Making apps ‘back in the day’ was about customization. Software companies helped a business spec out requirements, review existing architecture and spent time learning how best to fit work processes to increase productivity and drive profit.
But one of the great ironies of information technology is that it eventually makes liars out of almost everyone. No sooner does one methodology become accepted and widely adopted does someone comes along with a better path—and the IT world heads off in an entirely new direction.
For a whole generation, IT projects centered on replacing those hand-coded, one-off systems, or bespoke software packages, with a handful of widely accepted (and very capable) “standard” types of off-the-shelf software. Microsoft Word is the most obvious example, as it once completely dominated word processing in most parts of the world—and still serves in many enterprises. Take a look at ERP systems from SAP or Oracle.
Yet now that every business has standardized and committed most business functions to these familiar IT products, a number of organizations are discovering that having something different in their IT bag of tricks actually provides a competitive advantage. What’s more, if you can deliver new or better functionality through custom code—and do it quickly and efficiently—the potential benefits grow. For an interesting discussion of this build versus buy trade-off, see the recent article on Forbes.com.
With the rise of DevOps have come tools and techniques to match these best practices that are ready for custom software development at any level. App developers are rediscovering the joys of inventing new and better wheels and taking the advantages this confers straight to the bank. Software companies are in a position to deliver something customized for obvious business benefits
Of course, at Progress® we never forgot the art of helping build great applications. No matter what kind of application you want to build, our spectrum of app dev and deployment capabilities, from Progress® OpenEdge® ABL to the low code Progress® Rollbase® aPaaS, to Modulus Enterprise for Node.js development and high control and the Telerik© Platform, can make it both possible and easier.
As the senior director of product marketing and strategy for the Progress solutions and audience marketing team, Paul Nashawaty keeps his eyes peeled on what enterprises are doing about big data as it relates to digital transformation. Paul is responsible for applying practical business methodologies using technological solutions to drive success in organizations.
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