Disclaimer: John Dardick has an ownership interest in The Digital Garage. Ms Waxman works with The Digital Garage on an advisory capacity.
All of us are aware of how much and how fast the IT market changes. I.T. touches all of us; business of all sizes and consumers or all ages are affected by the velocity of change and evolution in IT. How often have those of us over the age of 30 asked the younger generation to assist in some new device or app. This extends well beyond tablet, laptop servers, mobile phones to even some of the old fashioned iconic everyday devices – like land line phones (yes, they still exist) to new age appliances like ovens or microwaves. No longer are devices designed for a single purpose; they are multi-functional. Today, one device can perform many tasks; for example, a cell phone is a clock, can start your car, turn on the lights, and can even make a phone call. The days of these devices being intuitive and plug and play are becoming a fading memory. Apps are powering this evolution.
Another sea change of transition in IT is underway. This is happening and will continue – apps development is the catalyst for this seismic shift. There are about 25,000,000 application developers in the world and that number is growing. The age range of this developer community is broad, however majority of developers are under 40, 30, 20 and even in their teens. This new crowd of developers are using IT to solve a problem they know exists by thinking outside of the box. Some of these apps have matured, entered mainstream like Facebook, DropBox, or UBER for which are now entering “old school” status. However, there are 100’s of thousands more in development or still in startup. One app is a device for football helmets that can detect if the player may have a concussion, by sending a signal to the coach and the doctor if needed to get the player off the field. Another great example of the evolution is driverless vehicles. There are so many more of these apps, the community is wide and broad with no one to corral or identify all of them. They go to regional meet ups, but have not created an umbrella org where they all meet. This is because at this time they have no need for this! Trust me if they did they would have created an app and a unified community.
The backdrop to this, VC’s and other mature companies are identifying these innovative application startups. In many cases these app firms are small and run by technologist vs. business professional and are being swallowed up like lambs to slaughter. This of itself sends alerts of another sea change. Will the VC’s and other succeed at this transition turning the new apps into large companies or conglomerates stripping them of this ingenuity or will the reverse happen- were the acquirers change their stipes to become the “new generation” of IT – OR do these startups revolutionaries become the acquirer!
The apps developers are finally getting their well-deserved and long overdue day in sun. This community has always been in the shadows of the IT market making the systems work but overshadowed by the hardware. Without software the systems would just bunch of products. As the IT market matured, the profit pools transitioned from hardware to software. Software is key to competitive advantages, fill of intelligential capital. The new IT generation of developers is not only changing the market, it is taking it by a wide-reaching storm –hanging market valuations. Innovation led by the next generation of developers is the NEW currency led by developers.
The overall market is not immune to this change. Desperate to get a piece, ride this wave, development platforms are a growing new trend. Established companies like Google and Microsoft are now joined by newer entrants like Heroku. Another exciting, new, and TRULY unique developer platform provider is “the Digital Garage” (www.thedigitalgarage.io). It is built on open source Docker, Kubernetes, and Openshift. Since the open source is not heavily curated, this is the only open, no lock out, no lock in development platform. Or as “the Digital Garage” likes to say, building software just got easier with one click deployments; it is your get out of DevOps free pass.
John Dardick contributed to this Opinion.