Forget reinventing the wheel, companies get agile by embracing abstraction


There’s a strange sickness in the tech world. It loves to reinvent the wheel. Yet, if the real goal is shipping product, there’s no reason to build up from raw code. In development, abstraction layers let people build on pre-made code, so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Now, infrastructure and cloud development are keying into the same idea, according to Murthy Mathiprakasam (pictured), director of product marketing at Informatica Corp. More companies are building abstraction layers to make it possible to integrate new technology without some custom solution. The end result is applications that can run in any cloud environment. The growing IoT has made this a necessity.

“Up until now, IoT [Internet of Things] has been really theoretical, but we have customers doing this now,” said Mathiprakasam, who spoke to John Furrier (@furrier), co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile live-streaming studio, at the BigData SV 2017 conference in San Jose, CA. (*Disclosure below.)

Finding flexibility in a blended approach

Supporting IoT means dealing with devices that could run on any number of cloud standards. Informatica has supported every variation in these environments, Mathiprakasam explained. It doesn’t demand the customer use this or that technology. The key is an abstraction layer; this saves a company from having to rebuild from scratch if requirements change.

Mathiprakasam felt the real challenge in cloud development was how businesses needed to adopt a more agile model, with quicker project frames. Things change quickly in this new world. “It’s all about failing fast and succeeding fast,” he said. Successful organizations will adopt radically faster product cycles.

This also tied into the need for hybrid cloud. Many businesses want the speed of the cloud but aren’t ready or willing to put everything outside their own walls. Providing hybrid solutions means the customer doesn’t have to make an either-or decision.

“There’s a lot of opportunity here to use cloud, but we want to make things more flexible,” Mathiprakasam said.

While cloud technologies and abstraction are taking a workload off developers, there’s one thing that can’t be automated. “The one thing tech can’t do is substitute for context,” Mathiprakasam said. Business context is something that only the company can bring to the table.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of BigData SV 2017. (*Disclosure: Some segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE are sponsored. Sponsors have no editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE