An ideal IT research and development (R&D) services company should be knowledgeable about both hardware and software domain. Brainsmiths Labs has proven competencies in both.
We perceive R&D services as the first milestone to achieve the making of world class products. Brainsmiths Labs’s R&D takes place in focused research centers and technology labs where engineers identify the technology, tools and methodologies which are most appropriate to solve specific customer challenges. The R&D team also develops re-usable frameworks and components to solve generic industry problems. Our R&D team is constantly looking at new technologies from leading vendors and alliances with industry leaders which contribute significantly to our R&D approach.
R&D is, more than anything else, an investigation, with the goal of coming up with something new – a discovery that will result in a new product or service, or one that will improve or enhance an existing offering.
In the world of business, such research is “applied” (as opposed to theoretical) because its results will have real-world uses. Typical R&D activities include the following:
Today, companies are investing more in R&D than ever before. In a recent survey of central European companies conducted by Deloitte, 52% respondents stated that their companies will put more budgets into R&D over the next year or two, and, long-term, 67% plan on doing so. In addition to the obvious benefit to individual companies, there are other reasons:
New software in every niche hits the market every day. It is the result of creatives with great new ideas and software engineers who can put those ideas into innovative software.
Consider just the financial services industry, as an example. Banks began with software that allowed customers to access their accounts online, check their balances, schedule transfers and pull up a daily accounting of expenditures. But they knew that, as online banking grew, consumers would demand more and more services. Enter R&D. Now, consumers can access their bank and do many of the following, because of new software that has been developed.
Banks that stay on top of consumer wants and needs do the research on software development to meet those wants and needs, and then come up with the products that will serve those consumers.
It is the same with every business niche. Those companies that invest in software R&D will gain a competitive edge; those that do not will pay the price of lost customers/clients and a second-tier position within their industries.
There is no need to ask why R&D is important – it is the ticket to remaining competitive and to serving customers/clients better than that competition. It is also the ticket to getting recognition as a leader in the sector and it is the ticket to attracting the human expertise that will move a company forward.
Today’s R&D more often moves from traditional labs to two- or three-day hackathons setting similar rules for both big enterprises (IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.) and small start-up companies. According to one study, leading enterprises have started spending less on R&D of physical products like gadgets, investing more in software and IT services instead. At the same time, sponsoring internal, local, or international hackathons allows embracing both hardware and software R&D potential. Refreshing experience of a one-weekend event requires researching, developing and implementing a usable solution within a stringent deadline.
There are five reasons why companies run hackathons:
Organizing an international hackathon can cover a few goals gathering the world’s best developers, innovators and other experts in one place. Not so long ago, Brainsmiths Labs also took part in the international IoT hackathon as part of the Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018 conference, developing a blockchain solution for calculating vehicle emissions level. Participation in such a huge event brings authentic R&D experience.
The future of in-house R&D is mostly associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) development including Data Science (Predictive Quality and Predictive Maintenance), Machine Learning, Chatbots, Voice Assistants, Robotic Process Automation, and others. These trends will completely transform our R&D labs and approaches defining the success of most companies. A recent study already claims that in 2018, 38% of 500 surveyed IT experts focus on their AI-based projects in comparison to 41% of professionals who deal with IoT and blockchain projects.
Obviously, those who are the first to adopt these trends and deliver genuine market-changing inventions will establish their leadership in specific industries.
Recent research by Anne Marie Knott, professor at Washington University’s Olin School of Business, published in the Harvard Business Review, speaks to the importance of companies investing in their own R&D, rather than attempting to acquire it from outside or refraining from it altogether. Her study resulted in the following results and stats:
Small startups tend to receive more publicity on their R&D success, but, in fact, only 25% of those supported by venture capital actually return those investments. “Hitting a home run,” according to Knott is the exception, not the rule. Thus, the prospects of acquiring a small company that will have the software technology a company needs are actually not a common occurrence.
To recap the benefits indicated above, it is critical to note that in-house R&D technology development will generate:
R&D importance, and the key role it plays in a company’s future, is thus a given. No business that intends to remain fully relevant can ignore it. Consider just a few software innovations of 2017 that are making a big impact today:
There are broader uses for all of these innovations – uses that will provide security and civility in many other sectors.
Once you have made the decision that the importance of research and development cannot be ignored, it will be the job of an R&D manager or CTO to dig deep into what customers/clients want and need, what the competition is offering, and then to determine exactly what a new software product(s) must be able to do. This is the initial research activity, of course.
The rest of the research will be related to how to best develop the software product(s), what languages and methodologies to use, etc. Then, there is the development phase, with its architecture, testing, debugging, re-testing, and, ultimately, its launch.
If you lack the in-house expertise for such R&D, then it is time to have a discussion with Brainsmiths Labs. We offer full consultation, based upon your business niche and development goals, conduct additional research on your behalf, have a variety of approaches to software development (Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, Kanban, etc.), and will be able to assign a dedicated team to your project. That team will work in collaboration with your own staff until you have the product that is a perfect match for your needs.
Brainsmiths Labs team grasped the concept of my project very quickly and began working on the initial skeleton design, completing this in great time. The next phase, statistics coding, was always going to be time consuming but again, I was very happy that they got back to me with any little queries that ultimately saved time on the project management has been superb, great communication and understanding and all very professional and friendly.
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