By Sandy Carter
For centuries, playgrounds have provided children around the world with a place to explore, grow new skills and advance their mental, social and athletic abilities. Today, a new type of playground has emerged that is a bit different than your typical sandbox, monkey bars and tire swings.
This playground is the cloud and it has emerged as the ultimate developer playground, providing a platform for exploring new methods and quickly transforming an innovative idea into a reality.
The cloud offers the things developers crave most: simplicity, flexibility, scalability, collaboration and more. Tapping into software development tools through the cloud helps developers to eliminate complexity, quickly turn their ideas into shipped products, and lower their time-to-market by cutting application development and deployment times from months to days and hours. Additionally, cloud-based developer tools offer flexible capacity in terms of storage, bandwidth and processing power, while also handling back-end infrastructure needs.
As the industry moves into the cloud era, smart organizations and software developers are looking to access tools and services that will allow them to leverage cloud computing opportunities. According to Evans Data, today, there are more than 18 million software developers worldwide, yet only 25 percent of this population is developing for the cloud today. The developer population is expected to grow to 26.4M by 2016 and the parentage of developers expected to develop in the cloud will grow by 44 percent to 12.5M by 2019.
Early adopters of cloud development platforms are already reaping the benefits. IBM recently announced our new platform-as-a-service, BlueMix, a cloud development platform that’s aiming to bring enterprise developers into the cloud, to help them make new markets with cloud applications.
International automotive supplier Continental, for example, is using BlueMix to create and deliver a range of new mobile in-car services. Their cloud-based connected solutions will pave the way for ‘automated driving.’ Vehicles with embedded sensors will not only receive data, they will also transmit information such as position, speed or deceleration to the cloud where data will be processed, analyzed and quickly acted upon. The result will be a real-time map that will enable a vehicle to literally look around the corner.
Retail startup, EyeQ, is using Big Data and analytics to better understand human shopping patterns. EyeQ provides leading retailers the ability to monitor consumer purchasing behavior, generate business intelligence, and influence consumer purchasing at the shelf and increasing sales. Developing their application in the cloud allows EyeQ to test their analytics software and deploy the final application significantly quicker than traditional methods. And, MyMenu, which creates mobile solutions for restaurants, is developing in the cloud to be able to skip over the testing and provisioning stages of app development. Doing this enables them to bring their mobile app to customers much quicker.
The cloud levels the playing field between developers at enterprises of all sizes – whether it is a small, growing business or a well-established company. It allows developers to spend less time and money managing IT and more time focused on their real priority – creating innovative apps. With new tools, ideas and processes being brought to the table every day, it’s an incredibly exciting time for developers to jump into the sandbox of their choice and start creating.