The Democratization of Technology
By Ted Middleton, Chief Product Officer
Back in the early 80s, few people had personal computers in their homes. Personal computers were new and expensive, a total luxury item. The internet, although it did exist at that time, was limited to government and educational institutions, and just emerging on the corporate scene.
Fast forward to today, and millions of people are building applications for mobile devices, inventing new ways to interact with other people via the internet and using the internet as a medium for communications, commerce and media creation.
The term democratization is usually used in reference to “expanding access to the masses” or “making something easy and accessible to many.” Democratization has been occurring across many industries and markets – from media and publishing, to technology and software development. In just 30 or so short years, computing and development have evolved from being the domain of the uber-nerd (I certainly counted myself in that category when I started programming in junior high in the early 80s) to being accessible to millions. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Salesforce have become dominant players because of their adoption of developer-centric, platform-driven, and at least partially if not wholly “open” approaches to their businesses. This strategy increasingly includes driving developer, dev-ops and open-source community efforts. The simple emerging rule is that those platforms that build and enable communities are those that thrive.
At Verizon Digital Media Services, we very much embrace that paradigm, specifically through developer enablement, API-driven services, and a customer-facing portal that makes it easy to turn on features and services and to gain visibility into how the services are working and how they’re configured. We’ve used this approach to ensure that the technology we develop is readily available and consumable by customers, partners and our own staff. As a result, our customers find it easy to interact with our services and to integrate them within specific application environments, often developing their own services right on top of our APIs. Our customers can readily turn up, enable, configure and get a service up and running quickly with minimum friction.
And better yet, the future promises even more.
We are doubling down on our commitment to democratizing our services by building and presenting them as API-accessible platforms, developer-friendly tools and automation-enabled for the DevOps and cloud-centric applications of today.
Here are some of the enhancements we’re working on:
- Real-time and direct configuration updates – Fast config changes, meaning a full propagation of changes in seconds – not minutes – to make our Edgecast Content Delivery Network (CDN) one of the most responsive CDNs available. Additionally, direct access to configuration syntax and logic will expose more powerful features, while integration with automation and orchestration tools will allow unprecedented hands-off operation and synchronization with elastic, cloud-deployed applications.
- More operational transparency – Expanded access to data, monitoring tools, real-time log streaming and integrations with common analytics and business intelligence tools, and also improved, more granular SLAs
- Improved self-service – Simpler choices and packages to streamline the onboarding and adoption of our services
- Developer outreach and enablement – With increased evangelism, documentation, tools, open-source participation and communities
As these capabilities continue to evolve, it will mean that ever-increasing numbers of people around the world can leverage enterprise-grade features to scale, optimize and improve performance of their content, applications and experiences, driving the flywheel of democratization and innovation faster than ever before.
Interested in learning more about our user-friendly portal? Get in touch with us today.