An Open Letter to CIOs

Posted by Woody Rollins on 8/12/14 1:27 PM


Enterprise CIO’s are under fire. The enterprise demands agility and innovation at a rapid pace. Competition is fierce and the stakes are high. 

Start-ups are leveraging new web and mobile app development technologies to manage data, logistics and workflow to displace the status quo… and it’s working. Industries are being transformed by technologies that drive greater efficiency and ultimately greater value to the customer.

Uber, the car service alternative that stormed on the scene in 2009 now boasts an earthshaking $18 billion valuation and has redefined the taxi business. Short of a rainy day in New York, who knew we had a problem? Homejoy, the Bay Area home cleaning start-up just raised $38M and is looking to crash the house party hosted by Merry Maids, the residential cleaning division of publicly traded ServiceMaster. Geico and others have automated the online insurance business to the point where I have not spoken to a real human about my policy in years. Amazon, Travelocity, and Square are more examples of how enabling technologies disrupt the established norm in a very big way.

Unlike start-ups who have the benefit of a clean canvas, the enterprise has baggage. This baggage comes in the form of legacy software (and hardware) that is entrenched in the organization. Often times this legacy software, and the process it creates, serves to define the enterprise, making agility and innovation elusive. The enterprise, like the agile start-up, must choose the right tool for the job. If rapidly developing web and mobile applications is the goal, you don’t want to be slinging stacks of software or managing software libraries. You need a platform.

Platform as a service (PaaS) has been around for years, promising to make developers more efficient. Only now, however, is it really delivering on the promise, and PaaS is being adopted in chart-busting numbers. 451 Research says that PaaS is the fastest growing sector in the cloud market and GigaOm Research predicts the PaaS market will reach at least $21.5B this year. A recognized leader in PaaS, AppScale was honored by Gartner in 2014 as a Cool Vendor for our technical innovation, ease of use and customer traction. Everyday, we are helping enterprise customers leverage the AppScale platform to rapidly innovate and bring new products and services to their customers using their existing infrastructure and software.

AppScale implements the brilliantly simple Google App Engine rapid development model in open source to allow engineering teams to quickly and efficiently build, deploy and scale web and mobile applications. The development-to-release cycle is drastically reduced because high-level services that developers would normally have to build from scratch are already available via an API. This means quicker MVP’s and more substantive market validation that embraces a “fail fast” mentality, most identified with Silicon Valley. In contrast, Avon spent four years and $125M with SAP for an order management system that was scuttled in December because their representatives found it unusable. Wow. This would never, ever happen in a start-up and it should never happen in the enterprise. We can help.

AppScale Systems is a team of brilliant infrastructure engineers and experienced solution architects. We are often described as a “skunkworks” for many of our customers, and we leverage the AppScale platform to rapidly create solutions for our enterprise customers. Because the AppScale platform can sit along side your legacy software, leveraging your existing resources and data, we can create MVP solutions, validate with your users and iterate quickly and without disruption to your IT organization. Of course, AppScale is completely agnostic to the infrastructure and can run in any cloud, public or private, which means you will never be held hostage by vendor lock-in nor compromise the security of your data.

Our initial engagement is typically a proof of concept where we solve a nagging problem with an AppScale-powered solution. At the end of this engagement, we will have a MVP in place for your organization and customers to evaluate. Going forward, we collaborate with your internal IT team with the goal of providing any necessary resources that may be required.

If you are the CIO of a non-technology company with a small IT team and a big demand for customer-facing web and mobile applications, we should talk. It all starts with a conversation.


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Topics: Industry Insight

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