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I don’t really like throwing anything away. Best before dates are only vague guidelines and the state of the attic points towards a slight hoarding tendency. I guess it’s because I was always taught that things could still be useful, even after their original purpose had faded. And also, that I felt the level of effort involved in getting something, somehow transferred a level of value to the thing itself.

In my digital life though, no such sentimentality exists. In fact, I can be brutal. How many applications have you downloaded, opened once, and ditched with a shake of your head? I can happily use an app for months, but the minute it no longer meets my needs it is banished, freeing up valuable app real estate on my screen.

Yes, there is a value to my photographs and digital memories far beyond the 1s and 0s, but there are large parts of my digital footprint that I’ve left behind without a second thought.

Escaping technological debt

And yet it doesn’t seem the case in the digital lives of organisations. I’ve encountered many large and sophisticated companies with 100s (and even 1000s) of legacy applications, or even multiple versions of the same application. Unlike my 7-inch singles,  I don’t think they hang onto them for sentimental reasons, this is all about the association of effort and value.

The fact is that it was both expensive and painful for the vast majority of these applications to be born into existence, and regardless of current suitability and utilisation, they continue because of the level of effort it took to create them in the first place.

Debt-free living?

But the new world of apps means this doesn’t have to be the case. If something comes easily, it can perform a valuable function without the need to map it into our long term application strategy. And such is the life of the modern app. If I’m easy to build then I don’t have to exist forever. And if I’m in the cloud then there are no messy versions or pieces of hardware to re-purpose.

Now clearly some apps are essential, and for many newer companies the app is the company, but the agility enabled by modern app development means there are more than one type of app. The event app is an example of a time relevant (one could say disposable) app. Something that can be created just for that one point in time and is then no longer required.  

But if you can do that for events, what else can you build for your organisation? What would you build if suddenly the barriers to entry were removed, or at least significantly reduced? Apps could be built for all types of employee and customer use cases such as promotions, fund-raising and gamified learning, all without creating a messy legacy for the future.

Changing the way we build applications

But this means how we build and deploy apps needs to change. Any platform has to be:

  • Rapid to develop & deploy
  • Iterative so it can adapt constantly even within a short shelf-life
  • Scalable to cater for unpredictable demand
  • User experience focused - which means not spending all your time worrying about the hardware, set up, patching, versions, etc. 

In short, you can only get that from a cloud platform that enables your users and developers to build and deploy apps in a simple, repeatable way. 

Find out more

On September 29th at 10:00 BST / 11:00 CET we’ll be running the first of our 5-webinar series How to Build an App on the Salesforce App Cloud. We’ll take you through the 5 steps involved in building a modern app and show you how companies are breaking free from technological debt with the Salesforce App Cloud. 

Fnd out how you could regain your lost IT agility.