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How to play offense with software during a pandemic

Lew Cirne Profile picture for user Lew Cirne June 30, 2020
More than ever, the world relies on software and the developers who strive to perfect it, writes New Relic CEO and founder Lew Cirne

Developer working late to perfect software © Africa Studio - shutterstock
(© Africa Studio - shutterstock)

We are living in unprecedented times. How many times have you heard that in the last three months? It is probably the number one salutation for emails I respond to. This is the great truth that we all know, face, struggle and contend with every day; we truly are living in an unusual era. And as it relates to software, the world needs software more than ever, software is the lifeblood of the world.

Imagine if this horrible virus, COVID-19, were actually COVID-89. That is, what if this virus hit the world a mere 30 years ago, in 1989. At that point in time, the internet was a virtual unknown to the world. There were a few people like me struggling to get their 28k modems to connect to a BBS or to AOL. But for all intents and purposes, the internet was a toy, a fad and not capable of doing much at all.

It’s remarkable how far we’ve come and how software is helping us find our way through this incredibly difficult – and, yes, unprecedented time.

Today, software allows us to shop online for groceries and other necessities, including medical prescriptions. It allows us to facilitate ongoing education for our kids to continue the important work they need to do to keep up and stay connected to their classroom or summer learning opportunities. It lets us donate to important causes in the click of a button.

Software brings us video conferencing and social media, and the ability to connect quickly and easily to anyone around the globe. In 1989, I can only imagine how different our world would have looked in the face of a pandemic – disconnected and paralyzed without these technologies.

Software heroes – a virtual high-five to the world’s engineers

Developers are at the heart of this software and often are the unsung heroes behind the scenes. It has been incredible to watch New Relic’s own engineering teams step up in this new work-from-home reality we’re living in and also to watch how our customers haven’t missed a beat with delivering delightful, new experiences with their software.

Engineering teams are being tasked with extremely challenging objectives as organizations need to up their game and digital businesses against the backdrop of COVID-19. And they’re facing these challenges while working from home themselves and balancing the stresses of the world we’re living in.

Developers, we recognize your hard work and thank you for making our software, and our lives, better during this time.

Imperatives for building superior software

If you’re a developer or business leader or anyone who cares about how your company can get better at delivering software, I invite you to check out New Relic’s just-released More Perfect Software Research. Delivering perfect software has never been more important for businesses as customers need to connect seamlessly with you online. And, our report highlights the winning strategies employed by the world’s most successful digital companies.

Are you a leader or a laggard? Software leaders show us that they are prioritizing the following:

  • Cloud maturity – Running the majority of applications and infrastructure in the cloud so that agility and speed to market are improved

  • Observability mastery – Having a single view of how software and systems are performing in real time, allowing for holistic insights that can shape software design and development, and enabling teams to rapidly identify and resolve issues

  • End-to-end data visibility – Integrating software performance data with customer experience and business data to ensure they’re creating products that are precisely aligned to customers’ needs

  • Digital resilience – “Building for failure,” and employing chaos testing and automated remediation to reduce errors and downtime while enabling faster innovation

  • Empowered teams – Empowering teams with the authority, data, and tools to make better and faster decisions that keep customers happy (and enable the business to succeed).

This isn’t an easy set of tasks, but the companies that prioritize these initiatives and play offense with software will undoubtedly win.

The world needs more perfect software now, more than ever. Let’s build it together.

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