First described by Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, Moore’s law basically states that the number of components in integrated circuits will double each year. While Gordon Moore only thought this would hold true until 1975 or so, it has become somewhat of a self-fulfilling rule as companies set long-term planning, and to set targeted goals for research and development. It is now expected to hold true through at least 2015, if not further.
Other such “laws”, such as Kryder’s law, Butter’s law, and Barry Hendy’s Pixel per Dollar scale are essentially a reflection of Moore’s law in different areas of technology, specifically hard disk storage, network capacity and the cost of pixels per dollar, respectively.
In more practical terms, we can see that the average middle-market computer on sale now is about as fast as supercomputers back in 1990. For example, the Cray 2 held the position of the fastest supercomputer in the world for most of the late 1980’s, and utilized advances in integrated circuits and liquid cooling in order to maintain its speed. However, now that same processing power can be at your nearest Best Buy or similar computer store, for a fraction of the cost, and a fraction of the size.
Other aspects of technology advancement are shown in today’s Smartphones. For example, despite being small enough to comfortably fit in your pocket, the average iPhone® has as much as 100x the processing power and over 1000x the memory capacity of a standard home computer from the 1980s, and we have only gotten started with the power and abilities of mobile technology.
These types of advances have basically turned Moore’s law into a colloquialism that whatever new technology you buy today will already be a few generations old by next year, if not sooner.
Keeping Up With Technology
I remember a joke from a year or so ago when Linux, a popular operating system, received a patch that allowed it to support up to 4096 CPUs – up from the old limit of 1024 CPUs – but still lacked support for playing full-screen Flash® videos and other more practical advances. Sometime technology advances in awkward lurches, rather than in leaps or bounds.
As a custom software development company, we have definitely played a major role in helping companies update and modernize their business systems in order to take advantage of new technologies, and increase the power, efficiency, and usability of their systems.
These efforts help companies make big leaps forward, and are measureable in the impact on revenue, cost savings, customer conversion rates, and other metrics associated with the particular software. However, even though sometimes it is appropriate to make “big leaps” forward, there is also another option that can help in between each giant leap.
We call this a Development Retainer. Much like you might hire an advertising or PR agency to do a certain amount of work for you each month for a set cost, we are now offering retainer software development, which gives you access to our development staff for a set amount of time each month.
A Development Retainer basically changes your company from having “an IT guy” to having a “whole IT company” at your disposal. We have designed this to help you manage the little things that are difficult to solve outside of a large project, such as small upgrades, customizations, and general usability improvements. This also can include resources from our Creative Services team and our SEO and Marketing teams as well.
Many companies also use this service to transition into having internal support and development positions, where the company’s growth is at a stage where support is needed, but the budget isn’t there to employ somebody full time.
Some of the benefits include:
- Pay a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house staff
- Access to a whole company of software professionals
- Use for maintenance, development, creative services and Internet marketing
- Enhance your website, optimize your software systems, engage your customers, and drive sales
- Flexible options driven by your needs
A Development Retainer basically gives you the option to choose what improvements and maintenance you would like each month. This gives you the resources of an entire software company for less than it would cost to hire a single full-time developer. Of course, retainer development is limited to a set number of hours each month (which can be carried over if they are not used), but many companies like this option because it is much easier to know and control the costs, as well as to modify the contract should your needs or budget change.
Many companies enjoy this freedom, which gives them vast resources and the ability to keep their systems running at optimal performance. This can help companies advance at the speed of technology, and really use technology to their advantage.