content creation and allows developers to transform new use cases for services. 

- Automation

The ability of a company to drastically reduce the time and effort dedicated to recurring tasks is what determines its success. Companies like Amazon are successful because they continue to deploy new applications that reduce time-to-market.

- Design

Most of the time, a digital product (service) will stand out from the competition due to its design. By design, we mean a potential customer’s first impression of a product. And this could go beyond the user interface. A good design will always satisfy the customer’s requirements.

- Heterogeneity Support

There wouldn’t be a high demand for software developers if all new technologies had the same design and functionality. It is in fact, this heterogeneous technology landscape that motivates companies to adapt their services to new technologies. For any company to undergo full digital transformation, its software engineering team must work and learn new, modern and rapidly changing technologies.

[More to come ...]



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