This Week in Modern Software logoWelcome to This Week in Modern Software, or TWiMS, our weekly analysis of the most interesting and important news, stories, and events in the world of modern software and analytics.

This week, our top story had to be the tech implications of the earthshaking news that voters in the U.K. approved a referendum to leave the European Union.


TWiMS Top Story:
How Brexit Will Impact the Science and Technology Industry—WIRED

What it’s about: Voters in the U.K. stunned the world this week by approving a referendum to leave the European Union, which immediately roiled global financial markets and is likely to have far-reaching but hard to predict political and economic impacts. You can get a recap of the situation from CNBC and in plenty of other outlets, but we’re here to talk about Brexit’s effects on technology, which are likely to be significant, especially in London’s burgeoning tech scene, which almost uniformly opposed the referendum. Investor and cofounder Brett Hoberman tells The Financial Times: “What we are seeing in London now at the school gates and the office, there is a shell-shocked international community saying, ‘Is this really what our country believes, looking backwards rather than forwards?’ And technology is the most forward-looking industry we’ve got.”

person voting for brexit: this week in modern softwareWhy you should care: Although it will take at least two years for the U.K. to actually leave the EU, the massive significance of the vote—which has already led Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation—can’t be overstated, for tech firms and everyone else. England is home to 40% of Europe’s unicorns, tech companies valued at $1 billion or more, according to The Financial Times, and London has become the continent’s version of Silicon Valleya hotbed of tech startups and funding. No one knows for sure, but many worry that could be destabilized by the Brexit vote, which threatens to create major funding, hiring, regulatory, and trade challenges for U.K. tech companies. Taavet Hinrikus, cofounder of money-transfer firm TransferWise, tells The Telegraph, “It’s not good news for the tech sector either in the U.K. or in Europe.” Indeed, some U.K. startupsincluding TransferWise—are already considering relocating their operations, according to The Guardian. Finally, the effects could be felt by tech companies—and others—on this side of the pond as well, since many U.S. tech firms do big business in the U.K. and across Europe. Here too, though, the immediate effect is uncertainty—it’s far too early to predict how any changes will take shape.

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Move to Cloud Computing Accelerating Faster Than Thought for Enterprises, Survey Finds—ZDNet

What it’s about: Cloud computing had another big week in the news, led by a new survey of roughly 1,000 IT execs that indicates enterprise adoption of cloud services is accelerating faster than previously thought. Half of the senior IT executives included in the study expect the majority of their organization’s workloads to run in a cloud or colocation environment in the future; 70% of them think that will occur within the next four years. Elsewhere in the C suite, Fortune’s Heather Clancy writes that CFOsnot typically known as early tech adopters—are increasingly moving to cloud-based financial applications for managing the corporate coffers, a $23.1 billion software category, according to Forrester. Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy told the audience at the AWS Public Sector Summit that while most new cloud adopters consider multiple platforms, in reality they typically only use one. (You’ll never guess which platform the CEO of AWS said they ultimately select.) And that wasn’t the biggest cloud news out of Washington, D.C., this week. The federal government approved both AWS and Microsoft, as well as government cloud provider CSRA, as platforms for storing highly sensitive (but not classified) data.

businessman grabbing cloud: this week in modern softwareWhy you should care: Amazingly, it seems the cloud might not be getting enough hype, given that enterprises are apparently racing there even faster than expected. Yet the news out of Washington might be worth a closer look. In granting its highest-level approval to AWS and Microsoft Azure, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, dealt another blow to the already weakening notion that public cloud platforms are inherently unsecure and not fit for sensitive data. The government will now allow its agencies to run highly sensitive workloads on AWS or Azure—another sign, much like CFOs moving their financial management apps online—of cloud’s increasing maturity, sophistication, and acceptance.

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Docker Marks Rapid Growth of Software Containers, Unveils Big Upgrade at DockerCon 2016GeekWire

What it’s about: Speaking of cloud, DockerCon 2016 came and went this week, generating a lot of news in the world of containers, cloud, and related topics. Among the highlights:

Why you should care: Within the cloud’s sustained momentum, containers might be speeding ahead fastest of all. No, containers aren’t just about cloudbut as the news out of DockerCon reiterates, they increasingly go hand in hand. Moreover, containers, which have to date been largely the purview of a select subset of the developer community, appear poised to explode into the software mainstream. As Michael Morisy writes in Windows IT Pro, Docker is becoming available and usable just about everywhere, from AWS to Azure to Windows, Mac, and Linux: “Linux developers and admins have been singing the praises of Docker for a while,” he writes. “Now the rest of the world is getting a taste.” Microsoft is visibly embracing Docker and containers, too: Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich took the stage at DockerCon. 

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Don’t miss these other important stories from the world of modern software this week:

Scalable Systems Monitoring Helps Developers Build Better Apps Faster—TechTarget

TechTarget’s Joel Shore serves up a great recap of New Relic principal cloud architect and advocate Lee Atchison’s keynote address to a standing-room only audience at New York’s Cloud Expo. Head over to TechTarget to read the whole thing, but here’s the crux: Highly available, highly scalable systems can help developers attain modern software’s holy grail of building better apps faster.


Google Will Soon List Possible Health Conditions When You Search For Symptoms—9to5Google

sick boy: this week in modern softwareSoftware changes everythingincluding how we diagnose our medical conditions. Google is rolling out an update to its search app that will show information on a variety of related health conditions when users search symptoms. (Google used the example “headache on one side.”) It might be a sign of digital hypochondria, but it’s also an indicator of where Google and other major platforms are heading: keeping you inside the Google-verse rather than sending you to other apps and sites to get what you’re looking for.

Further reading:


Software Industry’s $1 Trillion Impact On U.S. Economy—InformationWeek

Charles Babcock breaks down a recent study from trade group BSA/The Software Alliance that estimates software now has a $1 trillion dollar annual impact on the U.S. economy. According to the report, Babcock writes, “the software industry directly contributed $475.3 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014, with an additional $594.7 billion indirectly contributed in the same year through factors such as tangential jobs creation, consumer spending by software industry employees, and investment by the industry in research and development (R&D).” Wow, that’s a lotta cash!

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Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney Among 180 Artists Signing Petition for Digital Copyright Reform—Billboard

What’s a music story doing in TWiMS, you ask? Well, it’s really a tech story. Some of music’s biggest performers are putting their names on a petition to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the copyright law that governs online rights. As Billboard’s Rob Levine notes, many artists are not happy that the DMCA “gives services like YouTube ‘safe harbor’ from copyright infringement liability for the actions of their users, as long as they respond to takedown notices from rights holders.” It’s yet another skirmish between the entertainment industry and Silicon Valley, and as TorrentFreak notes, the battle is only heating up.

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Modern Software Podcast logoCan’t get enough modern software news and commentary? Be sure to check out our Modern Software Podcast. New Relic Editor-in-Chief Fredric Paul and guests discuss the most important things happening in the world of software analytics, cloud computing, application monitoring, development methodologies, programming languages, and more. Listen to episode 13 or subscribe on iTunes.


Brexit vote, enterprise cloud, and sick boy images courtesy of

Kevin Casey writes about technology and business for a wide variety of publications and companies. He won an Azbee Award, given by the American Society of Business Publication Editors, for his InformationWeek story, “Are You Too Old for IT?” He’s also a former community choice honoree in the Small Business Influencer Awards. View posts by .

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