As Marc Andreesen penned, "software is eating the world." We are seeing it everywhere.
Photography has become software. Today roughly 30% of all pictures are taken on mobile phones. This has given rise to new ways of viewing and sharing photos (Picasa, Instagram) and has decimated Kodak and other companies in the film photography space.
Movie watching is moving from physical delivery via DVD at the local Blockbuster store and enjoyed via your home DVD player to streaming via Netflix or Redbox software applications on the device of your choice.
Navigation has moved from maps to a Garmin or TomTom device to applications on your smartphone.
You can listen to ‘radio’ via Spotify or Pandora. Even the hosting business is being consumed as datacenters become programmable compute platforms.
Anything that can be eaten by software will.
At Apigee, we are helping companies make the transition to becoming platforms for software applications. Netflix scaled to applications on hundreds of devices and Walgreens has started by extending their photo printing business to where photos are being taken. Walgreens, AT&T, Pearson are just a few examples of companies leading the transition to platform-based companies.
Industries are all at different stages of transformation and companies in those industries are at different levels of recognition of the changes taking place.
One striking shift to software is in telecommunications services. Phone calls, conference calls, messaging, which all required dedicated devices can now be provided by software applications like Skype, Viber, Join.me, WhatsApp, and many more over any connected device. Even the underlying network is starting to feel the pull of software with the emergence of Software Defined Networking.
In the face of growing subscription revenues, it can be hard to see the shift. However, companies like Telefonica and AT&T are aggressively working to transform themselves in the face of this massive change being driven by the apps economy, new economics of software, and the rise of new networks.
In this new eBook, Telco Innovation with APIs: Need for Speed, we explore the imperative for telecommunications companies to make some fundamental shifts in technology and business models if they are to remain competitive in a world being eaten by software.