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The Tech Industry Has an Innovation Problem — Here’s Whyby@shivanathan
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The Tech Industry Has an Innovation Problem — Here’s Why

by Shiva Nathan4mMarch 10th, 2023
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A McKinsey Global Innovation surveyrevealed that 94% of executives were unsatisfied with their company’s innovativeness. With over 5 million apps available for download between the Apple App Store and Google Play, implementing innovation strategies into your business model is more important than ever. Features-as-a-Service (FaaS) provides developers with everything they need to integrate, update, and maintain app.
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Companies are pressed to innovate their applications and software to meet changing consumer and market demands, but it is not happening as fast as it should. Here’s why.

A McKinsey Global Innovation surveyrevealed that 94% of executives were unsatisfied with their company’s innovativeness. According to several other industry reports and surveys, they’re not the only ones who feel that way. Everyone in the technology industry — from software developers to executive leadership — recognizes that there is a significant innovation problem.

With over 5 million apps available for download between the Apple App Store and Google Play, implementing innovation strategies into your business model is more important than ever. It may seem obvious, but companies that innovate are more successful than their competitors because users look for apps that stand out and provide increased functionality that aligns with the constantly evolving market. This poses the question – if tech leaders and engineers aren’t allocating time to innovation, what are they spending time on?

Lacking Time and Resources

According to a report by Stripe and Harris Poll, developers allocate 17 hours a week (approximately 42% of their time) on tasks such as bad code, debugging, and software updates. This is simply not efficient for companies that want to differentiate themselves from competitors or position themselves as committed innovators.

Global tech leaders, too, agree that these activities affect the ability to be innovative. In a separate report, 77% of leaders said “basic maintenance and support activities” are the biggest barriers to innovation today.

While companies should be investing in innovation activities like in-depth research and leveraging new technology, their most valued innovation resources — their developers — are spending precious time on tedious and time-consuming activities. As a result of this, there is no time for creative and ideation activities that drive innovation.

This challenge, coupled with development timelines that are too long considering the current pace of technology evolution, is now causing the industry to come to the realization that something needs to change. And, that change can start by taking a new approach in application development.

Solving Tech’s Innovation Problem

It's not easy to prioritize innovation with software constantly changing in what is known as the SaaS sprawl. And, of course, when these changes occur, developers spend a lot of time ensuring their offerings are up-to-date and are functioning properly.

For instance, in June of 2021, Meta announced they would no longer support the use of embedded browsers for Facebook Login due to security concerns. This meant developers had to revise their implementation or users would no longer be able to log in with Facebook. Not only were they required to change the implementation, but it had to be done by August, leaving developers with only two months to make the changes.

Although the deadline was ultimately extended given the pushback the company received from the industry, it highlighted a common challenge engineering teams face far too often in today’s ever-evolving
software landscape. It’s nearly impossible for developers to spend time
generating new ideas when their apps require constant updates and maintenance.

This is where Features-as-a-Service (FaaS) comes in.

With new applications and functionalities hitting the market daily and development teams allotting precious resources to maintenance, enterprises are looking for ways to implement a concrete approach to innovation and set their app apart from others and a FaaS approach can help them accomplish that. Not only does the FaaS approach offer a solution to the day-to-day obstacles and help get products to market faster, but it also allows developers to focus on building truly creative solutions and novel features — leading to a greater impact and more successful outcomes.

Every application on the market has different commodities — features like login, chat, deep links, and push notifications, among many others — that provide their foundational functionality. Software engineers must continually rebuild these features to meet industry standards and keep their apps up to date as well as tend to technical debt and maintenance. FaaS is a more specific approach to development and provides developers with everything they need to integrate, update, and maintain app features. It removes the burden of having to rebuild the functions repeatedly or allocate valuable time to activities unrelated to innovation.     

As we continue to see the market grow and additional functionality being rolled out, enterprises must continuously add capabilities to their app to compete. It’s unrealistic to expect developers to keep up with maintenance and be the innovation leaders behind the products at the same time. It is also not sustainable for enterprises to acquire continual technical debt to keep up with the pace of the market and innovation. The FaaS
approach to application development enables enterprises to solve these
challenges and truly compete by accelerating development times, providing time for ideation and differentiation, saving time and resources, and inspiring developers to be the true innovators they are.