A recent Deloitte Consulting acquisition bolsters the company's round-the-clock sprint to meet customers' software needs.
In February, the consultancy acquired Dextra Technologies, a product engineering and embedded software specialist. The company, based in Monterrey, Mexico, provides a nearshore software center that lines up with the U.S. Central time zone. Other centers extend Deloitte Consulting's time zone coverage worldwide. In 2021, the consultancy acquired HashedIn Technologies, a product development and software engineering firm in India. Another nexus of delivery hubs operate in Eastern Europe, rounding out the Deloitte software engineering roster.
The three regions offer customers a follow-the-sun delivery cycle, noted Ranjit Bawa, principal and U.S. cloud leader at Deloitte Consulting. The centers can hand off a software sprint from location to location, so the company can continuously release functionality.
"A 24/7 sprint can drive a lot more product velocity," Bawa said.
Faster product cycles
Speed becomes critical for customers pursuing shrinking delivery timelines. In the past, 18-month-to-two-year delivery cycles were the norm, but now customers aim for 6-to-12-week sprint cycles, said Kevin Prendeville, principal and product engineering services leader at Deloitte Consulting.
The increased tempo comes as more enterprises execute product-as-a-service business models and make software a key component of their offerings, such as medical equipment or automobiles.
"Most clients are running a software business," Bawa said, noting some carmakers employ more software engineers than automotive engineers.
Ranjit BawaPrincipal and U.S. cloud leader, Deloitte Consulting
The software focus puts clients in a position to create new revenue streams and disrupt industries, he added. It also emphasizes product engineering, a discipline that goes beyond software coding. The product engineering process runs the gamut from product strategy and ideation to development, release and ongoing support. Product engineering may also call for specialized hardware and embedded software in use cases such as IoT.
The Dextra acquisition contributes to Deloitte's embedded technology capabilities.
"The addition of embedded software capabilities means we can create software that is inside hardware," Prendeville said. Dextra's specialization helps Deloitte Consulting support key sectors including IoT, automotive technology, semiconductors, medical products and consumer electronics, he noted.
Growing complexity calls for product engineering
Products just aren't that simple anymore.
For Deloitte Consulting's customers, a product can be a service such as credit card processing, a digital offering such as a mobile app, or a physical entity such as a car, Bawa noted. A product can also combine the virtual and physical, which brings product engineering to the forefront.
"Building these products may include hardware and software design, piloting and manufacturing for tangible products," Bawa said.
The product engineering task, for example, may start with a tangible product -- such as a smart thermostat -- but move on to incorporating a mobile or web app and back-end systems that deploy new features at the push of a button, he added.
Converging trends fuel growth
Deloitte Consulting's expanding software reach supports its cloud business, providing cloud-native development resources. The software focus also contributes to cloud revenue growth. While customers demand faster turnaround on software products, software engineering skills are in short supply. Bawa likened the talent crisis to the chip shortage that currently affects a range of IT and consumer products.
The push for "software-defined everything," coupled with the dearth of engineering expertise among customers, drives demand for Deloitte Consulting's services, Bawa said. Deloitte's cloud practice has been growing 39% to 44% annually for the past three years. But software engineering's growth rate is 3x that range, he noted.
Customers pressing on with digitalization and software-centric products could spur a lasting trend.
"We are in the front of what can be a 10-year transformation bull run," Bawa said.