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The biggest challenge for today’s organisations ‘The Innovation Tax’ 2.0

Techsylvania is the place where the brightest people come to share their passion, their experiences in the tech world and learn from each other, the place where we explore today and innovate tomorrow. After two years of virtual events, we finally have met at Techsylvania 2022. We missed all the hustle and bustle, the smell of coffee on the hallways, the live presentations and the face-to-face debates.

Databases are more important than ever and having a great management tool especially for big data applications is a must. Flexibility is the keyword when companies are looking for the best database system management solutions. But that is not the only challenge they are facing today. Let’s see what organizations face nowadays and why many of them are failing, but also what developers need in order to be successful with Mark Porter, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of MongoDB. Mark is responsible for crafting the long-term technology roadmap and vision for the company.

Innovation and continuous improvement is required especially when you want to grow in a specific area. The future looks bright for MongoDB in Eastern Europe but also for developers and companies that are ready to embrace new technology from Mark’s point of view.

“At the moment we have a team operating out of Poland that supports our customers in

Eastern Europe. This region, as well as EMEA as a whole, is a priority for the business and we are planning to continue investing resources in this area to support current and prospective customers. We also have developers in small groups in various parts of Eastern Europe. In addition we have major offices in Berlin, Barcelona, and Dublin, meaning that we can onboard Eastern European teams without time-zone problems relative to the rest of the World.

I have led multiple teams in Eastern Europe during my career and have found them to be deeply technical, committed to having impact, and with a great work ethic. We plan to continue hiring great technical talent here on an ongoing basis.

From a broader point of view, in the coming years, hundreds of millions of applications will be developed and Eastern Europe is quickly proving itself to be an area that will contribute to this innovation. So I want to focus not only on growing the MongoDB team, but also on helping developers be more productive by using MongoDB — so they can move fast. Our developer data platform will make this innovation easier, faster and more impactful.”

To have a business that is successful, organizations need to take into consideration how to build and scale modern applications, the speed and flexibility and constantly implement innovative features. However, having data that is more and more complex and changing all the time might be a greater challenge than expected.

“We are past the point of debating an organization’s dependence on software, but what is now up for discussion is how an organization makes innovation a key differentiator. And how they build and scale modern applications. The speed at which a new application can be deployed, along with the number of innovative features it includes, has a direct correlation to business success. And, from an executive’s point of view, it’s important to make application development more predictable, both in terms of cost and timeliness. Small teams, working with data flexibly, with great API’s all help this out. Development rules like separation of concerns, test-first, and others all fit well with MongoDB’s products.

One of the biggest challenges organizations face is the ever-increasing sprawl of their data infrastructure. With the cloud providers pushing their own multitude of databases, developers have to spend their time wiring up all the data plumbing — ETL/ELT, governance, batch jobs, monitoring, etc. We believe that a smaller number of datastores — likely one for operational data and one for data warehousing — is the right approach.

Putting these needs together, we’re focused on a simpler platform that ties together all of the different operational data an organization is managing. However, that data is complex, and constantly changing. And if you don’t get your data store right, then it won’t be as flexible as you need it to be for your business. So developers find themselves dealing with needlessly complex data architectures, and wildly different frameworks, toolchains, and programming languages. This ultimately creates technical debt almost as fast as business value. We often call that ‘The Innovation Tax.’

This metaphor works better than you might think. Like a tax, you have to pay it, and like taxes, the longer you don’t pay it down, the more it expands. It applies to every new project, making each one a little more difficult as new components, frameworks, and API’s are added — and as each of these has to be managed and maintained. And it applies to operations as well — because operability, like availability and scalability, are key requirements in today’s 24x7 and global application environment.

There is a tipping point in innovation for a team when the tax has become too high for either the developers to pay or the management to understand. And this is why many projects fail or declare bankruptcy and start over.

Organizations need to face these challenges head-on, with candid discussions, so that they can be resolved before things get worse.” said Mark.

The key to success is communication. But also the ability to understand the market, the context and, the most important, to understand and support your people, developers that are giving their best to meet the requirements of the projects and satisfy the demands.

“Context and mutual understanding are one of the biggest things developers need. Developers need to work to be understood in the whole context of the organization and its innovation. They need to be empowered and supported when they propose to remove obstacles to their productivity. As I’ve written before, though, this has to be a two-way street. We have to make sure our developers don’t live in any ivory towers where they don’t understand the business context of what they do. So, they need to stand up and take time to understand the business more broadly and add value to the decisions being made that aren’t directly related to the code.

From an application point of view, companies need to understand that rigid data structures, fragmented developer experiences, and low-value undifferentiated work needs to go — both internally and for their customers. Developers need leaders who are willing to take chances to move to entire new frameworks, to go fully CI/CD if appropriate, and to fund having security, privacy and compliance considered from the very beginning of a project. It’s a false choice to think you can’t go fast and also have these things — it just requires thought and commitment up and down the management chain.

In summary, developers need to both understand and be understood in the context of the business as a whole.That lets them move at the speed which is possible with modern technology — and the speed that is required to be competitive in today’s business climate.”, he concluded.

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Techsylvania

Techsylvania

Techsylvania is the leading technology event in EE. June 20–23, 2020