Not Your Granddaddy’s IT

I was recently told of an encounter between a group of venture capitalist and a small but established local technology company. I was told of the VC’s tour of the facility and the questions they asked the owner. There were three particular questions/complains from the potential investors that symbolize the shift in Information Technology that has occurred in only the last couple of years.

“Why is your blog not be updated or maintained?” Gone are the days when blogging is considered a geeky distraction from ‘real’ work. Your blog is arguably THE most important starting point for promoting your brand. Business to customer (B2C) companies that maintain a blog get 88% more leads per month than companies that don’t blog and yet less than half (roughly 40%) of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes. You can see from these numbers that we’re at a critical juncture.

“Why did you purchase and maintain your own servers?” This highlights the fact that in today’s climate, there must be a clear business reason to maintain your own physical servers. The cost savings and flexibility are just too great to not run your software from the cloud. I see a lot of instances where servers are localized just because the owners are comfortable doing that and because that’s the way it’s always been done. This doesn’t cut it anymore.

“Why aren’t you making your services available via an open API?” We live in an API-first climate. A business that prioritizes API has engineered itself to be extendable. In addition, one can reasonably question whether development is being done in a test driven fashion if there is no API . This can be a red flag to any investor trying to get an indication of code quality in a company.