As IDC sees it, tech's 'Third Platform' disrupts everyone

Bernard Golden

Steve Ballmer Was Right: It's All About Developers, Developers, Developers

According to the small but highly respected Redmonk analyst firm, developers are the new kingmakers. That's to say that major software choices (and purchases) are made not at the IT executive level but, rather, down in the bowels of the organization at the individual developer level. The developer designs an application, seeks out components to support its functionality and then presents the finished prototype as a fait accompli to the CIO, who ratifies the decision and puts the procurement wheels in motion.

It's an intriguing notion, and one to which IDC wholly subscribes: "In 2014 and 2015, we'll see a battle for developers play out in the cloud, much like the one between Android, iOS, and Windows for mobile apps and developers."

IDC considers this so important that it devotes a lengthy paragraph to discuss the importance of developers; the section is headed, "A pitched battle for developers (and apps) in the cloud." It goes on to note that the companies seeking to be one of the six to eight large-scale CSPs will display "great urgency in this battle for developers."

This is all part of the ongoing shift of power from central IT to application groups and business units, the latter two represented by developers. I discuss this transformation. It's critical to recognize, too, that this shift is occurring not because IT executives have suddenly come to realize the intelligence of their developers or their contributions. The shift is occurring because developers are the vehicle by which new applications are created, and IT is - finally - coming to the fore in most companies.

The looming issue for most companies is the need to accelerate application development. Now that the friction associated with infrastructure provisioning has been reduced by cloud computing, the biggest impediment to rolling out new and updated applications is the development process itself. Addressing that bottleneck will be the issue du jour throughout 2014.

Therefore, expect to see the technology industry devote enormous energy to providing development tools, frameworks and lifecycle management systems that make developers more productive. IDC is right, in my estimation: Much of this will play out as the biggest CSPs joust to become the favored developer environment.

In the end, it all comes down to applications, and they all come down to developers who, finally, will have their day in the sun.

Third Platform Will Disrupt 'Every Industry in Our Economy'

The most intriguing prediction in an extremely intriguing report is IDC's prediction that every industry on our economy will see one-third of its top 20 companies seriously disrupted by new entrants and reinvented incumbents who deliver new offerings empowered by the third platform.

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