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Jeff Willis, CIO, Allrecipes
Technology, Resources, Focus, and Innovation are four of the most important elements for leaders and companies to reach highest level of success in this constantly changing environment. Today’s leaders have to formulate right strategies using right resources as everyday is dawned with new challenges and opportunities. The biggest challenges are centralized around evaluating what's in motion, making sure it lines up with company’s goals and initiatives, and then seeing how we can build it faster, smaller, and better. Truncating the initiatives into smaller components is crucial in quelling the big challenges, though keeping it priority is a difficult task as it is tempting to over-engineer extremely elegant infrastructure or software.
Technology Trends Disrupting the Industry
It is imperative for technology to be seamless across allform factors. It should not be limited only to m dot site and App Store; technology should be resilient in meeting the customers’ requirements and priorities. Presently there are several technology trends in the vicinity which are increasingly influencing our thinking at Allrecipes.
Mobile computing is not a new name in the market, but the unprecedented shift of web traffic to mobile devices, both phones and tablets, has made it an incredibly important tool for the future success. Today, individuals prefer Smartphones over Desktop computers for accessing Allrecipes, which is a challenge in terms of monetization, but also an incredible opportunity.
The emergence of more providers in the PaaS/IaaS space is also an eminent trend. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have dropped their prices recently and I expect there to be continued competition in this space. For Allrecipes whose traffic follows seasonal patterns, the flexibility that cloud architecture offers makes the transition away from physical infrastructure.
At Allrecipes, we have adopted Scrum/Agile to steer agility for both, engineering and IT.
Advertising viewability is also paving its way to become an efficient source of advertisement. Viewability is expected to be considered as a prominent metric in advertising campaigns. Although there are several technologies already in the market which provide metrics, it still remains a difficult challenge to solve technical issues, and variance in reporting. It will be interesting to see how this space changes over the next year and impacts the industry.
Limit your Implementation to the Crucial Components
We emphasize numerous themes to drive innovation within our team. The first is that failure begets learning. Be willing to make mistakes and taking risks as they are the main facets when it comes to learning. It is not an excuse for negligence, rather a realization that getting everything perfect the first time is not important, we simply have to measure success and be prepared to iterate. The second theme is about thinking big, but working small. In order to iterate, we have to execute quickly and to execute quickly, we have to limit implementation to the most crucial components. The terms "YAGNI" and "KISS" come up a lot in my staff meetings. The last theme is to have fun and enjoy what you do. People innovate most when they are engaged, and are passionate about the product they are building. (As told to Joe Philip)