Information Technology and Software

A Guide for Managing Innovation During Rapid Change

IT and Software Innovation2018-12-17T17:39:45+00:00

“Once a new technology starts rolling, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.”
– Stewart Brand, writer, editor, and founder of The Whole Earth Catalog.

About the Guide:

Competitive IT firms cannot afford to be tied to old tools. The IT industry is as fast-moving as it gets, and the increasing investment in incubators and accelerators are a testament to the efforts and investments companies are making to find the next breakthrough innovation.

The cloud is a way to cheaply outsource hosting infrastructure, which makes deployment and scalability much easier. Outsourced cloud services have removed many of the limitations that companies were experiencing with product design and testing by providing inexpensive off-site data storage, but there are other advancements that are allowing companies and their developers to create new products more easily. Emerging languages, for example, are quickly replacing stalwarts such as Java as coders find ways to apply new languages to specific scenarios.

The faster a skilled professional programmer can build a product the better, and the programming language used can either speed up or slowdown that process.

Emerging Languages in IT: A Proxy for the Pace of Change

The adoption of new languages is an illustration of the tech adoption process. New and flashy languages appear, they create a niche following among startups and individuals (innovators and early adopters) and, if they prove to be significantly valuable, they reach a critical mass.

In certain companies, there are factors that hold back the adoption of new languages. Take legacy code, for example: in the IT world, the top tier continues to consist of languages like Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, PHP, C#, and C++ both because they’re firmly entrenched as legacy code and because new languages have yet to prove their value, let alone security. But eventually, new languages do break through and become the new standard, helping companies build bigger and better products.

According to Wired contributor Klint Finley, Google started using Kotlin because “it offers most of the same basic features as Java plus the coding equivalent of seat warmers and a killer sound system. This means programmers can write safer, more reliable code with less work.” When Google switched from Java to Kotlin, Android users experienced fewer bugs, and programmers enjoyed working with a simpler and more interesting language.

Of course, now that the industry leader has adopted Kotlin, many other companies will follow suit. But the process wasn’t easy. Kotlin has been around since 2010 – seven years before Google officially announced its support. It takes serious internal advocacy and an IT-centric mindset to even begin discussing the adoption of new programming languages.

But new languages are just one element changing IT and software engineering. The latest trends, AI, blockchain, and cloud computing, can be even more of a challenge to implement. These systems are being integrated in every sector and industry, but how can you know what your organization should focus on? Which systems provide the most value to your organization?

Topics Covered:

This set of articles on IT, software engineering, architecture, and tools delves into the latest IT advancements and practices so that today’s business leaders are both informed and enthusiastic about what is available and how these technologies, processes, and new languages can transform business operations.

1

Moving to the Cloud

Pros, Cons, and Complications

The first article in a series of five explains cloud integration and how it has affected software development and engineering. Specifically, this article explains the various outsourcing models and the costs and implications of migrating to the cloud.

2

Open Source Software

Benefits and Downsides for Corporations

The second article in IT and software engineering looks at the new developments in product design and creation, including the movement toward open-source software and cross-functional APIs.

3

Agile Methodologies for Software Teams

When and How to Use Agile

The third article examines Agile, a lean project management system. The article explores when to use Agile (and when to not), how to implement an agile system, and how to budget for agile.

4

How AI and ML Power Modern Companies

Applications & Individual Department Usage

The fourth article explores the different ways AI and machine learning technology are impacting business, and AI’s potential impact on technology spending and employment in the future. Finally, the article summarizes AI’s impact at the sector level to show its versatility and broad application.

5

Communication Technology

How Messaging Apps Change Customer Relationships, Work and Collaboration

The final article in the series addresses how advances in IT are shaping communications both within and outside of organizations. This article gives examples of integrated IT technologies, such as AI, which are improving communication tools for better customer experiences. This article explains the pros and cons of internal communication tools and describes how sales can be driven by external communication tools. Finally, the article describes the new project management apps that integrate real-time project management with internal collaboration and communication.

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