Cio's Guide To Ai-Driven Cost Reduction: Preparing Your Development Team
4 weeks ago
Feeling the squeeze? First COVID-19 related costs, then war on the European continent leading to energy prices soaring in turn making operational costs soar and now a slump in slow markets. Not to mention the state of the labor market, trying to find competent, motivated and consistent developers that actually care about your company’s projects, and values and objectives is nigh on impossible. 

 It’s no surprise then that companies are using the current AI revolution to expel as many developers as possible to cut costs and protect profits. 

Survival of the fittest, adapt or die. If a company can reduce its development cost by ⅔, maintain development pace and output new features just as quickly as before. Seems like a great deal, right?

Well, If you have a project that has already been under-developed and neglected, you know the kind where you're constantly adding quick fixes on major architectural problems. Then trying to take this approach can only lead to failure. Why? 

While it is true that a developer can be far more productive using AI powered tools, which will be the expectation of remaining developers, there are limitations. 

Case in point, let's say you had 5 developers, and you slim down to 2. That's a 60% decrease in the number of developers. Each remaining developer would need to be 150% more productive with AI tools just to maintain the status quo. Does that sound reasonable to you? Also surely the objective is for the change to be an improvement on the status quo. 

Something that is difficult to communicate is that AI has its limitations. You’ve probably noticed, at the moment AI loses context of a situation pretty quickly, and the more complex, disorganized and buggy your system, the less able it’ll be to help resolve problems because it’ll get lost. 

On the flip side, If you have strong foundations of a well designed, SOLID, standard compliant system, AI can be more helpful at resolving problems because the scope and context is smaller. 

So the result of reducing your dev team before ensuring your system is ready will be a high turnover rate of developers, the few that will be willing to work on it in the first place, low morale and a lot of wasted time (ultimately money) on resolving excessive crashes and bugs. 

Therefore, it’s completely logical to spend 6 months upgrading your project before slimming down to enable reduction in development operational costs, ease of maintenance, empowering the remaining team members to leverage the full power of AI,  prevent burn out, retain current developers and attract new ones if need be. 

Reducing your development team and associated costs is feasible, but ensure your system is ready to handle it. Plan, prepare, and then proceed.