We recently spoke to a municipality about their current IT practices and came away with several interesting pieces of information that point to the probable future of a lot of the software industry.
- No internal development or very little at least. They are doing some API work to stitch Software Packages together but no straight development.
- Common database is being developed for all the purchased packagess to use. This reduces inter-package communication and enhances stability.
- The trend is for configurable packages and an attempt to make use of vanilla packages. This reduces upgrade risk and cost.
- Any errors are solved by a team and either patched or pushed into a project.
- First line support is supplied by a help desk and second line support is supplied by a Sysadmin who owns the application.
- Limited resources and budget. Some things do not change!
So where does that leave Development and Quality Assurance/Control?
- Clearly there is still a role for Development and Quality Assurance in the application providers.
However, is there a place for Development and Quality Assurance/Control in the end user (in this case the municipality)?
- Development still has a role as listed above although in the long term we expect business users simply to be supplied with basic laptops (or other devices) and access the cloud for all their apps.
What about Quality Control (Software Testing)?
- Very limited at the end user. After all, the packages are not developed locally so no need for many of the earlier levels of testing. Some need for System testing and guiding and supporting UAT but that will probably fade away.
What about Quality Assurance?
- Probably a longer term need for this service. We still need to get the acquisition process right. We still need to ensure the product works for the end user (from a process point of view).
- Eventually it might go away with a seamless and obvious process to handle everything but not in the immediate future.
Does this sound like your organisation and you are struggling? Call us to talk about your experience.