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Why Your Developers Should be Focusing on Innovation

With the rise of easily accessible technologies like the cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the digital landscape is more competitive than ever. Organizations looking for an edge need to focus on innovation — especially when it comes to apps.

App development is the new frontier for innovation and organizational change. The best way to achieve this is to give your developers room and encouragement to innovate, by making their lives easier and providing them with the tools they need to produce great apps and secure valuable intellectual property (IP) for your organization.

The following tips will help you help your developers, leading to increased innovation and driving competition in a fast-paced technical world.

Go all in with the public cloud

For most organizations, building an in-house infrastructure with enough servers, storage, and services to provide developers with sufficient resources for innovation just isn’t practical, or even feasible. The public cloud is a faster and more economical choice, both for developers and the organization as a whole.

Public clouds offer highly efficient, flexible infrastructures that can scale up as needed, and consume only those resources developers actually use. Embracing the public cloud reduces project completion times and product time-to-market, and saves you significant money.

Broaden access to tools and services

With the rise of SaaS and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), the many tools and resources employed by developers can be readily available. In the past, most organizations relied on long-term contracts for services and tools, often spending hundreds or thousands on legacy and enterprise software in the interests of cost efficiency over time — complete with drawn-out approval processes and lengthy installations and rollout.

This approach is detrimental to app developers, who may switch the tools and services they use from day to day and prefer to test out a tool before making a long-term commitment. You can encourage innovation by foregoing long-term contracts and letting developers self-select the tools they’ll use.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by giving them access to enterprise developer marketplaces, such as those from Windows Azure, Red Hat, and Heroku. These marketplaces allow developers to work with a wide variety of enterprise-ready tools and APIs, which help them build better applications, faster.

Encourage freedom from locks and controls

When your developers are locked down to a single platform or language, innovation is stifled. Allowing and encouraging them to design platform agnostic apps for the Web, mobile, and Internet of Things devices will save your developers a lot of time and grief.

What’s more, you can encourage innovation by limiting the controls placed on developer experimentation. Consider monitoring tools and API management solutions that take security measures into account, but still provide developers a window into network traffic.

Give developers time for pet projects

In general, developers are highly creative and love to make things. Regardless of what they’re working on for the organization, chances are high they’re also invested in a few personal side projects. They’ll work on these projects on their own — but your organization can benefit by allowing developers to pursue pet projects at work.

The ability to collaborate with co-workers on side projects and invest paid time in developing them often leads to positive, unanticipated developments, such as solving a business problem that was previously intractable. You may also end up with new products to add to your organization’s portfolio — AdSense, Gmail, and Google Hangouts all began as Google employees’ side projects.

If you provide your developers with tools and resources they can use without limits, and the time they need to pursue creative solutions, you’ll benefit from the innovative apps and products they turn out.

For more information on innovation – for your employees or your recruiting strategy – contact the innovative recruiting experts at The Armada Group. We know what it takes to stay at the forefront of our industry, and can help you with any staffing issue today. 

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Published in IT Infrastructure
A post by James Urquhart titled “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” prompted some passionate exchanges of opinions. The most interesting between James, Andi Mann (CA) and JP Morgenthal and then I put in AUS$0.02 worth.

The crux of the discussion was around the statement “cloud is an applications centric operations model”. The discussion focused on two different issues;
Published in IT Infrastructure

cloud paas varsIt has become increasingly obvious that the marketing has turned on the cloud, supported by articles and interestingly the apparent abandonment of the clouderati.  I wrote a post a couple of weeks back titled “Its getting a little less cloudy” discussing the passing of the marketing hype and a new awareness of the real benefits of Cloud based architecture. The conclusion it reaches, is cloud has abstracted a lot of detail that might be labeled support and/or operations at a infrastructure or physical data center level. It has not however reduced the importance of IT Service Management (ITSM) or proper architecture design.

microsoft-cloud-computingIs it just me, or is the fog lifting on cloud computing*

At the peak of the hype curve, the statements were;
  1. Don’t have to worry about  (monitoring, operations, power, cooling, servers, infrastructure etc.. etc..)
  2. Infinite scalability and high availability
  3. Infrastructure is a commodity
What do PC’s, Linux, MySQL, Eucalytpus, public clouds and many other products have in common? They all leverage the phenomena of personal decision making power inside enterprises to create innovation adoption. In the last two decades of IT, this is also referred to “going around IT”. The current adoption of cloud overwhelmingly dominated by individuals, swiping credit cards or downloading opensource/freemium products. The “grass roots” approach is typical for enterprises at the leading edge of the diffusion of innovations curve.  These companies have the resources with the technical skills and business motivation to drive the adoption. Does this model “grass roots” model have the ability to continue the momentum cloud adoption into the enterprise.
Published in IT Infrastructure
In recent weeks at conferences and the like I have had the opportunity to talk with a number of cloud product and service providers about customer discussions. My questions were more related to the frame of mind of customers (CIO’s and decision makers) and whether they viewed Cloud as a “big lever” to pull.
Last week at RedHat Summit (presos, webcasts here) reinforced some of my views on RedHat. Although not the most prominent vendor in the cloud marketing media, they have not been sitting around. From Jim Whitehurst’s keynote, to the range of sessions on IaaS and PaaS, it’s clear the strategy is picking up momentum. With enterprise adoption of “cloud architectures” said to be ramping up in the next 24 months. The timing appears to be good.
Wednesday, Apr 27 2011

Importance of Many Clouds

Looking forward to the Redhat Summit next week in Boston with a theme of “Platform, Middleware, Virtualization, Cloud”. The cloud market is dominated by a lot of startups, with some goliath size companies still waiting in the wings. Depending your point of view, they are either lumbering dinosaurs unaware of the next evolutionary shift, or if you are like me, I think they are poised to strike.

Saturday, Apr 23 2011

April 21: In 2 Bullet Points

There is so much posted on the AWS outage in the north east.. Some great detailed blogs on designing high availability for the cloud, some people who survived, and the modern equivalent of CNN moments for those who didn’t, why this was the app owners fault and not amazon and vice versa.. As always, there is alot of fluff around the cloud. Who is at fault and who is to blame ? Is the cloud a failed concept? Hyped up load of bollocks.
Wednesday, Apr 13 2011

ROI: Justifying the Cloud

A classic use of ROI or its twin TCO is in the Microsoft Economics of the Cloud, Nov 2010 paper. The conclusion is you can improve TCO by up to 80% by using applications in public cloud versus on-premise deployment. The basics of the calculation being;
  • improved utilization (10% to 90%) enabled by virtualization/consolidation & elasticity
  • the economies (power, operations, HW purchase etc..) of scale of multi-tenant cloud scale hosting
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