The business strategy behind software development.
From a native Sri Lankan developer.
Developing Software in Sri Lanka is so affordable?
Wow it’s a nice question but believe me, the statement you get here will give your brain spin.
Since it’s very simple to answer but you need to know the primary reasons which make this happen for many years.
The software industries are moving nowadays on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and own algorithms. However, it’s not that simple to develop these modules efficiently in low-level cost estimation however all the mentioned modules are not developed on Softwares we use today but companies such as Uber, Google, WSO2, Microsoft and some companies with a long vision.
It’s all depending on the requirement of the client, there are two factors mostly considered among many clients on the development framework. We called Q&C which is “Quality and Cost”, these are the reasons most of the development industries choose Sri Lanka to run their development centers.
Let’s talk about Q&C factors.
This factor is all about the quality of the product and the clients who expect the outcome in better quality measures. The developers in Sri Lanka are capable enough to develop Software systems with high-level intelligent technology modules also the development cost of this may be quite lower when we compare with development cost in the USA or Europe but these all are measured by the living cost of the country and the tax-restrictions from the governments.
The average living cost of the USA is six times higher than the average living cost of Sri Lanka, anyhow the private education cost in Sri Lanka is so higher than the living costs. It does not mean both developers are equally paid but it is depending on the living cost. An average salary of an engineer in Europe or the USA is 8 times greater than the engineers in Sri Lanka.
This is a kind of reason Sri Lanka engineers are not paid more also this reason makes many companies start their development centers here to increase the profits by minimizing costs. Literally the developers are well-educated and capable enough to deliver the best quality product including artificial intelligence and more within budget level costs.
We follow some important ethics to develop systems in quality factor.
Best practices — Best practices are a set of rules to make sure we develop the systems in the best ways as documented in the provider’s guides also it should comply with the industrial standard and legal guidelines.
Development standards — Each programming language and frameworks have its own standard guidelines to make sure the development modules are fixed in a standard way which is the opposite of the independent development method that we will look at the cost factor.
So simply here nobody can develop systems in their own ways unless it complies the standard or as per a better justification of the theory which we include in the internal standard circle.
Latest technologies — In order to avoid the incompatibility of development and security issues in the middle, we choose the latest and stable technologies that have the best performance and security patches matching with today's trends.
It means we don’t rely on old and outdated technology models which would lead to security threats and vulnerabilities also the lastest technologies are much compatible with the devices we have nowadays which comes with in-built updated performance improvements and best protection mechanisms.
Security — It’s all about protections and vulnerabilities we have on our systems. These days and organizations are so busy with hunting good ideas of others that make them get the idea of another product and implement it in their own ways with more features which may let the creator of the idea down.
Some unethical ways are also being practiced to break (hack) the system to lead the customers of the product in disappointment so at this gap they can come up with the proper implementation with more security practices to gain customers. This teaches us the importance of security when we have the intention to make the marketing model be survived, not only the system.
Expandable framework — The nature of the businesses is they are not always relying on the same strategy. The changes and development in a business model are based on the profit of the business. When the businessman has come to know the current model of the marketing strategy may not work as expected hence a new idea may be implemented to achieve the goals so all of the systems should be re-developed with the new requirements at minimal costs since some of them are already developed.
This is where our development model is compatible to accept this challenge and should be easily implementable in low-efforts instead of paying a bunch of amounts again to develop it from scratch. Some future developments may affect the existing customer base sometimes so the model should be able to roll-back it to the previous stage in case a disaster. It’s all about the true satisfaction of the clients.
As I mentioned in the Quality factors this is the second factor of Q&C which the client only focuses on the cost, not the quality. This cost module can help to some groups of clients who;
- Have short vision goals,
- Don’t consider the best standards,
- Don’t consider security practices,
- Need not to rely on industrial standards guidelines,
- Don’t consider the legal laws and intellectual property issues,
- Are careless on the quality of the product they provide to customers,
- Just need the system in action and don’t care about anything but cost.
This module may help them to run the system but not face the challenges it triggers, when it comes to development mostly the development team is independent to make decisions and choose the cheapest combinations of technology development tools to build the system without considering all the points I mentioned in quality factor.
Some of the development approaches in the only-low-cost factor.
Independent development — As I mentioned in the Development standards title under the quality factor, here we don’t consider any of the standards, best practices, and guidelines of the technology providers. The development module of this method gives all the control to the developers to choose the programming methods as per their own decision (which they know, not which it needs) or the cost but this is where they don’t consider any threats, stability, and reliability of the chosen technologies.
It’s all about independence so they can use whatever they want or even sometimes they can replicate the product which is already owned by another client of their organization with little changes.
Non-standard — Standard is what we make to limit the independence of the development model and stick to the best thought guidelines of a group of experts. Anyhow it sounds great but we don’t care about those in this cost sector which may lead to unethical issues, quality measurement issues, and standard violations.
If the client has a long vision the developer may not stick on this module because it’s something making software without any standards. The developers who develop this system only have an idea what they have done if the client gets the access to the project and submit to another party to do further developments but unfortunately, the new party may not continue it with these practices or they may take you to the decision to make another investment to re-build.
Security weakness — We know well from the above quality factor that how much it’s important to follow the best security practices. Low-security practices would lead to high potential hazards by giving a bunch of vulnerabilities which is easy to give access to our system to hackers or thieves who steal ideas.
It’s all about our customers if we care more about giving a better experience to our customers with the best product then it’s a compulsory duty to provide the best security product. All over there is a crime called data-stealing so you have the responsibility to protect your customer's information not only your system. Hackers are so intelligence to hide their footprints and steal yours and your customer's data in no time.
Legal issues — As I already mentioned the developers are so independent in the cost-only methods which they can fake your ownership of the product and also they may keep a copy of all of your source files of the product because there is no legal acknowledgment to ensure these between both parties.
The dangerous zone is you can’t ensure your system or software which is made by your ideas might be sold to another party with similar functionalities as same as this, you also cannot guarantee whether the developer developed the system according to your requirements or replicate another client's project with your similar requirements.
It sounds funny but it’s not legal as we promised to the client as we are working this for only them then share the product to another party for earning through the idea.
Nowadays most of the developers have a group of client bases by providing such non-standard and unethical products. We know we are living in an innovative era so here we can find anything online.
So do you think it’s difficult to find a software product online which may have some similarities with your requirements?
The answer is YES, we can find many products’ source (code) files in websites such as Gitlab and Github. This is what many developers who provide products on a very low cost are having as a usual practice, they download some similar projects already developed and hosted in websites and then customize some functionalities as they are good at that, finally implementing some of the unique requirements of the client and deliver it as the best product but it’s not.
Some of them are providing at a low cost or even free, it’s not they are doing charity rather they are stealing your data and selling them to advertisers. Believe me, it’s what happens in industries today.
“If the product is free, you are the product”
A good example is Facebook; they don’t steal, they don’t spy but we provide our identity by using their product.
The conclusion is yours.
Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this useful article.