Main Differences Between Software Engineering and IT Services

The definitions of IT services and software engineering are sometimes confused as being the same thing. And while there are some overlaps, the two practices are quite different and highly specialized in their own right.

Today, we’ll attempt to remove the myths and confusion around the differences between IT services and software development and talk a little about how we approach software development here at LDX Lab.

What an IT Services Company Does

IT services are outsourced companies that tackle a range of different technology tasks. Many specialize in specific areas, such as networking, infrastructure architecture, or communications, and most provide device management and help desk support for their client companies as well as that company’s clientele.

Network services are another task for IT companies, both for internal networks and large data centers serving the enterprise. In this area, IT security, privacy policies, and access control are critical concerns. They are responsible for ensuring the network performs efficiently while minimizing downtime that might affect the end-user.

Essentially, the IT services company focuses on the tech work behind the scenes. They’ll take care of upgrading systems and networks when needed, recommend software products and hardware appliances, and troubleshoot issues as they arise, ensuring their customer maintains availability and uptime according to service level agreements. Their pillars are function, infrastructure, and governance.

Go deeper into the Iterative Development process in the infographics!

The Role of a Software Company

Software companies, on the other hand, design and build applications that people and companies use every day. Like IT companies, they help people and organizations collaborate more efficiently, but they focus primarily on designing and developing distinct tools and products that help people do their jobs more efficiently.

Software Design, Development, Testing, Delivery

1. Design. Software engineering companies design software applications and manage all the tasks associated with planning, designing, building, and implementing the final user interface and user experience (UI/UX).

2. Development. During the development phase, the software designers build out applications and systems that satisfy a business need or user requirement, and there are small deliverables at the end of each sprint that generally lasts 2 weeks each.  This practice may center around an internal software product that helps teams accomplish specific tasks more efficiently, or it could be a product to help their customers derive more value from the company’s offering. Examples of this might be a loyalty program, mobile ecommerce app, or account self-service.

3. Testing. During development and after launching the product, the software company tests the product to ensure it works as expected, ensuring that the solution meets all requirements and edge cases to meet the client’s needs and expectations.

4. Delivery. Once the application is designed, developed, and tested, it’s ready to launch to the end-users. If it’s a web application, it is deployed over the internet and does not require the end-user to download the application. Mobile apps are deployed through app stores, hardware appliances, or pushed out through cloud services—the latter might be the case for an internal company application that’s only meant for employee use.

LDX Labs For All Your Software Needs

LDX Labs is a nearshore software development company located in Costa Rica. Get in touch today to tell us about your software needs; we’d love to show you what we can do.