In the Information Age, software has spread to all areas of our lives, making individuals and businesses highly reliant on modern technologies to perform daily activities.
Yet, with more and more companies deploying tech solutions, it’s only natural that they find themselves facing various challenges of software engineering along the way. After all, no matter how skilled a team you have, issues almost always turn up.
As a business leader, the best way to tackle these difficulties is by being aware. Hence, in today’s post, we want to discuss the most common software development challenges teams tend to encounter and share some tips on how to solve them. Let’s get started.
Common Issues in Software Development
Of course, depending on the industry you operate in, the project management methodology you decide to follow, and whether you choose to outsource development or utilize your in-house team — the problems you face will vary.
However, no matter the type of application you’re building, there are some common key challenges you should be prepared for.
Rapid Technology Advances
It’s no secret that technologies are advancing at high-speed rates, and keeping the pace up with innovations can be a challenging endeavor. Not only because teams have to continuously stay on top of best practices but also because many organizations are still struggling to transform their internal systems and processes to be on par with the modern world.
The truth is, outdated legacy systems can cause significant damage by hindering productivity, escalating costs, and wasting invaluable time. The missed opportunities quickly pile up and before you know it — a competitor has quickly overtaken you by modernizing legacy systems to optimize internal operations.
Tips on dealing with rapid technology advances:
- Ensure your team is continuously improving its skills
- Attend industry-relevant events to stay up-to-date on the latest developments
- Build programs that are scalable and can be adjusted in the long run
- Modernize outdated legacy systems to leverage modern opportunities
Another common software engineering difficulty that you may encounter is the need for your solution to adhere to data privacy regulations as well as some industry-specific laws.
With the regulatory landscape becoming more and more complex, teams often face regulatory compliance challenges since no solution should be released prior to checking that everything’s in order. After all, you want your users to feel safe while also avoiding potential penalties.
Those in finance will likely have to deal with PCI DSS, PSD2, and SEPA regulations. Healthcare-focused firms will need to stay on top of HIPAA. Those that operate in Europe won’t manage to bypass GDPR and those in the state of California — CCPA. You get the picture.
Tips on ensuring regulatory compliance:
- Include regulation discussions in your IT strategy planning meetings
- Hire a software development vendor with experience in building compliant solutions
- Confer with a legal consultant prior to starting the development process
The more organizations rely on technology, embrace Big Data and IoT, transition to cloud-based platforms, and implement other IT innovations, the more efficient and flexible they become. Yet, these advantages tend to come with increased security risks.
As firms process and store sensitive information online, they become prime targets for cybercriminals who are just itching to get a hold of the data. Naturally, any breach can generate enormous losses for an organization. Whether it be in the form of customer churn or financial implications, data leaks are something you want to avoid.
Tips on boosting your cybersecurity:
- Keep security in mind during the entire development process
- Build solutions by using high-level programming languages
- Perform regular security testing and code reviews
- Embrace blockchain technology to make the most of cryptography and decentralized record-keeping
The pandemic has completely uprooted the strategies, priorities, and, in consequence, budgets of many companies. Thus, forcing organizations to become ever more meticulous with money allocation and cost management. Interestingly, for many industry leaders, prioritizing investments in IT is a top priority, with 69% accelerating digital business initiatives in response to COVID-19.
So, while optimal budgeting is one of the key challenges you may face in software development projects, your IT priorities shouldn’t suffer because of it.
Tips on effective budgeting:
- Decide which IT projects are of the highest priority and projected to yield the best results
- Get accurate software development cost estimates from your team
- Focus on initiatives that will cut costs in the earliest time frame
One of the key reasons in software development that often causes project delays is lack of organization. At times, due to poor project management, unclear goals, or frequent requirement changes, teams start multitasking and fall behind on the pre-settled plans. Naturally, this is something that all stakeholders want to avoid.
Tips on facilitating excellent project management:
- Ensure you have an effective Project Manager
- Define and agree on the scope early on
- Create concise and thorough requirements documentation
- Turn to agile software development
- Communicate expectations, progress, and outcomes throughout the process
According to research, in the last five years, more than half of global organizations have experienced a tech skills shortage that has held them back. Specifically, in the areas of cybersecurity, enterprise architecture, and advanced analytics.
Hence, it’s no surprise that attracting top IT talent is one of the major problems in software engineering. Moreover, once you’ve found skilled specialists, it’s imperative to ensure they’re continuously improving their expertise. Hence, you might also face some difficulties when coming up with long-term onboarding and training strategies.
Tips on accessing and keeping top-level talent:
- Create a comprehensive training plan for in-house developers
- Figure out the key IT skills you’re missing and prioritize their search
- Consider outsourcing software development to gain access to international talent and reduce potential hiring costs
In the modern world, most businesses have various systems, applications, and programs working in parallel to fulfil different organizational needs. However, integrating all this software for maximum efficiency can be a real challenge for developers.
Hence, if you have an ERP system, CRM platforms, contact center applications, and other programs that weren’t built with integration in mind — you may face major software development challenges. Luckily, they can be resolved and prevented.
Tips on avoiding problems with third-party integration:
- Consult experts who can advise you about the possible risks of your chosen tech stack
- Take time to prepare when working with old or very new third-party tools
- Test and rework your solutions to ensure optimal integration
The tech industry is booming, and new players are constantly entering the market with their innovative solutions. Thus, if you’re building a consumer-facing product, competition is bound to be stiff.
Unlike some of the technical challenges in software product development we’ve discussed above, high levels of competition require a strategic approach to be tackled. After all, you want your final solution to stand out and perform well — otherwise, why invest all that time and money.
Tips on surpassing competition:
- Research your competitors and determine points of differentiation
- Focus on catering to the needs of your end users
- Continuously perfect your solution after the launch to ensure growth
No matter the software your organization has set out to build, what you’ll be dealing most often with are people. Various stakeholders, including company leadership, developers, and outside vendors, will all have to collaborate extensively to ensure the final product is the best it can be.
However, as is the case with any team, conflicts can arise, and accounting for this human factor isn’t always easy when trying to foresee software development problems.
Tips on dealing with the human factor:
- Establish clear communication guidelines
- Reiterate the goals of the project throughout the process to keep everyone focused
- Try to assemble teams that have a long history of working well together
Avoiding Problems in Software Development
As you can see, there are quite a few software development issues and challenges you may encounter in your projects. From ensuring regulatory compliance and high levels of security to effectively managing people and project budgets — new IT tools may not always come easy.
However, at Velvetech, we believe that with the right preparation and approach, all challenges can be overcome. Thus, if you’re looking for a partner offering software development services to help you navigate the tricky tech world — don’t hesitate to reach out. We will be happy to leverage our extensive expertise and develop a truly unique solution for your organization.