Since all businesses now rely on software to function and perform services, the need for fast and secure delivery of software products and patches has never been greater. It needs a digital transformation.
If you’re a technology professional, you know that it’s always a serious challenge for a tech company to provide software services to millions of users. Software builds, updates, and patches not only have to be delivered to customers, but also regularly exchanged among thousands of developers, engineers, support desk technicians, partners, etc.
In my role as a CTO, I have come across many tech companies who have had problems securely and efficiently delivering their software products across the globe.
A big challenge I’ve seen is that experienced by support desk technicians. Namely the difficulty of exchanging large data files such as databases or debug logs with customers, while simultaneously meeting speed, security, efficiency and auditing needs.
A further challenge is using convenient file sharing methods like email attachments, that can’t handle large file sizes and don’t provide a sufficient audit and security trail. And while we’re talking about security requirements, specialized file exchange protocols like FTP and SFTP may not be secure enough, and are notoriously difficult to setup and manage since special network configuration is required. Furthermore, when sharing files, security/compliance requirements like virus scanning, encryption, audit trail and retention policies or sensitive documents are often not supported.
Therefore, with all these capacity and security issues with respect to delivering software digitally, maybe the answer is to physically mail media to your clients? However, in my opinion, this is not the way to go. Because although you may not be limited in regards to file size, this method is hardly efficient or secure.
After noticing these challenges among tech companies, Thru commissioned a study by Forrester Research to see how other tech companies around the world are delivering their software.
The study revealed that 66% of support desk teams are using freemium file sharing solutions to send and share patches and software logs; and four out of five tech companies in the study said that they had challenges with their current software delivery methods.
According to the Forrester study, corporate management should move away from multiple disparate solutions like FTP and freemium solutions, and find an enterprise-grade file sharing solution designed for software delivery.
So how should tech companies start tackling these software delivery challenges? Here are three points that will help you get started:
1. Prioritize your top software delivery needs first – When you’re providing software services to millions of users, there could be countless areas in handling the software that could be improved. In order to start making the biggest impact on your company right away, start by identifying and tackling a few top needs, then prioritize from the top down.
2. Find a solution provider that meets your specific needs – If you’re searching for a vendor for your software delivery needs, one of the best things you can do is to make sure they cater to those needs, rather than just a “one size fits all” solution. Start with vendors that you know are enterprise-grade file sharing providers and take your time making sure they meet your security, integration and availability requirements. Never settle for less.
3. Focus on the user experience – The user experience for customers and employees should always be one of the first things you should look to enhance. For software delivery, do some research to find out what your users would prefer when it comes to exchanging software builds and fixes. If most of your users tend to work from certain business applications, you could identify solution providers that offer out-of-the box integrations with those applications. Giving users a solution that is easy to learn and familiar will help you to retain customers, and reduce the number of support calls to your help desk.
As the amount of software and volume of distribution continues to grow, with industries like IoT about to go mainstream, the need for innovative software delivery is vital. Corporate management for tech companies must prepare now to keep up with the growing demand of software in businesses and enterprises around the world.
Sergey Arutiunov serves as CTO and VP Engineering for secure file sharing and collaboration provider, Thru.
Mr. Arutiunov has over 20 years experience in software design and engineering management, with the last 15 years in Silicon Valley, and has collaborated with large technology and content companies such as Apple, Disney, IBM and Microsoft.