The Renaissance of Enterprise Development

By February 15, 2012glue conference

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around something lately, and I’m not quite there – yet…but I’m getting closer. In short: I think we’re witnessing a renaissance in enterprise development.

This is not to say that “enterprise development” ever went away, it didn’t. But for a time there –and I’m still working on the why’s and timeframe of this — enterprise development took a back seat to packages, suites and integration. I think we’re now reversing that trend. I think that the next *decade* sees an explosion of development within the enterprise.

Why? The intersection and emergence of the trends represented by today’s hottest buzzwords: cloud, mobile, big data.

“Cloud Computing” as a buzzword is now so overplayed that it’ll be dead and gone in less than 24 months (mark my words), but the development trends that it represents: the ability to spin up, manage, monitor, secure and develop upon computing resources — and then spin them down – on a usage, off-premise basis is such a powerful shift that it has to be seen as the tectonic plate in this intersection.

“Big Data” is a confluence of the ever-cheapening cost of storage and processing and the sheer *leverage* that cloud computing is bringing to the resource-constrained world of enterprise development. And, make no mistake, big data is big. Whatever the opportunity was for tool-sets and enablers PRE-visual studio days, big data is twice that big. The thirst for knowledge around the broad array of big data toolsets (NoSQL, processing, analytics, visualization) is nearly overwhelming. Simultaneously, the application of big data tech is horizontal in the broadest sense. Pick a problem-set: social media, finance, manufacturing, HR, anything — I can find big data applicability.

“Mobile” is the usage wave in this equation. Just the sheer form factor alone demands massive development on the enterprise side, but when you throw in the need for legacy integration so that the end-user gets what they need from enterprise big data served up by the cloud — stand back.

Amidst these three mega-trends sits a lynchpin. The developers know it because they’re building. The buzzword maniacs haven’t caught it yet, and they may never (we can only hope), but it’s there. That lynchpin: APIs. APIs tie together the mega-trends in a fundamental and unalterable way. APIs are the lingua franca of the new wave of enterprise development.

So, as these three mega trends (and our super top-secret, don’t tell the marketers, lynchpin) converge, we’re seeing one overriding trend: the opportunity, means and necessity for the developer (engineer, architect) to play the central role in building and rolling out new enterprise IT capabilities.

And here’s the key: previously, enterprise development basically equated to cost inefficiency. The emergence of cloud, big data tech and mobile are about to flip that equation on its head. The customized, cloud-based, big data processing, get it on any device you need it on, IT environment of the here-now-future will find suites and packages (and their endless integration and tweaking) to be the truly cost-ineffective implementation model. In short, developers rule (Sidenote: I’ve been saying “enterprise developer,” but in truth I mean this across the broad spectrum of all companies.) Software is eating the world, and those that can leverage the cloud foundation, the big data tools and the mobile wave to quickly and efficiently deliver the necessary information via IT resources are the kingmakers.

All of which leads me to the completely obvious, self-promotional point: Sure there are “cloud” conferences, and “big data” conferences, and “mobile development” conferences — but the really important stuff here is about one thing alone: developers and the intersection of these three mega-trends. And the only place you can get that is gluecon.

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