The Business of Building Engineering Software
The Business of Building Engineering Software
Four Ways the Cloud Gives Us an Edge
We’ve come a long way as far as computer processing goes. Barely thirty years ago, enormous main-frame computers and other bulky physical hardware was the norm. Now each day new developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud analytics mean that corporations can operate at an entirely new level, realizing efficiencies that were just a pipedream several years ago.
Above all, emerging technologies can make running a business much easier. Developing world-class engineering software is hard. The question of how best to invest and grow is constantly front and center. Do we hire staff, invest in infrastructure, add to the product line? A business that wants to stay on top struggles to get it right. In the thick of all the decisions that need to be made, here’s one thing I’ve learned: The business that takes advantage of cloud computing is bound to come out ahead. Here are four reasons why software development and cloud technologies are a good fit.
1. Remote Work Doesn’t Slow Us Down
Code development requires programmers to work on their own—and in teams. Access to cloud-based coding platforms means that work done remotely is as efficient (if not more so) as work done physically in the office. Programmers can work autonomously but can also do paired virtual programming, sharing code when necessary to trouble-shoot problems. Code corrections can be deployed immediately to client desktops via a central server. Highly efficient teamwork is possible through programs like Microsoft Team, Visual Studio and others. The pandemic hit us hard and staff were forced to adjust to remote work, but thankfully the company’s “lifeblood”—our ability to develop state-of-the-art software code—didn’t suffer.
2. Our Programmers Take Advantage of Automation
Most professionals—and this includes software developers—have some aspect of their job that is repetitive and tedious. To be competitive, the process of developing code needs to be stream-lined and efficient. What does this mean? More time on content creation—less on editing. More and more cloud platforms offer a variety of code storage, review and analysis tools that eliminate the most mundane tasks associated with code development. To the extent coders are able to focus on the work that really counts, the better. In addition, cloud-based platforms give developers access to multiple coding languages, thus giving our developers yet another professional edge.
3. Our Engineering Clients Get a Leg Up with Data in the Cloud
Nearly all data relating to the physical environment is digitized. However, the enormous quantity of data this represents is impossible to physically store in one location, let alone one workstation. The success of world-class engineering software—and the professionals that use it—depends on access to data stored in the cloud. Our software is built around cloud-based data, some of which is pre-processed in our software applications. In addition, this data is accessible to both international and domestic customers via data servers located around the world. Our software computes and analyzes large data sets and has the capacity to scale this process up or down, per the client’s needs. Again, access to cloud capabilities sets a company apart from the competition.
4. The Cloud Eliminates Computer Hardware. Need We Say More?
Prior to the cloud, software companies were swamped with the costs of buying and maintaining physical hardware—and the software to run it. Since our operations moved to the cloud, we have few expenses associated with hardware maintenance. Server space is increasingly important, but we can easily contract for more. Did we mention data security? Our cloud provider offers security and back-up services. Another perk relates to company records. Here again a company can thrive: Administrative issues are handled seamlessly via cloud-based book-keeping software.
We have seen that at specific times throughout history, an invention or new process can catapult world commerce into a new era of efficacy and performance. The Industrial Revolution’s introduction of mechanized processes is a case in point. Manufacturing was never the same once mechanized processes took over; business protocols were irreversibly altered. Within the field of software development and computing, we could argue that the cloud is having a similar effect. Those that embrace it will realize numerous cost efficiencies and will be poised to surge ahead. The cloud, like the dawn of the assembly line some years ago, offers a competitive advantage to the companies that embrace it.