We live in a world where the quickest growing transportation company owns no cars (Uber), the hottest accommodation provider owns no accommodation (Air BnB) and the world’s leading Internet television network creates very little of its own content (Netflix). Take a moment to let that sink in.
Each of these companies is testament to the brave new world of IT that is continuing to shape and evolve the business landscape that surrounds each of us. And the reality is that the world’s leading hypergrowth companies no longer need to own a huge inventory. They instead depend on a global platform that easily facilitates commerce for both consumers and businesses on a massive, global scale.
This disruption is making shockwaves that are continuing to be felt across all industries today. Take the gas industry for example. The way we look at the thermostat changed forever on the 25th September 2013, when British Gas announced the launch of Hive, the new sub brand for heating that allows you to control heating from your mobile, tablet or PC.
This launch single-handedly transformed the sector from one that was, by its very existence, physical in nature, into one that was dominated by software leaders. As if on cue, just four months later, Google acquired the US technology company Nest for £2bn.
'Great, but what does all of this this mean for me?' I hear you ask. What it means is that in order to stay relevant today, your business must be in a position to adapt, in keeping with the evolving expectations of end users. If success used to be governed by those who were best able to feed, water and maintain existing infrastructure, it is today championed by those who are least afraid of opening up new opportunities through innovation.
Applications, platforms and software are all changing the business rules of success, so instigating change to adapt is no longer just part of a business plan; it’s an essential survival tool. And so I wanted to share some essential pointers to help ensure that your business is able to adapt, on demand:
All around us, agile start-ups and individuals are leveraging the unique confluence of open platforms, crowd-funding and big data analytics that exists around us. The pace of technology change means that no individual company need be responsible for doing everything themselves, which is why more than ever, there is a real business need for open source.
Open source helps to create a broad ecosystem of technology partners, all helping to make it possible to work closer with developers to drive common standards, security and interopability within the cloud native application market.
Develop scale at speed
Adrian Cockroft, one of the founders of Netflix, a poster child of the software defined business once famously said that: 'scale breaks hardware, speed breaks software and speed at scale breaks everything.'
What Adrian realised was that to develop speed at scale, traditional approaches simply do not work, and new methodologies are required, allowing applications to be more portable and broken down into smaller more manageable units. New approaches to security and authentication services also allow micro service architectures to be utilised.
Create a one unified platform
Open market data architectures are being increasingly used to give developers the freedom to innovate and experiment. While this is precisely what is required to keep pace in a world of constant change, it also means that your IT infrastructure stands at risk of growing increasingly muddled, as developers become more empowered to code in their own way.
This where a single unified platform holds the key, as this is what is ultimately required to best manage the infrastructure, ensuring compliance, control, security and governance, all the while giving developers the freedom to innovate.
Ask yourself a simple question, can I handle the exponential rate of change that is happening all around me? If the answer to that is not a resolute yes, it is time that you invested some thought into how you can.
Uber, Air BnB and Netflix are all proof that previously classic barriers to entry that once inhibited small players from gaining meaningful traction in the marketplace are tumbling all around us. Nobody said that surviving in such a disruptive landscape would be easy, but with some careful thought and planning, it needn’t be too difficult either.
Sourced from Ed Hoppitt, CTO Ambassador & Business Solution Architect, vExpert, VMware EMEA