4 Principles That Will Shape the Future of IT

Technology changes constantly, yes, but there must be some principles driving that change from one moment to the next. Furthermore, not just technology is transforming, but also the very role of IT. In an article for, Bernard Golden explores the most prevalent changes facing IT. There are four principles that will greatly impact the IT industry:

  1. Software is disrupting everything.
  2. Open source is becoming common.
  3. Netflix is one-of-a-kind.
  4. Open source is the key for the transition towards software companies.

Software is helping to transform entire industry segments, from the new entertainment realms to the older transportation industry. Marc Andreessen wrote an editorial for The Wall Street Journal in which he explored this idea and claimed that “software is now a central component of every industry’s offerings, and every company needed to focus on software as a core competency.” The bottom line is that the transition towards a more digital world does affect every industry. The perfect example of this is the retail industry transitioning towards more online shopping. A customer can purchase just about everything they could ever need online.

While most industries are experiencing benefits from the shift towards technology, big vendors are not so lucky. Take for example IBM: They have suffered in the last 15 quarters because of reduced revenues. These negative outcomes all boil down to open source “commoditizing the vendor offerings.” Cost structures have become misaligned. This is a low-cost replacement for vendors, and IT needs to be aware of it.

Netflix turned the video rental world on its head when it broke into the market, and then it only pushed the barriers further when it transitioned to video streaming. Netflix, at its essence, is a technology company. Rather than becoming hung up on infrastructure, Netflix shifted its focus on developing its streaming application capability. Netflix utilized open source for its advantage and won. However, Netflix is an entity like no other, and no one can ever be like Netflix. Not everyone can attract the high-level talent that can develop perfectly catered business solutions, for instance. It is not a practical aspiration for IT to seek to replicate Netflix’s success.

Open source can help organizations to smoothly transition into software companies. There are likely to be easy-to-implement, pre-made open source stacks ready at an organization’s disposal. This will additionally encourage a new type of vendor to emerge to help in the transition, as well as new best practices to develop.

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