To continuously drive innovation in the age of digital business, leaders must expect digital disruptions and prepare their organization to make a paradigm shift towards digital product development, all without compromising time to market.

This guide helps you understand the evolving definition of product development, its importance, process, and other key concepts. We also share the exclusive product development trends based on the worldwide survey of more than a hundred industry leaders.

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What is Product Development?

Product development refers to transforming a planned product idea into a meaningful offering, keeping the target customer in mind. It typically employs design thinking, DevSecOps, and Agile development methodologies to introduce a product to the market at speed and scale while regularly testing and iterating as per the customer feedback.

The foundational factors for digital product development methodology are Speed and CX. It should align all aspects of the product development process under a strategic vision to Discover, Define, Design & Build, and Deliver the results through continuous improvement.


What are the Stages of Product Development?

An effective digital product development process simplifies the approach and helps organizations release a digital product in a structured manner. The following are the key seven stages in the new product development process:

  • Idea Generation
  • Idea Screening
  • Concept Development & Testing
  • Market Strategy/Business Analysis
  • Product Development
  • Market Testing
  • Market Entry/Commercialization
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What is the difference between Product Development & Software Development?

When thinking about product development and software development, what comes to mind?
For most individuals, the answer is: “aren’t they the same thing?”
The right answer- No!

Product Development and Software Development differentiates on many levels.

Software and products are different. As we begin, "Product" is the higher-order thing, and software is a component order.

A product is something that is built and sold to clients. Product development involves understanding your clients' requirements and technology constraints to design and develop a product with the best possible feature set while minimizing your costs.

Developing software requires an excellent understanding of the process of building software systems to make them more efficient and defect-free. It also requires a good vision of the system's entire life cycle to plan its future evolution and shape it to the benefit of your organization.

This table will highlight the differences in-depth-

Generic Product Development Custom Software Development
Ownership In Product development, the product developer/owner owns the product specification. In software development, the customer owns the specification and it is also controlled by the customers.
Responsibility The developer is responsible and has the right to change the software specification according to requirements. In software development, the customer is also involved in the process, therefore changing the specifications would require both the customer and developer to implement the changes.
Authority Since the consumers don't control the software specification, the general product users cannot regulate the product evolution either. Developers and the customers involved in the business process can regulate the software evolution and can implement changes that benefit them both.
Delivery Users get the application delivered immediately. The application takes time to complete the product development and isn’t available immediately.

Why is it Vital to Release Software to Production Multiple Times a Day?

Net Solutions' Agile Product Development 2020 report highlights that 73.6% of the organizations cannot release additional product features within one week. This is one reason 69.3% of the businesses reported that 10-30% of their products cannot meet customer needs.

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You want your build cycle happening almost instantly, so your developers aren’t context switching. The insight and observability we have into the monitoring process might allow us to be able to say we could speed up a release cycle…

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Melody Meckfessel Former VP of Eng, Google

Net Solutions surveyed 100 digital champions from different industries to understand the key product development trends that will help manage headwinds effectively and drive the digital product development process in 2021. The following are the six product development trends for 2021.

  • Agile Product Development Drives Performance
  • DevSecOps is a Must-Have
  • Continuous Customer Satisfaction Improvement and Faster Product Delivery
  • Stability harmonizes with Agility
  • Product-Market Fit and Undefined Process are the Biggest Roadblocks
  • COVID-19 is an Instrumental Factor in Propelling Organizations to Adopt Agile Product Development Methodology
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What is the Importance of Product-Market Fit?

Product-market fit implies building a right product that matches the customer’s needs, i.e., defining the products’ must-have features and building the product around those features in order to solve the user's problem.

Customers drive the market. Businesses cater to their needs and deliver products based on their preference. But different demographics have different requirements. It is essential to clearly understand your intended demographic and design your product around their demand, achieving a perfect product-market fit.

Steps to Achieve Product-Market Fit

Most businesses struggle to understand their target customers and their needs, which is one reason why most of the products fail in the market. A product-market fit pyramid, introduced by Dan Olsen, mentions six stages that help achieve a perfect product-market fit.

Product-Market Fit Pyramid by Dan Olsen

What is Web Product Development?

Web development refers to the work that happens behind the scenes to build and maintain a website, ensuring that it delivers a seamless user experience.

The digital world is growing rapidly — over 1.8 B web applications and 200 million active websites to date. With thousands of new websites getting added to the world wide web each day, competition is getting intensified, and savvy businesses are looking ahead of innovative ways to adapt to this ever-changing web development world, about which we have discussed in this section.

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What is Mobile App Development?

The mobile app development industry is passing through one of the most competitive phases. It has become vital for businesses to lay down the mobile app development strategy that includes choosing an apt platform, selecting the right framework, and getting acquainted with the latest mobile app development trends.

In this section, we discuss the importance of mobile app development in a customer-centric era and tips, techniques, trends, challenges, and strategies involved.

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What is Agile Product Development?

The sluggishness and inadequacy of traditional software development methodologies — waterfall, iterative, spiral — to steer the digital transformation objectives have pushed businesses to adopt innovative ways to deliver customer excellence. And one such innovative way is Agile product development that helps deliver customer value today and build a scalable product for tomorrow.

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Net Solutions’ Product Development Process

The opportunities in digital product development evolve and expand daily, which is why Agile brands win.

To minimize waste, maximize opportunities, and move your business forward, we highly recommend that you follow the process of continuous improvement: scrum-based Agile product development that drives a dynamic, iterative development process, allowing businesses to measure, test, and scale their solution in the markets.


What is MVP Development?

Talking to budding entrepreneurs about launching a business, most of them have massive dreams of starting a big, successful company that will be the next Facebook or Instagram, or Amazon. Maybe it will be, maybe not. The best way to test a product's worth without a constant outflow of money or time is Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Development, which we discuss in this section.

What is Cloud-based Product Development?

Cloud technology has rapidly entered the business world. And those who restrain themselves in incorporating it are at the highest risk to undergo dire consequences of Digital Darwinism — evolve or become extinct. This section talks about Cloud technology, its different types, and benefits at length.

More than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be affected by the shift to the cloud by 2022.

What is SaaS Application Development?

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software delivery framework owned, delivered, and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider licenses the software, which is centrally hosted, on a subscription basis.

According to Net Solutions' Digital Transformation 2020 Survey, close to half of the business leaders plan to reach their digital transformation goals with SaaS transformation.

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What is the Importance of Quality Assurance (QA) in Successful Product Development?

Quality assurance is a practice of identifying, monitoring, and maintaining the software development processes used in digital product development to ensure its sound quality: improving the digital product's performance, security, and compatibility. In this section, we discuss Software Testing, its importance, and types.

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Why is Software Outsourcing a Good Business Strategy?

Entrepreneurs and startups need to find the best price for every aspect of running a business. With lean staffing, outsourcing can be a crucial and cost-efficient component of the business workflow. When comparing digital agencies for outsourcing solutions, looking at firms in other countries may be worthwhile.

You may find pricing that is much lower than the one offered by local or national vendors — making offshore outsourcing a viable and beneficial option.

Most of the companies (59%) surveyed in the Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey revealed that 'Cost' is the most critical parameter that pushed them to choose offshore outsourcing product development company. Budget is indeed essential, but it is also vital to understand and mitigate offshore outsourcing risks.

Take a Well-informed Decision While Selecting a Development Partner

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To survive in today's evolving product development era, it is vital to adopt a continuous quality strategy amalgamated with Agile and DevOps techniques that enable faster and improved delivery of software products with minimum errors than traditional product development methodology.

The page covers product development and its significance in creating continual improvement, breaking down silos, and enhancing collaboration. These key parameters define an ideal product development environment.

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