A few thoughts as we enter 2014

Happy New Year!

It’s been an extremely exciting year for application development and it is bound to be even more so in 2014! I’d like to take a moment to comment on some of the exiting changes we are seeing in the application development world.

But first, let me take the opportunity to thank the amazing clients who work with Zend on a regular basis. We are blessed and grateful that some of the most successful and largest brand names around the world choose to innovate with Zend.

Market Dynamics Accelerate Enterprise PHP Adoption

The rise of Mobile and need for rapid and iterative application delivery is putting increasing pressure on developers and development leaders. Companies need to disrupt to seize huge new growth opportunities, and applications are at the core of how they achieve that.. The recognition by senior leadership that disruption needs to be led by an increased pace of user-centric innovation is driving changes in how companies organize their technology and development teams, and driving a need for new processes that support more rapid application delivery.

The recognition that the incumbent technologies are no longer a best fit for the next-generation of Web & Mobile workloads is opening up the floodgates to more modern and better-suited technologies.  These changes have accelerated the Enterprise adoption of many new technologies including NoSQL databases, modern analytics platforms, SaaS, IaaS and dynamic languages.

At Zend we continue to experience a rapid increase in clients approaching us to help with business-critical Enterprise deployments.  PHP continues to displace incumbent languages like Java on Web & Mobile and continues to grow at a rapid pace. The strong application & framework eco-system in PHP also adds fuel to that fire (e.g. Drupal, Magento, SugarCRM, WordPress, Zend Framework, Symfony).

We’ve Innovated on the Behalf of our Customers

2013 was a very successful year for Zend. Not only did we experience a significant increase in Enterprise subscribers to Zend Server, we continued to increase the value we deliver to our customers. After all, PHP (and Zend solutions) are adopted because they give companies a competitive advantage in bringing their applications to market faster and with higher quality. This is what empowers greater innovation at those companies..

We focused our innovation on three key fronts:

a)    Continuous Delivery – In February, we released a next-generation version of our application platform which has a strong focus on enabling continuous delivery & DevOps. Since then, we have been very busy working with customers to build out their continuous delivery capabilities. We’ve captured some of the best practices in a blueprint (http://zend.com/blueprint), and have started to open-source much of the work we’ve done with customers around orchestrating continuous delivery within their existing toolbox e.g. Chef, Nagios, Puppet, Jenkins, …

b)    Cloud – The new Zend Server application platform was also designed for the Cloud from the ground up. It is an easily orchestrated, scalable, highly available platform that can run both within PaaS and automated IaaS environments (you can think of this as Open PaaS). We’ve pre-integrated Zend Server with a number of PaaS & IaaS environments to ensure we provide maximum flexibility to our customers. Among many others we support AWS, IBM Cloud, VMware, Rackspace and others. This year we’ve also made great strides with the new product to support PaaS including Cloud Foundry and Red Hat OpenShift. I believe no other application platform out there has such broad Cloud support – you will definitely not find it in Java or .NET.

c)     APIs – We are big believers in API-first development. We believe in this day and age of Mobile & Cloud Services you absolutely have to build your application API-first. But we also realized that building APIs correctly was tedious and error prone which is why we decided to innovate on behalf of our users and launched Apigility (http://apigility.org/) a new open-source project that makes it incredibly easy to create high-quality APIs, quickly.

A View Towards 2014

The drumbeat has started – we have clear priorities in serving your needs in this new day and age. We recognize that there is  a fundamental shift in the way companies need to innovate and deliver applications. We’ve made huge strides in building on PHP and its eco-system’s unprecedented strength by adding capabilities around Continuous Delivery, Mobile architectures (API-first) and unprecedented choice of deployment in the Cloud.

In 2014 we plan to continue to accelerate our innovation on your behalf in these areas and others to ensure that your business can thrive in this new reality.

Thank you to all of our customers, partners and employees who are supporting this journey of innovation which is impacting millions of developers and companies who embrace the new form of application innovation.

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    Andi Gutmans

    CEO and Co-founder at Zend Technologies