There’s been a major shift in software product development. Just a few short years ago “not invented here” syndrome ran rampant among software product companies. Many companies were simply unwilling to partner with firms specializing in R&D and product engineering services. This phenomenon was largely built out of fear of letting go of “Core IP”.
Truthfully, a handful of the naysayers had a point. If you truly have differentiating software IP (read: a complex and differentiated scientific algorithm) it probably is wise to keep a bit of the continued R&D around that asset in house. That said, very few executives actually understand what Core IP really is.
Two trends have rapidly pushed companies to rethink their “not invented here” mindset. First, the title wave of innovation continues to swell forcing software product companies to quickly adapt to new trends. The intersection of mobile and cloud computing with social media and vast amounts of information allows for a myriad of always on, context aware, and highly engaging products to be brought to market. Software products are quickly becoming an extension of the person and product companies must quickly adopt emerging techniques in order to retain marketshare. It’s nearly impossible for companies to keep up while they simultaneously run focus on their business.
Secondly, more and more companies are relying heavily on software to provide their services. Media, information services, education, and healthcare companies, for example, are all relying heavily on digital platforms to distribute information, engage their consumers, and provide differentiated services. This expansion has significantly increased the demand of product management and engineering expertise. This demand makes it difficult to find and retain expert talent and thought leaders.
The market has embraced the software product development services industry. No longer is it taboo to retain a product development partner to help accelerate product innovation. In fact, the trend has totally reversed. It is now nearly impossible to maintain marketshare without it. Software product development partners are now the industry’s best friend.