Saying that the way we all work has profoundly changed during 2020 surely isn’t news to anyone. Yet, it’s not the fact that such a shift happened that matters but rather what businesses do from now on regarding those changes. That’s because a lot of companies still see themselves in crisis mode and, as such, imagine that working from home and relying on cloud-based technologies are just temporary trends.

Of course, that’s far from the truth. We are already seeing the first sights of what the new normal will look like. From now on, a lot of businesses will have to understand that these so-called trends are here to stay and will become a standard way of working. But they’ll need more than just that acceptance to make those changes work for them. They’ll need to adapt many of their practices at virtually all levels.

Faced with that scenario, it’s normal to feel anxious. But there’s a roadmap that can help you and your company navigate the waters of new normalcy – you can follow the example of the software development industry. That’s because a lot of the changes that are brand new for many industries have been standard practices for software development companies for years.

The relationship between what’s happening today with the way we work and how the software development industry has worked for more than a decade is so tight that you should use it as an example of best practices to follow. There’s plenty you can imitate, but if I were you, I’d start with the following 3 strategies that software companies have been using for years. Trust me, my team at BairesDev uses them day in and day out and they’ve provided us with high-quality results every time.

1. Embrace agile and its related methodologies

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If you have ever worked with a software development company, a software engineering team, or even an IT staff augmentation provider, you surely know that most of them are powered by agile methodologies. That strong preference isn’t whimsical – agile methodologies provide software companies with the flexibility they need to work on projects that may suffer multiple changes throughout their life cycles.

That quirk for managing unforeseeable events, inherent to software development, has now become extremely common throughout the business world. Markets and customer demands have been shifting ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing companies to constantly adapt to the new wants and desires of their audiences. That might mean changing a product that has stopped being relevant or that can’t be marketed (something restaurateurs will surely understand). It can also mean adapting operational processes, such as working with distributed teams.

In 2021, agility isn’t a “nice-to-have” but rather a “must-have” that allows businesses to quickly pivot to stay ahead of the curve. And the best way to achieve it is through agile methodologies. This framework is focused on iterative and highly collaborative work and requires that the team addresses any issue that might arise as rapidly as possible.

The take from this is simple – agile can improve the communication and collaboration within any team, but it’s especially useful for remote teams. As WFH practices become more and more common, agile should do so as well.

2. Nearshoring as a staff augmentation alternative

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As businesses move to the cloud and embrace remote work, they’ll have to rethink their approach to talent. Traditionally, companies focused their recruiting efforts on local markets, as they required new employees to come to the office to work. But since location isn’t a factor to do a lot of jobs, you’d be limiting yourself if you stuck with that local approach. Think about it – why look for professionals in your city when you could be searching for them in a global talent pool?

Yes, I’m talking about outsourcing but, specifically, about one of its newest variants: nearshoring. Rather than hiring professionals from far-off countries (a practice widely known as offshore outsourcing), businesses using nears horing contract outsourced teams that are based closer to their headquarters. Thus, if you’re based in the U.S., you’d nearshore to Latin America.

There are plenty of benefits when using this outsourcing model. Nearshoring companies have remarkable English proficiency, cultural affinity, and are timezone-aligned with you. Of course, there’s also the cost savings that come with outsourcing, a not-so-minor detail in these times of constrained budgets and smart investments. So, by using the nearshore model, you’d be able to find the professionals you’re looking for with plenty of advantages and none of the limitations of local-only recruitment.

Even if you don’t hire entire teams to work for you, you can still look for businesses like BairesDev that offer IT staff augmentation services. That way, you can find the talent you need to bridge your talent gaps in the fastest possible way. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that this only works when you have to outsource software development. You can nearshore pretty much any activity that can be done remotely, from accounting to content writing.

3. Increased focus on customization and quality

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The fundamental service we offer in the software industry is custom software development for companies in need of digital solutions. Customization is central to our business because we know that the only way our clients can leverage any given technology is by carefully adapting it to how they work. Sounds familiar? It should. Personalization is quickly becoming a standard across industries and will continue to do so during 2021 and beyond.

It’s hardly surprising. People want to use products and services that resonate with them, that feel familiar, that seem designed especially for their use. So, that obsession the software industry has with customization is the perfect mirror to see yourself. Are your company and its processes ready to provide that level of personalization?

Customization isn’t the only driving force for customer experiences. People also crave high quality on everything they consume, so you must aim to provide them with what they expect. To do so, you can take a page out of the software development’s playbook. Being a highly competitive industry, software development companies have long invested in training and tools to build digital technologies with the highest possible quality.

Quality is paramount for applications, as they are now intervening in pretty much everything around us, including highly sensitive areas like healthcare and banking. With so much at stake, it’s only natural that software developers have developed agile-driven QA processes to squash as many bugs as possible for their products. That’s what you should imitate – prioritizing quality along with customization to better suit the needs of your audiences and ensure the performance and durability of your products and services.

Some final words

When the pandemic hit the world more than a year ago, BairesDev and all of its engineers kept moving forward and doing business as usual. That wasn’t a stroke of luck or a coincidence. We had adopted the strategies we needed to prevent that kind of thing from ever affecting us. Of course, that might have been easier for us as software development was always more prone to working remotely and using agile methodologies. But that doesn’t mean there’s no strategic value in doing, the same value that’s becoming evident to businesses of all fields.

As 2021 evolves and the new normalcy starts to settle in, you’ll surely realize that the pandemic-related disruptions have changed forever how we work. Moving forward through them will be challenging but adopting the 3 strategies I’ve described here should get you closer to a more resilient and flexible business that’s more prepared to overcome any obstacle that gets in its way.