Idea to productization: The IBM Bluemix experience

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In the era of cloud, big data analytics, mobile and social, there are several profound challenges that entrepreneurs, developers and innovators need to recognize and deal with in order to be successful in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at some of these challenges.


  • Less than 10 percent of ideas become successful products



Several interesting studies have noted that new ideas generally have a success rate of less than 10 percent in terms of becoming viable products. And while all it takes is one good idea that clicks, there are several cycles of evaluation and experimentation necessary to get there.

Clearly this means that you need a product development ecosystem that offers the flexibility to experiment and change direction if needed during the entire development life cycle.


  • Organizations need freedom to choose the right development platforms



Decades ago, you might have been content with a limited set of programming platforms. Often you would have been forced to use a certain programming language, even though it might not have been the best fit for your needs.

Over time, the open development community has become more powerful and has been instrumental in several emerging new platforms and technologies.

This now means that you need a programming environment that offers the freedom to choose from among these new platforms to discover what best suits your need.


  • Agile software development alone no longer suffices



Strangely enough, although we have several agile methodologies for software product development, the encompassing ecosystem is not nimble and often defeats all the benefits gained through agile development. The hardware and software procurement processes are not adaptable, which forces you to make procurement decisions up front.

The entire process of idea to productization needs to fit into the agile, iterative and incremental development model.

Let’s now look at the traditional development model of idea to productization and explore the profound advantages of developing on IBM Bluemix.

Traditional on-premises development

traditional development

The traditional on-premises development model has several issues and hurdles that can hinder progress:


  • High up-front cost, time and effort
  • Minimal flexibility to redirect software and system needs
  • A focus on processes and time spent “knocking on doors” for approvals diverts attention from the intended idea or business problem



To start with, this model, places a lot of onus on you to make decisions on hardware and software license procurement up front, at a stage you may not yet have clarity regarding the precise requirements. This is further aggravated in organizations with multiple levels of processes and approvals. You may be forced to “knock on doors” to seek the correct approvals, jump through procedural hoops and commit to hardware and software requirements in advance, even though you may be unsure what you’ll ultimately need.

Once these decisions have been made, you’ll need to commit time and effort toward learning and training on the new platform, and more time to get the correct development set up and started.

This often leads to losing sight of the initial idea, and in many instances this means failure to productize the idea.

Development with IBM Bluemix

bluemix development

IBM Bluemix provides several advantages and solutions to knock down the barriers to development.


  • Pay-per-use format means minimal upfront cost
  • Unlimited flexibility to re-direct to new service at will
  • Ever growing ecosystem of runtimes, services and boiler plates
  • Complete focus on idea and business problem



Bluemix offers a one stop shop for rapid agile development. Since it is a platform as a service (PaaS) offering, it’s available to innovators, startups, entrepreneurs and developers on a pay-per-use basis. This means unlimited opportunity for evaluation and experimentation to determine the set of runtime and service combinations that best suit your development needs.

Bluemix also offers flexibility to modify your plan and pick a new combination of runtime and services at any point during the development process. Additionally, auto-generated code as part of boiler plate apps and an ever-growing number of sample applications can translate into very rapid ramp up and a very short cycle of re-skilling for development.

Additionally, the pay-per-use model means innovators have fewer worries regarding up front costs, logistics and approvals, and can instead focus on the idea and related key business problems.

You can check out this presentation for a great overview of Bluemix.

Can Bluemix help you find your nirvana? Try it out and see! Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

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