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VMblog Expert Interviews: Qt Company - Can Software Development Frameworks Rescue Overwhelmed Enterprises?

 

VMblog recently sat down and spoke with Lars Knoll, CTO, The Qt Company.

VMblog:  What industry challenges have arisen as a result of the increasing adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices?  How has this impacted the overall customer experience?

Lars Knoll:  The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its almost countless connected devices has thrust us into a hyper-connected world, and this new reality is making the real-time delivery of products and services a common practice for enterprises - regardless of their industry.

On the one hand, this creates a vast array of opportunities for enterprises to gain a competitive advantage and boost customer loyalty, but the flip side of that coin is that customer expectations have skyrocketed - and enterprises are struggling to keep up. In fact, Forrester recently found that customer expectations will soon outpace companies' ability to evolve, and for those companies that have faced declines in customer experience performance, the declines will translate to a net loss of a point of growth.

To survive and thrive, enterprises need to do whatever they can to meet their customers' intensifying demands. In response, companies such as industrial manufacturers, automakers and medical device manufacturers are realizing that one of the most immediate ways to address real-time delivery is by streamlining the embedded device software development process. This way, those enterprises can deliver innovative devices, applications, and services in real-time - or as close to it as possible.

VMblog:  What is holding back device creators from addressing this industry demand?

Knoll:  Gartner forecasts that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019, and that the total will reach 25 billion by 2021. Concurrently, there are approximately 4.7 million developers in the world who can create these types of devices. The number of embedded devices in our hyper-connected world is rising exponentially, but the number of developers available to build those devices isn't growing as rapidly by any means.

Rather than throwing additional developer muscle at it, enterprises must implement a system to quickly and easily create products and services that are cheaper and more powerful than their competitors' offerings, while simultaneously delivering a superior user experience

VMblog:  How will streamlining the software development process address this issue?

Knoll:  According to Forrester, platform-agnostic software development frameworks can result in multiple, natively-developed code stacks or complex toolchains no longer requiring support - enterprises only need to maintain one code base and the associated toolchain. This saves significant development time and resources compared to developing for each native platform with individual teams and frameworks. In addition, cross-platform software development frameworks can make it much easier to move from one platform or embedded operating system to another, also saving development time.

VMblog:  What role does hardware play in this?

Knoll:  Software development frameworks create high-performance software, which lowers hardware requirements. This is critical because failing to consider the hardware requirements during the development process can result in much higher hardware costs. Therefore, if an app or service is developed using the right software development framework for that enterprise's needs, those resulting apps and services won't need to hoard a disproportionate amount of a device's processing power - and will drive down hardware costs.

VMblog:  How will this impact the time-to-market for devices moving forward, as the IoT trend continues to grow?

Knoll:  Because software development frameworks make the development process simpler and faster, new and improved products can become available to customers sooner, resulting in an edge over competitors. Furthermore, by using a software development framework, enterprises can much more easily share and reuse code between different products - and while this might require additional investment in the short term, it can lead to significant time and cost savings over the long-term.

In highly competitive industries such as automotive and manufacturing - where the line between success and failure can be razor-thin - enterprises need to scour to find every opportunity to gain an advantage over their competition. These enterprises are increasingly moving away from relying on hardware to provide steady revenue streams, and are instead turning towards software. So, if enterprises are hitching their wagons to the software star, they'd be wise to invest in technologies that can make the software development process more efficient, streamlined and cost-effective. Ultimately, for enterprises that question their ability to meet and exceed their customers' expectations (read: almost every enterprise), software development frameworks may be the tool that tips the scales in their favor.

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Published Tuesday, July 02, 2019 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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