5 Challenges Software Companies Face in a Global Market

by Beshar Bahjat

As globalization continues to surge, selling your software internationally is becoming more important for software companies. Yet, with this continuing trend, there are associated obstacles that can limit the success of projects and general business operations. It is of vital importance that software companies are aware of and develop plans to overcome these challenges.

So what are five challenges software companies experience in the global market?

Challenge One: Language

A leading challenge facing software companies is language. Text within the software would need to be translated correctly and appropriately pitched for the intended users. Incorrect software localization can result in the user having difficulty navigating through the software. This situation frequently leads to an inadequate user experience.

To solve this, many software companies partner with a software localization agency to adapt the product in each of the target languages required. Whatever your specific operating platform may be, a software localization agency will ensure that your software is translated appropriately. Additionally, your users will be more satisfied and proficient in using your product.

Challenge Two: Costs

When your operations become global, some of your projects may be completed in the geographies your business is located in. While in some cases this can be beneficial, as it can lower costs for the development of software, in other cases it can increase costs or cause delays in the completion of projects. It can also be a challenge to budget effectively since international money exchanges are always fluctuating.

Proper budgeting is the solution. Set a price in your native currency and pay that amount to your suppliers. Don’t let the currency exchange rate increase the price.

Challenge Three: Pricing

As with costs, pricing becomes a challenge in a global market. What costs a set amount in one country will not cost the same in another. This is usually down to the value of money in one nation compared to another. Therefore, pricing a product for another country can be challenging. For instance, it may be worth $45 in the US which is negligible compared to the average salary, but in Bangladesh, that could represent a significant proportion of someone’s salary.

To earn sales in other nations, the company might have to either accept a lower valuation or risk not selling any products in that region.

Challenge Four: Global Functionality

When you are creating programs that rely on local knowledge of systems, you are creating a software package that requires a great deal of functionality. For instance, you could have a payroll, accounting or tax software program in development. With each nation’s systems and legal requirements slightly different you either need to develop several versions of your software or one that has all this functionality in one.

Creating multiple versions of your software will create significantly more work and cause headaches to work on updates and maintenance, whereas a program that is adaptable to the geographical location of the user will have to be bulky, require more system resources and be expensive to develop. It can also be challenging to develop an appropriate version if you have little experience of the processes in a foreign country. If your software package isn’t accurate, then it can receive poor software reviews.

Challenge Five: Culture

Cultural values change as you move from one location to another. These values may not seem relevant, but at the very core, they are vital to the success of your business. The look of your software and the way your software interacts with the user is representative your company. The wrong cultural references could mean that you inadvertently insult an audience in another country.

You need to check local values and cultural requirements and that your software is aligned to those values.

Conclusion

As selling your software internationally becomes a reality, you need to consider these five challenges that your software company may face. Instead of limiting your company to one region, you can develop plans to counter the challenges software companies face in a global market.

Beshar Bahjat

"Working with people who care about what they do and want to do the right thing makes coming to work much more enjoyable."