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Taking Intelligent Architectures to the Cloud Expo

A week and a half ago I represented my software development organisation, Intelligent Architectures, at the combined Cloud, Linux and Open Source Expo. I was mainly promoting a project that has grown out of my final year university work. It was an interesting experience and a good opportunity for me to talk some people about this software.

There were several important things I learned while at the Expo:

  • While I’m not qualified to talk at length about it myself, it is abundantly clear that cloud computing confuses people. All of these people seemed plenty well equipped with the knowledge to understand technical concepts. The problem has to do with the blurred definition of what the cloud really is. I suppose in that sense it’s very fitting that much like the physical entities in the atmosphere that the word cloud represents, the meaning of cloud computing is similarly amorphous.
  • Software development in the UK needs to grow as an industry. Plenty of people talking to me were bemoaning the lack of quality developers and development companies that are based in the UK. Outsourcing happens a lot in the current economic climate, and while some developers abroad are genuinely offering value for money, many offer a false economy. There are many capable software developers young and old in the UK that have all the expertise and experience to deliver the absolute highest quality software. I think our industry needs investment and I also think the manner in which software is typically commissioned, developed and sold may need to change in order for the industry to grow.
  • The project needs a few things:

Knowledge Management Services becomes KMS-dev and KMS-apps

The experience of the Expo has made me realise that just offering consultancy or marketing a particular product to the target market is not necessarily the best way to get noticed.

To demonstrate the project further I now aim to have some more material online by the time the major development is finished. Its clear that some people are interested in the development platform itself, and some are interested in the applications possible to develop using the platform. Unfortunately the two sets of interested parties seem to be in most cases mutually exclusive. Therefore I’m going to split the online information into two distinct sections: KMS-dev where one can learn a bit more about the development platform itself and KMS-apps which will showcase the sample applications and as well as generating interest I hope to launch at least one of the applications as a subscription service.

Another problem I’m hoping to tackle by setting the target of making demo material available online is that articulating the project is not easy, as it doesn’t lend itself to a quick hard-sell. This links in with the second point I made above: Some people really don’t seem comfortable discussing the development of bespoke software to solve particular business problems. In my experience though, discussion of business problems is the only way to make progress and provide someone with something they really need. I could speculate endlessly on the reasons for this reluctance, but there is one important possible reason I can do something about:

People want to digest something in their own time that will provide a concise way of assessing whether a product or service can offer them some value. With this in mind over the next few months I hope to have to have the KMS website live. It will represent a new approach to marketing the development platform and the software derived from it, which I hope may resonate with interested individuals and businesses.

Intelligent Architectures' stand at the expo

The Expo itself was a good experience and it was interesting to see the range of vendors and organisations that attend such an event. It has to be said that this event was the only affordable option for a small organisation to attend in comparison to astronomical charges made by most other computing event organisers, and there wasn’t any real compromise on the quality of the event either.

Presence at the Expo represents another step towards taking what started out as a simple idea and turning it into a desirable product to bring to market.

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