DIY App Dev

Business users know what they want to do and increasingly can figure out the technology building blocks that will let them achieve their goals. Which should be the goals of IT as well: business success.

The App Dev DIY story that appeared in today’s print issue of eWEEK magazine (on online here at eWEEK.com) shows that the cloud is advancing the way IT can empower business users. What I didn’t talk about as much in the story, but will here, is the why the cloud is changing how IT works with users.

In some ways there is a kind of Moore’s Law at play in application development. The framework in which productivity improving apps can be created is spreading through the cloud, enabling mid-level users to contribute to the bottom line. The pace at which this is happening appears to be accelerating while the growth of in-the-cloud services is increasing.

IT managers today need to be thinking strategically about smoothing the road toward even more business user enablement in order to stay ahead of the competition. The changes that engender this advice will not be stopped. The genie is out of the bottle. Data center virtualization has given business leaders a brisk lesson in boosting IT hardware productivity. Cloud services are being blown by similar winds.

In the past IT was (for the most part, I’d say) cloaked in jargon and “don’t touch that or you’ll set off the halon system.” The jargon is still here and possibly even more advanced. What’s changing is the level of abstraction--a somewhat tiresome, but still useful phrase--that enables ordinary mortals to imagine and execute on extraordinary ideas. Business users know what they want to do and increasingly can figure out the technology building blocks that will let them achieve their goals. Which should be the goals of IT as well: business success.

Based on my work around this story, my advice is to think about how you as an IT manager want the next series of meetings with your management team to unfold. “More of the same” is usually the safest, short term route. But as a Moore’s Law-like phenomenon of data center change continues apace, “more of the same” may not be enough to keep your business at the front of the pack.