The new normal looks different for many industries, but in software development, there is a trend of disparate workforces. Employees work from anywhere they choose, often with no physical head office. This means software development organizations can have employees in different countries, in different timezones, and with completely different IT requirements.
However, many software development companies don’t have IT departments at all. Instead, their developers play double duty and handle IT issues as they come about. After all, it’s a given that employees at a software company will be tech savvy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that writing code isn’t the same skill as managing IT systems.
In order to succeed in the new normal of disparate work — and ensure you bring your product to market on time, keep your data and customer data secure, and offer high uptime — it’s important to have a clear IT strategy in place.
Your source code is everything to your organization. Outside of your people, it might be your most valuable asset.. If it is corrupted, stolen, or compromised in any way, what happens to your business? Will your customers still trust you? Will you be able to win new customers? Will investors still see potential in your company? Will employees still want to work for you?
IT security for a disparate workforce is complicated because it’s about more than just locking down the castle. There is no head office, so IT teams have to lock down multiple castles, which can be incredibly complex. That’s where other security measures like multi-factor authentication and password management come into play, in order to reduce the chances of ransomware, phishing, and other cyberattacks.
Your employees need the ability to share large amounts of data across multiple locations, while ensuring it remains secure. This may involve centralizing data by moving it from on-prem to the cloud and working with service providers that offer low latency and edge computing.
Software development teams also need systems that offer them speed and uptime so that they don’t lose productivity and efficiency. With an IT strategy in place, IT teams can guide remote employees on the best internet for their location, and help them troubleshoot issues — even if they live in the middle of nowhere and work in a different time zone. Without a dedicated IT team and strategy, however, employees are left to fend for themselves, and may be more prone to introducing security issues.
It may seem that the culture of a company isn’t closely connected to the IT aspect, but that’s hardly the case. Training, work-life balance, virtual social gatherings — all of these have a deep connection to IT. When considering the future of work for your software development company, it’s best to involve IT at the highest levels so they can help support all other initiatives.
IT strategy can’t be an afterthought or a second job a developer needs to do in their spare time — instead, it has to be an executive-level function with a detailed plan that is aligned with business goals. This way, IT can support go-to-market deadlines and ensure the source code remains secure, while providing employees with the resources they need to do their jobs.
Flexibility, scalability, and elasticity — you can have it all with the right IT strategy and team. No matter where, when, and how your employees work, IT can support all your business goals and help your software development organization thrive.
Download the software development IT Self Assessment to evaluate how ready your IT department is for the future of work and the new normal.