'Digital Transformation' has become a buzzword in recent years, and with good reason. Hardly any area is spared. Whether in the professional or private environment - digitization has come to change everything. Today, digital transformation is no longer a 'like-to-have'; it's a 'must-have'. Companies are no longer asking the question "Should we really?" but "How can we digitize faster and better?". ## What is Digital Transformation? At its core, digital transformation is about doing things differently. It's taking the core activities that make your business what it is and transforming them into a digital-centric version. It's also about doing different things. By embarking on a digital transformation program, you open the doors to many more business opportunities, whether that's entering new markets, creating new products, or expand processes across continents. ![digital_transformation_Photo by Ashwin Vaswani on Unsplash ](https://res.cloudinary.com/dytzyiahx/image/upload/v1626183472/ashwin_vaswani_Jq_Z7q_S3x_OE_unsplash_5802d0f70b.jpg) ## How Digital Transformation effects the software developing industry History is littered with examples of companies who failed to innovate in response to a changing world. For example, Blockbuster failed to innovate when Netflix came onto the scene, offering digital-movies at home. Nokia was once the world's leading mobile phone brand, but it experienced a 95% decline in profit when the iPhone came along. Why? They failed to innovate and instead relied on their Brand to make sales. Digital transformation should therefore be seen as an opportunity and not as an annoying must. Especially since digitization can simplify processes and significantly increase output, has a positive impact on growth and can be the important difference from the competition. However, Software development is specifically affected by digital transformation: - **Time-to-market:** Software should not be rigid, but flexible and adaptable to meet new requirements quickly and easily. Therefore, the time-to-market becomes more and more important: How quickly can developers react to new requirements and does the process allow the rapid release of new functions? - **Flexibility:** Long gone are the days when waterfall-methods were used. As already explained, flexibility is important to shorten the time-to-market. It is essential to be flexible enough to react to requirements and requested functions. Waterfall methods slow down, which is why agile concepts are increasingly in demand. - **Software linking:** As more and more software solutions are expected to communicate with each other, it is more important than ever that developers know exactly what their users need. As isolated programs hardly exist anymore and become increasingly complex, creative and holistic solutions are a must in order to profit from these programs in the longer term. - **Connection to legacy software:** Furthermore, the complexity increases the more legacy software is available and special solutions must also be found. This increases the demands on the programmers and requires creative and reliable solutions. - **Automation:** Digital transformation also directly influences the software development process. Major differences can be seen above all in the release of code. An efficient method is CI/CD (Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery). This makes new code available at short intervals. More precisely, app changes are automatically tested and uploaded to a repository (such as GitHub or a container registry) or code is automatically released to the customer. - **All about the users:** More than ever user-oriented approaches are important for developers. Since a software program is evaluated according to the benefits it offers and its user experience, it is important to increase competencies in this area. Whether a user likes the handling of the program should be listed as one of the most important decision criterion. - **New Business Models:** As digital product innovation can be crucial to the success or failure of a company; competencies should be built up in this area. Especially because the company's growth, competitiveness and value for the customer depend on it. Where do you get the best (technical) information if not from the developers of the application? That’s why developers should be asked to provide new ideas and approaches for the product too. #### The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Acceleration of Digital Transformation Almost overnight, companies around the globe were forced to close their offices and work from home. Remote working was only possible on such a massive scale due to companies' digital transformation efforts in the years leading up to the pandemic. Digital transformation was already a growing trend before COVID-19, but it was accelerated when the pandemic hit. Suddenly, companies with the technology to be more agile and adaptable found it easier to transition to a new way of working. Software development is a key part of digital transformation efforts, and we expect to see more companies investing in custom software development projects today and in the future. Companies need to focus on leveraging new software to advance their strategic goals in the digital age. For some companies, software development will be centered around providing robust and reliable remote working software for employees. For others, it will be providing the next cutting-edge digital experiences to consumers or clients. ##### Conclusion There's no doubt about it: digital transformation is in full swing. Those who have the opportunity should seize it and digitize and, in the best case, automate processes. This gives you time to focus on your core competencies and differentiate yourself from the competition. That should be the goal of digital transformation in every company. Otherwise, there is a risk of falling behind and no longer catching up with those who are using digital transformation for their business.