Networked technologies deeply entrenched in the genesis of enterprise software development continue to evolve through the decades, especially under the all-new era of cloud computing. The solutions, practices and trends constituting the wider concept of cloud computing have now evolved well beyond industry hype and entered the maturity phase. Networked computing has consistently impacted the evolution of software development as well, ever since the days of centralized mainframe systems and distributed client-server end-points, through to the age of the Internet and cloud computing.
The current and future affairs of the software development industry are therefore closely associated with the concept, offerings, culture, practices, technologies, trends and market requirements resulting from the evolution of cloud computing. This connection is apparent in the way software solutions are developed and consumed.
[See Also: Cloud Computing Requires Systems Thinking]
Cloud computing has fueled the rise of Agile and DevOps software development lifecycle methodologies. The independent concepts of cloud, Agile and DevOps work together as reinforcing strategies to maximize the business value of IT. These concepts have evolved to enable fundamental shifts in the enterprise and consumer IT market segment.
The market is embracing the service economy over the product economy. The ability to employ IT offerings ‘as a Service’ on a subscription basis and accessible across the network instead of necessitating vast resources for deployment, operations and management the entire IT infrastructure on-premise presents unprecedented value propositions from a business and technology standpoint. The transition from vast CapEx to affordable OpEx and relieving the human, technical and financial resources to run, secure and maintain complex IT systems on premise allows customers to focus on utilizing the product to its maximum potential instead of tying all resources merely to keep it alive and running.
These capabilities also empower organizations with the agility they need to innovate and adapt their business models to meet changing market requirements. The SDLC approach focuses on continuity and automation across all functional areas ranging from development and testing to deployment, delivery and release. Synchronizing Dev and Ops processes allows software companies to shrink release cycles from years and months to weeks and days. A continuous feedback loop from customers ensures rich user-experience and improved business productivity with every iterative release while eliminating the need to customize the solution and hence avoiding integration and performance concerns. The iterative releases are usually available as updates delivered across the network as a cloud service, allowing businesses to leverage continuous improvements in software functionality. Cloud computing enables the entire software development lifecycle, tooling, practices, software offerings and the product consumption itself. Both the software development and cloud computing fields are converging to a point where the concept of cloud networking is no longer limited to software development, but is just as well connected to the business value and user adoption of software offerings.
Cloud computing has influenced the enterprise market in general and the software industry is forced to accommodate a range of cloud-driven consumer and enterprise IT trends. For instance, modern software products are required to leverage Big Data and analytics to enable predictive capabilities. Software needs to connect the unconnected: the Internet of Things (IoT). Cloud-enabled consumerization of IT is pushing Bring Your Own Everything (BYOx) trends that necessitates new policies, security capabilities and software UX/UI. Work-oriented social networking is the norm at the workplace and often facilitating productivity.
In essence, the software industry is forced to build a bridge for consumers and enterprises to leverage the opportunities and bypass the challenges resulting from the prevalence of cloud computing. And even more so, as both the software development and cloud networking fields complement and dictate development and evolution of the either industry segment.
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