Developers at the heart of innovation

More than ever, the phrase ‘every company is a software company’ rings true
Sam Hunt is director at GitHub APAC.

Sam Hunt is director at GitHub APAC.

In today’s technology driven and rapidly changing world, developers are at the heart of organisations’ future innovation endeavours. We’ve been hearing it for a while, but now more than ever the phrase ‘every company is a software company’ rings true. Ultimately, it is the software that determines the quality, agility, scale and, as a whole, the competitiveness of businesses.

Software developers have increasingly become the corporate powerhouse, bringing businesses’ ambitions to fruition through code, open source and a fast-moving collaboration culture, driving change and fuelling innovation.

Modern software development is built on Open Source

As businesses evolve and differentiate their products and services with software and data, they quickly realise that traditional development methods are not in step with the pace of technology today, or even the pace of customer demands.

Open Source Software development has increasingly become a dominant model for companies looking to drive business transformation and innovation, to remain relevant in a fast-evolving, digital world.

Organisations recognise the benefits that Open Source Software unlocks, enabling better and faster development. In addition, widespread collaboration has transformed the way people and businesses operate and how things get done. Facilitating collaboration and code re-use across teams also enable developers to focus efforts on finding and solving new problems, versus addressing those that have already been resolved by others. Through Open Source, developers can find the code that they need, integrate it into their projects, and focus on building differentiation and create value, faster.

Unleashing innovation

Challenged by the disruption coming from competitors and smaller, nimble players, companies need to quickly adapt and change their business models. Enterprises large and small have realised that the same culture that drives faster innovation in the open source community also drives faster innovation inside the organisation. InnerSource refers to this improved way of working.

Adopting InnerSource practices is like starting an open source community within the confines of a private enterprise environment. As with open source, transparent collaboration mobilizes a community’s collective knowledge and skills to create better software. An InnerSource community, in contrast, brings together the knowledge, skills, and abilities of people and tools within a single enterprise. Leading companies like PayPal, Bloomberg, and Walmart use InnerSource to build software for their teams and their customers. It provides them with a unique competitive advantage and helps them stay relevant by adopting recognized best practices.

‘Innersourcing’ is as much a cultural shift as it is a technological one. Like their open source counterparts, InnerSource projects thrive in places where efforts naturally lean toward discoverability and reuse. For organisations that want to remain relevant and succeed in today’s highly competitive business landscape, fostering a culture of collaboration, transparency and openness is crucial to ensuring transformation and innovation.

Staying ahead of customer expectations and the competition, in a constantly evolving business climate, comes down to one group: developers. By bringing the skills of developers - accustomed to using open source tools - inside the company firewall, forward-looking organisations can create a secure, internal platform for working collaboratively to modernise processes, speed up development, overcome organizational barriers, and ultimately, drive innovation.

Sam Hunt is director at GitHub APAC.