Software guerrilla warfare
South African software companies should find themselves a specific niche which they have a good chance of dominating and avoid taking on international firms head-on, says Jacques Ludik, MD of CSense.
Ludik will be keynote speaker at the Software Engineering Colloquium in Cape Town on Wednesday, 18 May. This is the first such event to be held in the country to discuss how South African companies can raise their international profiles and benefit from the global trend to outsource software development.
"Small companies are often in a Catch-22 situation. They have to get a product to market as soon as possible, but in order to do that, they may have to ignore standards, which can be very expensive and time-consuming to implement," Ludik says.
He says his company did not initially use standards, but in the eight years of its existence it has matured and now complies with most international standards of software engineering. This was done through the appointment of software engineering project managers who ensured products met these standards.
"Not enough is being done to promote standards within the South African software industry and there is probably a need to create some kind of organisation that could act as a central resource for small companies starting in this arena," he says.
Ludik says CSense has teamed up with two US companies, General Electric and Invensys, which have become resellers of the company`s products around the world.
"Our product sits on top of their products and they complement each other nicely. This is far better than trying to take some of those companies head-on," he says.