The end of the year for each company is a time for reviewing progress. 2015, the year that is behind us, is not an exception. Last month, Auriga’s General Manager, Vyacheslav Vanyulin, summed up the most important business achievements for the company – new clients, exciting sophisticated projects, recognition from the professional community, the opening of a new development center, and the start of strategic projects and collaboration programs with leading Russian universities.
We’ve decided that that review lacked information about the most important thing – our passion for programming, creating complex products and solutions, and the implementation of new practices and methodologies. We asked our experts to tell us what technologies and trends were the driving forces of the IT market in 2015 and how well Auriga fared in relation to them.
Software Development for the Healthcare Industry
We have written a lot about the explosive growth of the medical technologies market. Today, it includes over 500,000 various services and products for the diagnostics, monitoring, and treatment of diseases. According to a report from the UK company Evaluate, this market will be worth $477.5 bn by 2020.
Every month we see many new complex medical devices, technologies, and mobile apps for health monitoring and fitness. This, in turn, leads to the significant growth of patient information that needs to be gathered, processed, and analyzed. At the same time, it is important for information to be integrated in a common information system for healthcare facilities without being isolated.
In this context, mobile and cloud technologies play an important role. Another 2015 trend in the area of medtech was the interoperability of medical equipment. In 2015, Auriga conducted marketing research that allowed us to specify trends and challenges in this area.
Airat Sadykov, the head of medical software development at Auriga, comments,
“In the last few years, Auriga mostly has been developing embedded software for medical equipment, including patient and respiration monitors and infusion pumps. But in 2015, we saw more clients who were interested in the development of mobile solutions (for example, the application for a portable ECG device or applications that allow the remote monitoring of patient’s physiological parameters or control compliance with the drug dosing regimen) and information systems that can be integrated into the hospital infrastructure.
“The unique expertise – the combination of embedded software development experience with great knowledge of mobile and cloud technologies – allowed Auriga to significantly extend the medical projects portfolio in 2015.”
The mobile technologies market is one of the most actively developing segments in the IT market.
According to the latest report from Strategy Analytics, in 2015 the mobile enterprise business applications market exceeded $40.5 bn and could reach $63 bn by 2020.
In 2015, Gartner included mobility in the top 10 main technological trends in the global IT market. This comes as no surprise because the level of mobile penetration even in the most remote markets is very high. The number of smartphones nowadays exceeds the number of people living on our planet. The mobile revolution has opened up new opportunities in the areas of healthcare, education, finances, and management for users.
New mobile technologies, including the global expansion of 5G networks, will meet various user demands – from the personal to the industrial.
Therefore, it is very important to stay ahead by mastering the most cutting-edge technologies and newest mobile software development tools.
Alexey Firsanov, Auriga’s Deputy Director of Engineering, tells us about the company’s successes in the area of mobile technologies in 2015:
“The discovery of the year for Auriga in mobile technologies was the Intel Multi-OS Engine. Auriga was invited to participate in the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco to demonstrate how we were pioneering the use of Intel’s Multi-OS Engine to create our iOS application.
The use of innovative and unique tools for mobile software development allows Auriga to stay one of the leading mobile apps developers for complex projects, such as software for smart cars, wearables, or mHealth.”
Internet of Threats: Providing Security
Data protection is one of the most pressing issues nowadays and is discussed at almost every single industry event. To a large extent, it is linked to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). There is even a new term now – the Internet of Threats, which covers security issues appearing within the frame of the IoT ecosystem.
Hacking corporate networks and stealing companies’ information via a smart fridge does not sound unbelievable today. There are many reports of hackers who got through a security system via connected cars or hacked insulin pumps. This creates a foundation for the development of a completely new approach to data protection, particularly for companies that use cloud technology and open interfaces.
Andrey Ustinov, Auriga’s information technology expert, highlights the company’s experience in the implementation of data protection mechanisms for software solutions developed by Auriga’s engineers:
“Auriga participates in the development of integrated information security systems that allow controlling of access to confidential and personal data no matter where they are (in the cloud, on mobile devices, flash drives, etc.). There are more security threats now due to the increased number of ways to receive access to information, such as switching to cloud enterprise solutions, the synchronization of data between cloud apps, and the development of mobile access systems. Plus, the threats are becoming really sneaky. The market of data protection solutions will definitely grow more, opening new opportunities for Auriga.”
Development of Embedded Software
The embedded technologies market has received a second wind; we observed incremental growth in the last ten years. In 2014, according to IDC, over 1.4 bn intellectual devices were sold with the revenue of $755 bn. Experts expect more significant growth. The main driver will once again be the Internet of Things. The number of devices connected to the global IoT will come to billions in just a few years.
The need to combine such a huge number of devices and their communication has transformed the embedded systems market. Today, a great share of this market is attributed to the development of intellectual systems, including sensors that allow the receiving and processing of data.
As an embedded software development company, Auriga has been observing this trend “from the front row” because more and more OEMs are turning to us to ask for the customization and support of such a solution providing interoperability with other systems.
Elena Baranova, Auriga’s Director of Engineering, comments on the company’s achievements in this area in 2015:
“Despite the progress in new areas, the main competitive advantage for Auriga lies in the in-depth expertise and a rich portfolio of embedded software development projects.
In 2015, we have gained new partners and conducted a number of research projects in this area. It is interesting, that Auriga is now not only building relations with the western embedded market as we used to do for years, but also planning projects with Russian and Asian companies that manufacture high-tech equipment, including but not limited to the healthcare segment.
I would also like to mention an in-house project that started in the last year. It is dedicated to the development of an open-source library to provide interoperability for medical devices based on the HL7 protocol. This project has helped our company to enhance its expertise in a very complex area of interoperability. We strive to become a part of the HL7 expert community.”
Software today includes sophisticated multifunctional solutions. Manual testing of these involves considerable expenses. Test automation allows improvement of the quality of the end product by reducing the impact of human error. An added bonus is freeing up time for other tasks.
One of Auriga’s key experts in the area of test automation is project manager Leonid Migunov, who represented our company at the Central & Eastern European Software Engineering Conference in Russia (CEE-SECR 2015), where he covered organization and management issues typical in the implementation of software testing processes for geographically distributed teams, test automation, and cross-team communication processes.
He told us what had happened in the projects involving automated testing that was new in 2015:
“Auriga has been offering software testing services for many years. However, 2015 seems to be a turning point in so many ways. We built dedicated testing teams for several clients. These teams work on a wide range of test automation tasks, including the functional testing of web and mobile applications and web app performance and load testing.
Additionally, the test automation processes are implemented at the earlier development stages, which allows the detection of issues on time and quality software within short timeframes.”
In the last year, several engineers successfully passed the ISTQB® (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) exam. In 2016, more employees plan to receive ISTQB® Certified Tester status. Having specialists of such caliber will allow our company to take part in testing solutions for life-critical medical equipment and avionic systems.
Pavel Ivanov, manager of the projects for one of Auriga’s largest clients – a global manufacturer of medical equipment – added,
“Test automation is becoming an important part of the software development for healthcare. Earlier, Auriga’s “medical” clients asked only for manual testing, but in 2015, we observed a transformation. More companies are investing in automation now to save time and resources later. Our largest medical client found additional funds to start the test automation despite significant cost and resource saving in other areas. Moreover, they plan to continue this work in 2016 and support and develop this project with Auriga despite their budget and employment limitations.”