Technology Adoption and the Power of Convenience

Just as the ink was drying on my ReadWrite piece on how the convenience of public cloud computing is steamrolling over concerns about security and control, Redmonk ÃÂ_ber-analyst Stephen O’Grady posts an exceptional review of why we should “not underestimate the power of convenience.”

As he writes:

One of the biggest challenges for vendors built around traditional procurement patterns is their tendency to undervalue convenience. Developers, in general, respond to very different incentives than do their executive purchasing counterparts. Where organizational buyers tend to be less price sensitive and more focused on issues relating to reliability and manageability, as one example, individual developers tend to be more concerned with cost and availability - convenience, in other words. Because you are who you build for, then, enterprise IT products tend to be more secure and compliant and less convenient than developer-oriented alternatives.

None of which would be a problem for old-guard IT vendors if developers, not to mention line of business executives, didn’t have increased control over what gets used in the enterprise. From open source to SaaS, legacy procurement processes are fracturing in the face of developers, in particular, building what they want when they want.

Because of the cloud. Because of open source. Because of convenience.

O’Grady points to a variety of technologies, including MongoDB, Linux, Chef/Puppet, Git, and dynamic programming languages, that have taken off because they’re so easy to use compared to legacy (and often proprietary) incumbents. Most are open source but, as I point out in my ReadWrite article, “open” isn’t always required. Microsoft SharePoint and Salesforce.com, for example, are both proprietary but also easier to adopt than the crufty ECM and on-premise CRM systems they displaced.

The key, again, is convenience.

It’s one of the things that drew me to 10gen. MongoDB isn’t perfect, but its data model makes life so easy on developers that its adoption has been impressive. That flexibility and ease of use is why MTV and others have embraced MongoDB.

With convenience comes adoption, and with adoption comes time to resolve the issues any product will have. Most recently, this has resulted in 10gen removing MongoDB’s global write-lock in MongoDB version 2.2, as well as changing the default write behavior with MongoClient. All while growing community and revenues at a torrid pace.

Back to O’Grady. As he concludes, “with developers increasingly taking an active hand in procurement, convenience is a dangerous feature to ignore.” I couldn’t agree more.

- Posted by Matt Asay, vice president of Corporate Strategy.

Tagged with: Stephen O'Grady, Redmonk, convenience, ease of use, flexibility, MTV, global write-lock, developers, Linux, ReadWrite

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