Moving Away From Legacy Vendor Relationships To A Devops, Micro-Services Way Of Life At Nike

I had the pleasure of attending a gathering at Heavybit Industries last week, a community for developer-focused entrepreneurs, where one of the headlining speakers was Nike CTO Chris Satchell. I wish I had taken better notes, but the one thing that stuck with me from his talk was his story about moving beyond their love affair with almost any software vendor that came along, and diligentlywork towards a micro-service oriented environment.

As the CTO, Satchell was working to clean up the message of legacy applications used across the enterprise, which was the result of years of, as he put it, saying yes to almost any software vendor that came along. Music to the ears of the San Francisco audience, he was now working to move the company out of a single data center, into the cloud, redefining operations as micro-services, and instituting a devops mindset along the way. They are a long way away from achieving their goal, but I found the change in their mindset about how they acquire software, was extremely relevant to all the API talk in 2015.

While i’m sure there will still be plenty of opportunities for old school software vendors to hock their wares, I think this was a pretty clear sign of the API-centric approach that is changing not just how we develop and deploy software, but also how we buy software. If you are looking to sell software solutions to the enterprise in the future, you are going to need more than just yesterdays software, and a sales team—you are going to need the most agile, flexible, stack of micro-services possible, and let companies choose exactly the resources that they need.