How not to get hamstrung by your own innovation tax

Bemoaning the lack of business-to-developer integration that exists in many companies today, CTO at open source database platform company MongoDB Mark Porter suggests that this gap creates what amounts to an almost self-imposed ‘innovation tax’ that businesses are now burdening themselves with.


Every company is a software company, or so the saying goes. The technology industry is extremely fond of stylising every ‘modern’ organisation as an essentially cloud-native data-centric operation where the physical assets and machinery are secondary to information intelligence.

So dear CEO, you thought you were an offshore petrochemicals specialist? No sorry, your topographical ocean floor surveys all run on applications, databases and data, so essentially we can forget about the pipes and gantries and call you a software company.

What’s that, other CEO? You think you’re a cake baking specialist? Actually no, your fabrication plant and product preparation line ranks somewhat second place to the importance of your digital supply chain system and your Internet of Things (IoT) bakery sensors. Leaving aside the fondant icing and the chocolate sponge mix, you’re essentially a software company.

Inside the operational fabric of business

If this reality doesn’t wholly play out in the real world, then perhaps enough of it does to allow us to talk about what role an organisation’s software developers should be having inside the operational fabric of business itself.

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