Technology has forever altered the way we interact in our business and personal lives. The consumerisation of IT is forcing businesses to rethink how they run IT, and making them forge better, more collaborative relationships with their users.
Karen Tegan Padir, CTO of Progress Software, believes the future of app development lies in capitalising on this trend, and on the fact that technology is being used all over the globe to make a difference in the lives of people.
Speaking at the recent Progress Africa conference, she said that every application is becoming a “consumer” application. “Businesses hoping to succeed must be able to meet consumers’ expectations, and deliver apps on mobile and the Web. Bear in mind that users use multiple devices and expect them to interact with each other. They want to be able to access their apps at any time from anywhere. Applications are becoming the front line of the battle to win mindshare.”
She says the organisations that are leading, are leveraging technology and data as competitive advantages. Although the CIO or technical head is supposed to drive technological advances, key employees also need to leverage technology and capitalise on their data assets to benefit the business. “While many technology advancements have been made, the IT / business dynamic remains a struggle for most organisations. Organisations still don’t have the applications they need or the ability to leverage their data to run their business effectively.”
What is needed here is a way to leverage technology, build apps and integrate data that is simple, flexible and quick, she adds. Wherever data can be digitised, industries can be disrupted and opportunities created. “No longer do developers have to use the tools their managers tell them to. There are myriad free tools available to solve various problems. Similarly, data no longer comes only from the data store, today, it might come from a number of sources.”
Padir says it has never been so easy to develop applications to boost productivity, smooth workflows and better business processes. “Moreover, with Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions, challenges are even more easily resolved. Rapid application development PaaS solutions enable custom business applications to be developed and deployed super fast, giving leverage and choice for development teams.”
Most of today’s businesses have evolved into knowledge, or data driven businesses. Companies must leverage technology in order to keep their businesses agile and flexible, Padir points out. “Organisations manage their businesses with applications that are driven by data. It’s no longer about middleware and infrastructure. To best leverage the power of applications, move across clouds with PaaS.”
She explains that PaaS offerings allow the deployment of applications without the capital outlays and complexity of having to buy and maintain the necessary hardware and software, as well as the provisioning hosting capabilities needed to do this.
“If we want to help IT support the business, we need to help developers become more efficient. That is the promise of PaaS. PaaS let’s business put all of its focus on the business problem, and frees developers to do what they do best: develop software,” Padir concluded.