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Welcome To Code Matters

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We’ve put Code Matters in place to provide a feed of technical information to assist our customers with their systems modernisation projects. The content will be contributed by leading industry experts and will consist of code snippets, demos, play books, articles and case studies.

These are exciting and turbulent times for IT as the technologies developed over the past few decades continue to evolve or reach maturation creating a more consumerised, flexible and service led approach to delivery. The platform dependent, on-premises systems in place a decade or more ago are rapidly becoming outdated as the pace of change in IT accelerates at unprecedented levels.

Increased complexity and skill shortages are side effects of having to manage legacy IT estates alongside new Cloud technologies. Hybrid or bimodal IT is the dominant model at the moment and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Increased agility and reduced complexity are now key priorities for IT departments and the businesses they support. Cloud vendors are working to address this through the provision of hybrid support and PaaS tools to aid application development, deployment and management. Systems modernisation isn’t just about ‘lifting and shifting’ from one infrastructure or deployment model to another. Business systems need to be re-engineered to take advantage of mobile and multi-platform requirements. There is also the need to accommodate Big Data, BI and newer technologies such as AI, IoT and geospatial that are now becoming mainstream IT. These are some of the main drivers behind today’s modernisation projects and the blog categories I’ve chosen for Code Matters largely reflect this.

We’re seeing a lot of interest in Maps and DevOps at the moment and I anticipate this will be two areas our contributors will want to blog about. A large percentage of data held by most businesses today has a geographic element which can be leveraged to help make informed decisions based on the position and relationship of places and things. Map data can help transform businesses, allowing them to determine optimum routes or gain insight into customer distribution. Fortunately, the advanced technologies which this involves are no longer exclusive to the scientific community. Software for processing geospatial data is widely available today to extend our horizons and enhance business efficiency in an increasingly competitive and fast paced world. These technologies are now vital to most businesses, many of which would struggle to survive without them.

Grey Matter can supply developer and database tools as well as mapping solutions that will allow you to build location aware applications. We are the only authorised Microsoft EMEA and APAC Bing Maps Distributor and we’re recognised by Microsoft as Bing Maps licensing experts. We are also an active reseller for Here Maps, Oracle, Intel and other vendors of software relevant to geospatial requirements. Working alongside leading vendors of mapping software and our access to technical specialists in this field will allow me to roll-out a series of how-to blogs by a number of industry experts in the months ahead.

Grey Matter has been a leading supplier of dev tools since 1983 and has maintained a strong affinity with the dev community ever since. Cloud technologies are changing the way we build applications so I’ve allocated a blog category to cover DevOps. The roles of development and operations staff have become more tightly coupled in recent years. Things such as security and high availability which previously sat with operations now have to be factored into the very core of the application itself and are therefore an important part of the design and build phase. At the same time, Agile project methodologies have shortened release cycles and accelerated the deployment of code, bringing dev and ops closer together and hopefully reducing friction over lifecycle issues such as performance, patches and bug fixes.

Like many IT labels, the meaning of DevOps has evolved. In this case, it’s no longer just a ‘job title’ that came about as a result of bringing two previously disparate IT roles together. In a broader sense, DevOps now describes an agile development environment whereby applications are constructed from micro-services rather than the monolithic blocks of code that characterised traditional legacy systems. This is where development and operations technologies merge. In Cloud-land, this is the middle ground that occupies the space between IaaS and SaaS. This is the part of the Cloud stack sometimes referred to as Platform as a Service (PaaS).

The tools and services provided by PaaS are a key part of systems modernisation. They will help you build, deploy, orchestrate and manage service orientated applications. DevOps is very much about PaaS and PaaS is where exciting things are happening at the moment. It will probably be the development environment of choice for most new Cloud projects, SaaS customisation and to help integrate legacy systems. We can expect to see a lot of activity from vendors focused on simplifying application development and deployment, especially from Cloud vendors as they add more pieces to their PaaS offerings. I’m looking forward to working with some of our vendors and industry experts to provide a feed of information about DevOps which, as you’ve probably gathered from what I’ve already said, is also about PaaS.

Data has always been a big talking point and we have a blog category to cover that too, along with related topics such IoT and AI which will add to the already huge amounts of data that has to be managed. CRM (customer relationship management) systems hold data about customers’ names, addresses and other information used for sales and marketing purposes. CRM modernisation is one of the most common IT projects at the moment, largely driven by the need to derive a competitive business advantage from the data they hold through BI and analytics so we will be blogging on this topic too.

If you would like to suggest topics for us to cover, or if you’d like to submit articles of your own, you can contact us directly by emailing information@greymatter.com

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