Developers are the new engine of innovation in business and information technology (IT) today, and their numbers are growing: The total developer population worldwide is expected to increase to 26.4 million by 2019, up from 18.2 million today, according to Evans Data Worldwide.   

To fully unleash the power of developer-led innovation, a shift in mindset toward being more developer-centric will help spur the best ideas and applications. This new era of the developer-ization of IT is well underway, and much like its predecessor, the consumerization of IT,  it’s all about making stakeholders – in this case the developers – lives easier by giving them more freedom, flexibility, and choice so they can focus on producing great apps, innovate, and deliver valuable IP.
As one example, companies should embrace the hacker/maker culture(s). The word “hacker” no longer carries with it a solely negative connotation. The hackers of today are much less often people with intentions of taking down your website or accessing your private data. More often they are technical tinkerers who use unorthodox means to build creative solutions to address challenges and inconveniences of everyday life.

This is a societal movement that IT professionals should recognize and leverage to their (and everyone’s) advantage. Whether it’s through learning to code, hacking hardware, or simply involving developers in the problem-solving and decision-making processes, this effort can lead to many benefits:
  • More innovation
  • Fun, unique solutions
  • Greater productivity and efficacy of actions
  • Better understanding of each other’s perspectives and plights
  • Stronger interpersonal relationships throughout the organization from collaboration
As SendGrid’s CEO, I’ve shared some more of my ideas about the developer-ization of IT in the video below:

Developerization of IT from SendGrid on Vimeo.

Prior to his tenure with SendGrid, Jim was the Vice President of Enterprise Performance Management and the General Manager of the Crystal Ball Global Business Unit of Oracle Corporation. The Crystal Ball Global Business Unit was formed in 2007 as a part of the acquisition of Hyperion Solutions. At Hyperion, Jim served as VP and General Manager. Jim had held the roles of Decisioneering's CEO, CFO and VP of Sales prior to Decisioneering's acquisition by Hyperion. Decisioneering was the maker of the Crystal Ball brand of software.