Why corporate power is shifting to developers

Summary:APIs are eating software, and those who control APIs are steering the enterprise.

Antony Falco, founder of Orchestrate.io, recently posted an interesting piece at GigaOm on the rise of the API-centered "composable enterprise."

IT worker-By Michael Krigsman
Photo credit: Michael Krigsman

He observes that information technology is now built on public and private API services, which can be assembled and disassembled as needs arise.

The loosely coupled enterprise isn't the only change APIs are ringing to the table. Falco also suggests that within the API-driven organization, power is shifting from business managers to developers. Business executives have been more reactive than proactive when it comes to this new type of organization. Rather, it's been developers leading the way.  As Falco puts it:

"All major changes toward the composable, modular model have started from the bottom, where the intransigence of IT has sparked rebellions among devs who took refuge in the metaphorical hills of Amazon and Heroku. With personal credit cards and personal time, devs have dragged their IT organizations into the age of cloud. There is every reason to think this trend will only accelerate."

It's an interesting point, since many analysts and pundits vigorously preach "IT-business alignment," with the understanding that developers and IT people would be running in circles without the blessing and guidance of the business side.

So, who's driving the fate of the digital enterprise -- techs or businesspeople? Perhaps the answer is increasingly being seen somewhere in the middle. Technology managers and professionals are expected to have -- and are rewarded for having -- a grasp of the business. Likewise, today's generation of managers -- particularly the GenX crowd -- has a grasp of technology.

Or, perhaps Microsoft's Steve Ballmer understood who really makes enterprises tick:

Topics: Enterprise Software, IT Priorities

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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