What About Complex Algorithms?

IT Outsourcing Services

Algorithms have a long and illustrious history, dating back to ancient times. Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, a 9th-century mathematician thought to be the father of algebra, is also considered the creator of the term “algorithm.” However, the concept had already been used for hundreds of years, although the exact beginnings are unknown.

Today, with the advent of more advanced technology, algorithms have become increasingly complex. Businesses across many different sectors are turning to IT outsourcing services to build systems and products powered by complex algorithms. 

But – what exactly are they, and how are they used to develop the tools and services we know and love? Let’s take a look at the definition and applications in different industries.

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What is a complex algorithm?

At its most basic level, an algorithm is a set of instructions used to solve a problem. The concept is often likened to a recipe used in science and math rather than cooking and baking. It defines not only the steps but also the end results that must be achieved in highly specific terms. All the inputs, outputs and intended results are clearly stated. Algorithms rarely fail.

Complex algorithms, as suggested by their name, are more complicated, which is why companies often turn to IT outsourcing companies to help them achieve their intended results. These algorithms use advanced mathematical procedures requiring no less than 1,000 lines of C or C++ code. This code is language a computer is able to decipher. Initially, though, the programmer will often write an algorithm in pseudocode, a simpler version of the language that is more comprehensible to humans, before “translating” it into a programming language.

A computer algorithm is ultimately written in a programming language that the computer can understand, but when the algorithm is being developed, programmers and computer scientists often write it first informally as prose and then more formally in a generic format called pseudocode.

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Often, they take many months to several years to develop and demand a high level of experience and skill. That’s why IT outsourcing services are often necessary — some businesses may not have the time or skill level necessary for creating the complex algorithms required of their projects. It’s also important to note that complex algorithms are far less predictable than simpler ones.

Examples of complex algorithms in action

Whether they are created by an IT software outsourcing company or built in house, complex algorithms are responsible for many of the products, devices, systems, and procedures we use regularly. Here are just a few of the ways these formulas are changing the face of business across many different sectors.


Complex algorithms are already improving the medical field, and there is plenty of potential for them to power breakthrough innovations in the future, with the help of research labs and IT outsourcing companies.

Based on medical data, complex algorithms will be able to facilitate more predictable and accurate decisions regarding patient care. For example, researchers from Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, San Francisco, partnered with Google to use data from hundreds of thousands of patients to create machine learning algorithms. These complex algorithms could then diagnose and even predict illnesses and outcomes with more than 90% accuracy in some cases. 


Ever wondered how Netflix comes up with recommendations for your viewing pleasure? The process originates from complex algorithms. In fact, Netflix is upfront about how it determines these suggestions. The company notes that it uses the initial preferences you list when creating an account as a jumping-off point, before the titles you end up watching “supercede” those early favorites. The algorithm will evolve according to your entire watch history and recent preferences over time. 

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Algorithmic trading

Another place where it might be helpful to turn to an IT software outsourcing company is in finance and investing. In fact, the industry has a special term — algorithmic trading — to describe how complex algorithms that run on advanced computers facilitate trading. These algorithms will make decisions about when to buy or sell with minimal human oversight or intervention.

Social media

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all use complex algorithms to power many aspects of their apps, including the order in which users see stories on their home feeds. Facebook, for example, is somewhat reluctant to reveal the exact science of their formulas but notes that its ranks content available to users based on how likely they are to respond positively. Accordingly, users see the content the algorithm predicts will be most appealing to them on their News Feed.


Hackers and cybercriminals are using complex algorithms to infiltrate our systems, imposing threats like malware. Increasingly, businesses must fight fire with fire — by turning to IT outsourcing services or building systems in-house based on complex algorithms of their own. 

Organizations must create robust security systems to protect their data and devices, guarding against these threats through artificial intelligence (AI) and other tools, often powered by algorithms. These algorithms can anticipate and predict increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal behavior as well as identify holes to protect a company’s systems. 

Technology is becoming more advanced every day, and it is often fueled by complex algorithms. As our devices and systems become more powerful, businesses across a wide variety of industries are turning to IT offshore outsourcing to help them create new products or improve existing ones. From healthcare and social media to cybersecurity, industries have the power to transform society through these tools. 

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