Software innovation…a burden?

Many organizations nowadays are working on developing a new software, a software meant to change things for the better, meant to improve something that is not working as it should, meant to make a difference on how things are done.

Mostly everyone in this business strives to bring out the best piece of innovation and they all are driven by the same noble purpose of helping people improve their work quality, giving something that people might need in order to ease their lives.

I read an article on www.forbes.com, some time back that got stuck in my mind up until today. A part of it says the following:

If you run a search on Romania’s IT sector you could easily be left with the impression that the country is about to deliver the next Facebook. But while the country’s IT sector is indeed booming, it also has an innovation problem. Romania has more IT engineers per capita than the US, India, China or Russia, and over the past few years the sector has grown impressively. Invest Romania, a government website, claims that it currently has year-on-year growth of 9% and forecasts the sector will be worth $4.5 billion by 2020.

But while engineers in the country are plentiful and sector growth is strong, what’s lacking are innovators and good product people. There are several popular-held opinions in the industry as to why Romania has a lot of good technical developers but struggles to produce disruptive startups.

Well, I must tell you, and Forbes for that matter, that Romania is focused towards innovation as well. I am lucky enough to represent one of those organizations, that had the courage to go out there and to launch a software, beating all the odds that our national burden of “outsourcers” has brought upon us. However… no matter the geography, mostly the same obstacles occur in the way of someone trying to promote change, innovation and improvement. And this is what I want to talk about in this article I am writing now.

While doing software promotion, marketing and sales, you come across many people, therefore many characters and many opinions. That is what helps you define where you stand and where you are heading. I am in charge with probably one of the hardest tasks, which is making people change their ways… to a new way. A way we consider better because, not only that is our proprietary software,but because we have been in the business long enough to have encounter all the errors, challenges and mistakes that might slow an online business, that might slow the traffic on a website, that might make server management a tough job by using so many interfaces…

That is how ClusterCS appeared, as a first reaction to our own issues and challenges we have faced over the years in dealing with server management, high traffic platforms, and well.. most importantly, many types of clients.

However change is never easy and that makes my job harder, myself being a promoter of change and innovation.

I am sure you have seen this image many times, and each time you have associated to your line of business, be it as sales rep, or a customer support analyst, manager, CEO, whatever…

It is the reality that surrounds us, especially us in the software development sector. People crave for new innovative technologies, crave for the possibility of making their work easier and, of course, for it to bring better performance and results. However, even being driven by this state of mind, people are hard to move towards what is new. It has been an issue forever and not only in the business world, it is happening everyday, from trying out a new coffee flavor, a new restaurant… to migrating to a new cloud provider, or in our case, migrating to a new control panel to manage your servers and websites.

I have started this whole chapter with ClusterCS, researching the market and getting to know what web-developers, sysadmins, website owners or even data centers are using as a management panel and what are their challenges, issues and well of course.. their needs. That is how we have contoured this software, based on experience and of course based on markets needs. Aren`t we all, right?

However, we are still facing the issue of change, which I am intentionally repeating throughout this article.

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

I guess, what I am trying to point out is that we, the rebels of innovation, the software developers, have another purpose we need to further nurture, which is the education of change, by helping people reach towards these new technologies we all are talking about, are drawn towards and make us look smarter in our conversations near the water-cooler.

First step towards this concept of change, is of course, understanding. Understand that organizations have their own internal processes that they need to respect, understand that our fellow web-developers and sysadmins have encountered their own set of challenges in the past and well they might be resilient to change simply because of the fear of failure. Well, because we are in the same boat, we understand your struggles and your challenges and that is what has driven us to create this piece of software, so your work will become easier and more enjoyable.

Second step is collecting feedback. We simply cannot exist without the feedback from our users, from the people fighting the lines daily in this wonderful business. So if you get to become a part of our community, please give us your feedback, we need it, because, we know we don`t hold all the answers, and your opinions are what will make our software, and every other software for that matter, become better and .. more useful.

Third is, well, power of paying it forward, if you use it and love it, as we all hope, help us by telling your friends, your coworkers, your network about us. Our struggle as software innovation organizations is building awareness. We do it of course, by using dynamic marketing tools available, however, nothing makes us more visible and, selfishly proud, than seeing users testimonials about using our software.

Every one of us out there, every company that has spent years and years developing and creating a piece of software.. goes through the same amount of challenges, each of them pressing harder or gentler on us, however, in the end.. we are what you experience while using our software. Therefore, use it and let us know how you feel, your experience is what crafts change, it`s what crafts mentalities and evolution.