To manage this explosion of information, IT departments within all industries are on the path to digitally transform and they are rapidly embracing cloud – whether public, private or hybrid – as the platform for innovation. In fact, by the end of 2017, IDC estimates that worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure could reach $122.5 billion, up 24.4 per cent from 2016. That is why we’re seeing more and more cloud providers establish a foothold in growing technology markets, particularly in Canada.
Given the extraordinary rise of data, analytics, mobile and social computing, IT infrastructure has become the engine of innovation—fundamental for delivering IT services that Canadian businesses value and demand. Today, there is a huge appetite in IT for an open cloud architecture driven by open-source code, community, and culture.
Open cloud architectures drive agility, collaboration and business growth. Open source is the foundation of innovative application development in the cloud and companies and developers that manage projects using an open governance model can grow their capabilities and tap into first-rate development and integration skills.
In the cloud, open source can deliver faster development and interoperability with a vast number of compatible services that helps customers of all sizes to engage in global markets in new and exciting ways. Groups leveraging this technology also experience greater success and a longer shelf life; attract the largest ecosystems and most expansive markets, and reduce the chance for vendor lock-in or project abandonment, while encountering less risk.
With open source as the foundation of innovative application development in the cloud, developers will be able to access information easily and quickly and collaboratively create new projects and ideas, enabling organizations to have a competitive advantage.
Developing in the open cloud brings competitiveness
There’s never been a more exciting time to be a developer. In the past, software development models focused on standardized and consistent work groups that typically identified a set of requirements for a fixed solution, and built, deployed and managed these models over time. Changing systems and applications was tedious and expensive.
Today’s business is defined by speed. Open systems favour variability and help accelerate ideas and development efforts. Open source models in the cloud remove barriers and limitations that once existed and allows for interoperable contributors across the various regions to access and acquire common development practices.
Diverse communities and open governance are the lifelines for successful open technology initiatives. For instance, a large healthcare provider turned to a hybrid cloud environment to advance the digital customer experience for patients by improving time-to-market for front-office and mobile applications. The company used an open-source, Platform-as-a-Service approach to significantly streamline development and optimize the time spent to create new applications.
An open cloud platform can also vastly improve the speed and quality of software development and information technology operation processes. A global financial services company that moved to an open cloud development model accelerated market deployment and reduced costs by significantly minimizing the time it took for software releases by 99 per cent.
In addition, eliminating barriers that once inhibited access to data and systems gives organizations an integral edge by enabling them to attract, inspire and retain talent that may otherwise have been unwilling to participate in an inflexible, closed environment.
In Canada, we see a direct correlation with tech talent and developer growth. According to a 2016 CRBE Research report on Canadian tech talent, there are 715.6K tech-talent workers in the country, 187.1k of which make up software developers. Among 10 Canadian cities reviewed for tech talent, Toronto and Montreal ranked #1 and #2 respectively, having some of the highest concentration of software developers and programmers when compared to cities with the least tech talent, including Winnipeg and London, ranked #9 and #10. Clearly, attracting and retaining developers to help build the next great innovations is a competitive imperative for any organization.
Turning to an open cloud platform also allows companies to pull more insights from large amounts of data, both structured and unstructured. This approach enables the optimization of infusing analytics into business processes in real time, allowing organizations to use this information to be agile in meeting customer needs and exceeding expectations.
There is no doubt we are living in a technology-fueled business renaissance. If we look at growth segments, open-source technologies in the cloud are the linchpins that propel innovation by connecting communities and driving development.
Mark Noppe, is Cloud Business Unit Leader for IBM Canada
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