February 25, 2014 | Written by: Sarit Sotangkur
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This year, IBM Pulse is full of company acquisition announcements, beta programs and a plethora of new product offerings spread over several full days of keynotes and breakout sessions. It’s no wonder that you can get a little overwhelmed trying to take it all in. So instead, let’s step back and see what I think are the most five important ideas for developers here.
1. Openness. IBM has realized that businesses want flexibility and they don’t want to be tied down to any one vendor. Open APIs will always win over proprietary interfaces and IBM wants to be on the winning side. As a developer, you can develop applications using Cloud Foundry on your own hardware at no charge. Then when you’re ready to go live, simply push it to Codename: BlueMix. And in the unlikely event that you don’t like BlueMix, there are other options as well.
(Related: IBM to sponsor Cloud Foundry Foundation)
2. Agility and speed. Today’s customers expect features done yesterday. To remain competitive, you’ll need a platform to provide you the services you need without the bother of maintaining them yourself. This is the idea behind the platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings like BlueMix and SoftLayer. Let the vendors handle the dirty work so you can focus on providing business functionality.
3. Metered usage and pricing. The old paradigm of big IT budgets and hosting huge expensive projects where you pay the bulk load of the expenses before you even see a dime in returns is no longer going to cut it. Today’s fastest growing companies need results now, as well as the ability to scale their offerings and costs as their businesses grow. This means finding ways to quantize the value for your customers and charging for it in a metered fashion.
4. Open channels of communication. In large corporations, there’s a perception that the business people, the developers and the IT staff often clash when interacting with each other despite sharing the same common business goal. This is usually due to issues in procurement, budget or asset allocation. However, by leveraging the advantages of software as a service (SaaS), PaaS and IaaS, these groups can easily and affordably supplement their existing assets so that they can corroborate on providing value to the customer.
5. Security. Public clouds seem like a less secure environment; however, this must be contrasted with the security measures put in place in on-premises environments. If the developer is also tasked as the interim IT staff, then serious thought should be given to whether a large PaaS or IaaS vendor is really less secure. Often times, the technical staff at these vendors can provide first class advice on securing your system due to their vast experiences. In this case, it makes more sense to utilize the expertise of an experienced vendor. On the other hand, if you already have a talented IT department, then you will have to evaluate whether the vendor can meet your security goals.
Hopefully, you can take these ideas into consideration going forward in 2014. If you’re attending IBM Pulse, what was your biggest takeaway?