Christchurch IT scene: Nurturing an ecosystem

John Ascroft signed on as the fifth developer at Jade Software in the early 1980s and since then he has watched staff numbers grow from 10 to 350 people, and annual revenue increase to $50 million, 70 percent of which is earned offshore.

Now its chief innovation officer, Ascroft wants to grow the local IT community around Jade Software.

“We are looking now to outsource some development, we have had some meetings with local companies about that concept,” he says.

“From our point of view it gives us more scalability because we can take on more work without having to hire more staff. We also help to build up the community in Christchurch so people don’t have to leave here for work.

“Nothing would made us happier than to have 20 companies clustered around taking work from Jade, as well as some from other places. We would like to see Jade grow to be a much larger company, but we would also like to float the water up and lift other people up around us.”

One of the areas Ascroft is targeting is mobile applications. He has assembled a small team of developers (pictured above, from left Hadley Trounson, John Ascroft, Mark Cox and Tyler Power) who are working on creating the framework, which will allow large enterprise systems to integrate with multiple mobile platforms.

“Applications Program Interface (API) runs on the phone and talks back to the server,” he says. “Encryption, security, authentication, a lot of that plumbing is important in the enterprise world, so we’re providing a mobile enterprise integration platform,” he says.

Read the rest of this article on Computerworld.

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