The past year has brought dramatic change to almost every facet of our lives. We have seen the same disruption play out across every industry, from retail to healthcare to financial services. Customer expectations are fundamentally altered, and it’s hard to imagine things going back to the way they once were.
As organizations work to stay relevant in this new world, they need digital solutions, with a strong software development strategy to meet the evolving needs of their customers. That means, they need developers.
But for developers, the way we have thought about development and product management has changed little in the past 50 years. Although we have moved from binary to assembly to third-generation languages, we have not seen a fundamental shift.
As organizations look for industry-specific digital solutions tailored for their space, developers need to increasingly shift their mindset from coding to composing clouds and components.
Utilize the entire Microsoft cloud
As developers build the next generation of SaaS applications, every element of the Microsoft cloud can play a part.
With Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, developers can create new SaaS experiences building on the user interface (UI) where users are already spending their time. For example, healthcare technology company AGFA built their XERO Universal Viewer to integrate with Microsoft Teams, allowing medical professionals to share and collaborate on clinical imaging results quickly and securely.
And Microsoft Dynamics 365 is another starting point for a new SaaS app—common processes like engaging customers or managing a supply chain are already key elements of Dynamics 365 solutions and can be extended with unique developer expertise. C3.ai is one company building on Dynamics 365 to power its industry-specific, AI-fueled solutions.
On top of that, Microsoft Power Platform provides the low-code platform that enables users to modify and customize the solution to their needs, adding much-needed flexibility to SaaS solutions. Microsoft partner Mazik Global built its MazikCare healthcare solution with Power Platform, enabling them to deliver highly customizable solutions to their end customers.
This is all in addition to the powerful Microsoft Azure, GitHub, and Visual Studio developer tools you can hear much more about at Microsoft Build, as well as the vast ecosystem of 450 data connectors that connect with virtually any system of record or customer data estate.
With the entire Microsoft cloud in play, developers can compose solutions leveraging repeatable elements and components that solve common challenges, enabling them to focus on the unique solutions that matter most.
But there’s another component at play: Industry components.
Leverage industry-specific components
We expect to see a surge of industry-specific SaaS solutions in the next few years, tailored for the unique needs and challenges of every industry.
That’s why Microsoft has invested in industry-specific cloud solutions, including Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, Microsoft Cloud for Retail, Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing, and Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit. Each cloud includes connectors and APIs that light up industry-specific solutions across the entire Microsoft cloud.
These industry-specific components include things like the Azure APIs for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), an industry standard in healthcare that enables simplified data management for protected healthcare information. This allows developers to shift from rebuilding healthcare system integrations to more unique and interesting challenges. The idea is to reuse as many of the Microsoft Industry components as possible. This is how today’s developers will create differentiated solutions and software offerings.
At Microsoft Build, we will share the example of Finastra, a global financial services provider working with both private and public enterprises. Working with the Canadian government, they’re building a new app to manage applications, approvals, and disbursements of student loans. To accelerate development and create a more powerful experience, they’re building this app on Microsoft—including Azure, Power Apps, Teams, and capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. As a result, they’ll be able to offer a seamless, end-to-end experience for both employees and customers—faster than ever before.