We’re seeing crazy structural changes in tech, utterly changing how infrastructure is discovered, designed, built and used, redefining the relationship between tech companies, traditional clients and customers. Across all industry sectors, companies are joining the digital arms race, building technology to be leveraged by other firms, in the form of APIs, apps or open source technology. Companies with the most active communities are winning.
Cloud, Open Source, and Data – the underpinnings.
We’re all becoming more software-driven. Far from IT not being a competitive advantage, it is the only sustainable advantage. Enterprises increasingly want to act and look like Web companies. Fortune 500 companies are adopting software created by non-traditional software companies at an ever increasing rate – from Hadoop (created by Yahoo) to Chaos Monkey (Netflix) to Mesosphere (UC Berkeley). Business threats are exploding, driven by use of web scale technologies and smart data strategies by well-funded disruptive entrants like AirBnB, Transferwise, and Uber. Oh yeah – and things like Brexit (now that’s real disruption).
While social media and online collaboration help enable the new digital landscape, face to face interactions are arguably more important as ever. So much of the conversation is implicit. Silicon Valley companies, sometimes imagined as innovators in distributed management actually generally have campus mentalities and discourage working from home. San Francisco is the home of the meetup, as much as it is of the startup. Meetups underpin a shared culture. Evangelism is the new direct sales.
Tech is fragmenting, creating new opportunities, but also massive challenges in application development, procurement, management and and maintenance. Agile, DevOps, Noops, PaaS, Serverless. Events and meetups provide great opportunities to stay abreast of the latest technologies, development and management methods.
People want to be inspired. You should encourage your staff to seek out highly concentrated developer talent pools, and hang out there.
I have been thinking about all of this stuff as a prelude to a conversation I’ll be having with Pivotal’s Andrew Clay Shafer at SpringOne in Las Vegas August 1-4. Pivotal asked me to record a podcast series with Andrew as a preview – in this series of bite-sized podcasts we talk about the value of events, structural changes in the industry and even a little technology.