Over the years, I have often described Appirio as a team of cloud fundamentalists. Just like a vegetarian may wonder how McDonald’s stays in business, the Appirio team tends to downplay the importance of the hardware part of computers. Sure, each of us gets a new MacBook Pro or a Dell laptop every 2 years. But at the end of the day, computers are just a good way for us to get to our cloud applications — where the real action happens. There was even a time when everyone at Appirio got a prototype of a Google Chromebook, which had no hard drive at all! The story was — just give us a browser and we can do everything we need to do.
While we are still public cloud application fundamentalists, it’s clear that businesses are finding new ways to innovate by giving their employees the right devices. When it comes to portable computing devices, it’s hard to overstate what Apple has done. The products they continue to roll out haven’t just put computing power in our pockets; they have changed modern culture. That said, Apple’s presence in the business world is just beginning. That’s why it has been exciting to read the news from last week’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 15). Apple continues to lay the foundation for bringing mobile computing to business.
Many tech observers have summarized and interpreted much of the news from WWDC 15. For our purposes, Jonny Evans’s Apple Holic column in Computerworld does a great job. But we wanted to highlight a few of the announcements that most impact our customers and partners.
- Perhaps the biggest news was that Swift 2.0 is going to be an open-sourced language. This will not just make the language better and faster, but also accelerate the already fast-growing community of developers. To that end, if you know a developer who wants to learn Swift, a great way to do this (while making money!) is to join Appirio’s Topcoder community.
- For Apple to make progress in the enterprise, they have to assure CIOs that they can create secure devices. To do this, Apple is enhancing security on many fronts. This includes moving to 6-digit authentication, enhancing traffic encryption, giving developers tools to create secure VPN connections, and an impassioned emphasis on data privacy.
- Apple announced that iOS 9 will be compatible with iOS 8-based devices. For CIOs (who worry about the cost of having to buy all new devices to stay compatible), this is a major relief.
The devices and applications CIOs and CMOs need to transform their organizations are quickly evolving. An important realization in the enterprise is that moving business applications to the cloud is not enough. Applications have to give users a rich experience which helps them do their jobs most effectively. That now includes mobile apps on iPhones, iPads, or even being able to access Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud on an Apple Watch. The organizations that will win in the in the new Cloud Economy will give their users nimble technology that helps great employees succeed.