Tough questions for enterprise developers who want to get ahead: Part 3

By Adam Seligman, VP Developer Relations at

Let’s face it. Most of you reading this are probably early adopters. You carry a very smart phone, you’re all over social media, and you’ve got some awesome apps you use every day. Does your work experience reflect your personal outlook on technology? Are you trying out new apps, new dev tooling, or new services? Are you allowed to?

Part three of my series: ‘four tough questions enterprise developers should ask themselves when evaluating their IT culture, their own path to innovation and their own value in the field’ investigates potential organisational barriers when it comes to app development.

Question 3: Is my organisation a laggard?

Always remember your company’s end customer. Don’t ever forget that it is their expectations you’re striving to exceed. Is your organisation a place where you can really put the customer at the center, and use the innovative technologies and communication tools that make your customers happy? Are you building experiences around your customers and new technology, or around your org chart and legacy systems?

What are the barriers between your chair and putting innovation into the hands of your customers? Long dev cycles? Long approval cycles? Old technology? Look, these policies and systems were not developed to limit innovation, but they were designed to minimise change. But now services, devices, platforms and dev tools have gotten extraordinarily powerful. So powerful, in fact, that many organisations now find the policies that kept them slow and safe now make them slow and unappealing to their customers.

What you should be doing

Challenge the policy, challenge the legacy. That’s what early adopters do. That’s what your customers want. Push an innovation agenda. Are you building mobile apps for your customers? Is there data in the app from your back end systems? Are the apps social across customers and your company? Are you bringing in experienced talent to take learnings from the consumer world and spark innovation within the corporate world?

You can do this with small steps. Despite policies that might hold you back, almost every enterprise today is in the midst of customer revolution. Look at what your company’s mission is with customers – there are gems in there that can unlock chains slowing you down.

Get pilots in market, get real customer feedback. Nothing speaks louder than your customers telling you what they like and what they don’t like, and then getting a new version in their hands. Turn your organisation from a laggard to a leader.

For part one of this series, click here.

For part two, click here.

Connnect with Adam Seligman on Twitter - @adamse

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