We see high demand for conversational AI, DevOps, automation and microservices: Divy Shrivastava, Nineleaps

Specialized innovative solutions on top of base technology infrastructure is enabling organizations to meet specific needs at a fast pace, according to Divy Shrivastava, Co-Founder and CEO of Nineleaps.

Bengaluru-based digital transformation services provider Nineleaps was listed amongst LinkedIn's top startups to work for in India in 2018.

In an interaction with ComputerWorld India, Nineleaps’ Co-Founder and CEO Divy Shrivastava, shines the spotlight on the evolving trends currently prevalent in the software services sector. 

Nineleaps was listed among the top startups of India for 2018 by LinkedIn. What has made Nineleaps thrive in the highly competitive tech startup space?

We got the demand right. Organizations want to work with companies who have done product development and who come up with a different way of working with a product-focused mindset. We moved to the enterprise space to help companies struggling with digital transformation and talent to scale up, and this has been a key factor of our success.

You say businesses have been struggling in achieving digital transformation. Can you elaborate on what are the specific issues enterprises may be facing?


What enterprises are struggling with is how to establish processes, which engineering practices to set up, how to structure teams, what kind of Git strategy to use, how to commit code, what steps to take to monitor code quality and make sure that the right ideas are coming in.

The other aspect is technical know-how - that is how to architect applications that can scale up in terms of user performance, and creating applications that multiple teams can work on simultaneously.  



The next aspect is communication, as in how do you establish effective communication channels. Another part is customer-centric value delivery and measuring the impact towards customers. These are the four areas where enterprises are facing issues. 

What are the challenges that you see in software development industry? 

Talent is one major challenge. for software services industry and becomes hard to find the right talent in IT  project management roles within organizations. Project management today is agile now, and with agility you need to ensure that the project will be deliverable on time. 

Another thing which the industry is struggling with not just in India but globally also is finding the right kind of financial model for software services. There is still no consensus today on how you charge for software development services. More often than not, an organization's requirements are not clear at the beginning of a project. Given the kind of talent crunch we have, the usual compensation does not work out many times. 

What technologies are getting the most traction from your customers? 

One part is how you make the existing applications more efficient using artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML). So, we insert AI/ML into the mix to make sure a product becomes more personalized and relevant to the end user, and that's where we see an uptick.

Another piece is the rising trend of microservices architecture. Today, there are a lot of software monoliths written down and people are finding it difficult to scale up those applications to deliver fast.

We have a lot of demand for DevOps also. Also, DevOps goes hand in hand with automation, and so automation is another piece where we are seeing traction. Another interesting technology trend is the AR/VR use cases, mostly from manufacturing perspective. 

You mentioned the technology monoliths created which are difficult to scale. What are those monoliths and what scaling challenges exist in those monoliths?

These monoliths are the traditional oracles of the world, which are at the heart of industries like retail. The retail use cases are so diverse now that the traditional systems are definitely not capable of handling them. What you need is smaller services that can cater to specific requirements and which are also capable of handling those requirements in terms of technology.

What are your expectations in terms of tech for 2019? 

There are concerns around data security and privacy with regulations such as GDPR and more coming from many countries, including India. It will be interesting to see how these regulations play out as they can have far-reaching implications in terms of the data that is collected, the way it is analyzed and how applications are built around that.

The other tech trend that I see is conversational interface technology which is going to be a key thing at least for the next two years. If you look at personal smart devices such as Alexa, Siri, Google Home and Cortana, they are growing rapidly. We have started developing applications on those platforms. The conversational AI tech will be more and more human-like. The interactions with the web will become increasingly conversational.

What do you think are the most important programming skills in 2019 for IT professionals?

From a broad perspective, knowledge on technology, business and customer experience is very important. In terms of programming language skills, I see three large buckets of programming skills. One is the microservices where you are dealing with enterprise products and most of them are being written in Java. From that perspective, Java becomes quite important.

Another big bucket is full stack applications, where you have Node.js at the back end, React at the front end and React Native on the mobile app site. From that perspective, JavaScript becomes very important. From the perspective of AI/ML, big data and data engineering, Python is very crucial. So, it boils down to these three programming language skills broadly.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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