Monday, 13 June 2016

The Cost of Doing Nothing

For a business to become optimally successful, it absolutely must incorporate a quality life-cycle management system.  This begs the question:  Why do so many vendors miss the mark when it comes to providing the necessary updates and enhancements?  Developers and software companies should embrace their respective ALM systems as their staunch allies; and progressive IT organizations stay well ahead of the game by using progressive technology and best practices to ensure that high-quality products are on time and on budget while remaining fully compliant.  The goal of any ALM supplier should be to cater to its clients by properly supporting them by staying abreast of platform enhancements and being familiar with new languages, new devices, mobile demands, ever-changing compliance regulations and other real-time demands that must be continually addressed.

The bottom line remains:  in order for development leaders to not only survive, but thrive, they must make the transition to the most-updated ALM solution, possible.  Surprisingly, however, development leaders can be hesitant to utilize a modern ALM solution; but the cost of doing nothing can be more expensive than one might imagine. 

There are a handful of misguided reasons why an updated ALM solution might not be employed.  A few of those fallacies can include the following:

A New ALM Solution Would Be Too Cost-Prohibitive

Being the lead dog and staying ahead of the pack in this competitive world is absolutely paramount which is why a vendor must provide the crucial components such as product enhancements, platform updates, etc.  Research reveals some unsettling data:

  • 84% of IT projects become overdue or over budget
  • 31% of IT projects never reach completion due to being canceled
  • Completed IT projects deliver, on average, only 42% of their expected benefits

Accuracy and efficiency become the name of the game as it applies to profit; but developers' profit margins will be sorely compromised without up-to-date functionality and access to current tools via an up-to-date ALM system.  Additionally, if no automated system is integrated, IT will be forced to spend a good deal of valuable time addressing compliance-related issues; and that can be costly. 

Your vendor's R&D department should certainly be acutely aware of new trends in the industry as well as responsive to customer’s requests.  A coveted ALM solution will incorporate 1) on-board templates for compliance reporting 2) compatibility and remote access with any mobile device 3) tools such as dashboards, real-time reports & analytics and automated work-flows –  all, of which, enable every team-member to stay up-to-date. 

The cost of doing nothing can take a titanic toll when one considers that not meeting app-release time-lines as well as opportunities that become lost in the shuffle plus valuable time addressing compliance concerns and/or audits all cost a business, big-time!  The question, then, becomes obvious:  You believe you can't afford the integration of a modern ALM solution – but can you afford NOT to??

Our Current ALM Solution Seems to be Working Fine
In order to effectively, efficiently and optimally monitor, manage and coordinate all the people, processes, changes and dynamics that are intricately involved in the application life-cycle, utilizing the most sophisticated ALM solution is key!  Development personnel feel the demands of deploying functionality and fixes, very quickly.  The IT setting is extremely complex; and in this environment, database servers, web servers, diverse clientele and every type of mobile device equate to sophisticated development and release processes.  All this must be intricately orchestrated without a hitch; and a modern ALM solution is what it takes to fully ensure a flawless and seamless operations in every department. 

With the most modern ALM solution, users can enjoy the ease at which systems and work-flows come together in addition to the minimization of production errors and the maximization of collaboration efforts.  Then, imagine all this coupled with data access from any mobile device, compliance reports with point-and-click ease and automation processes that are as easy as child's play.

Older ALM solutions are just that 'old' and with that, comes the inability for an archaic solution tool to offer the newest of technologies which equates to lost time due to fixing bad code and dealing with coding errors, as only a single example.  And then, of course, there is the lost revenue.  In the end, the growth of a company is stifled.  Again, a modern ALM solution keeps a business in position as the 'alpha' and leader of the competitive pack since the people and processes involved are all humming like a fine-tuned engine – no, barricades, no inefficiency and virtually no errors.

Transitioning to a New ALM Would Be Too Time-Consuming

How one chooses a vendor can make the difference between reaping the benefits of a dedicated and seasoned professional with an unparalleled product that he or she is excited to share, verses a vendor whose interest in your goals and progress is marginal, at best.  Assuming the right vendor has been selected, the time required to get the system fully running will be miniscule.  Personnel can very quickly enjoy immediate visibility, coordination and management across distributed systems, teams and tools.  In the end, previously-lost revenue due to outdated ALM systems becomes a distant memory since teams will no longer contend with drawn-out, manual processes but will, now, have the updated abilities to very quickly communicate, collaborate, update etc. regarding any and all application projects. 

Not one single team-member needs to concern him or herself with transitioning into an updated system.  A committed vendor will make sure the necessary and expected support is entirely available for everyone involved.  Again, in the end, any time invested in becoming familiar with a new ALM solution will begin to immediately pay for itself due to optimized usability involving real-time visibility, flexibility, accuracy and automation.

Our Current ALM Serves Only Development

When a business chooses stagnation over progress, it can become the 'kiss of death' for the organization.  Because technology will never slow down or even reach an apex, a business absolutely must stay on track with innovative ideas, processes and insights.  An integrated ALM system ensures that users can take full advantage of managing, in real-time, every aspect of development and delivery.  A top-tier ALM solution will provide instantaneous updates on every component ranging from code to work-flow to dashboards and everything in-between and beyond.  Smarter, more-insightful decisions become common-place among everyone involved – whether development personnel, auditors, programmers, etc.  Since DevOps departments evolve and advance in the enterprise, so too, must the ALM system by functioning as the centralized collaborative arena where inter-department communications are available whenever and wherever required.

After it's all said and done, switching to a modern ALM solution will, realistically, save money over the long haul since time is being dramatically saved – and time is money!  Those few words serve as a cliché as well as a fact.  Whether one is speaking of departments collaborating on changes at any level, or enhanced visibility that maximizes work-flow or whether one is talking about users gaining advanced capabilities resulting in succinct, precise and quick decision-making, it all adds up, once again, to saving copious amounts of time which translates into saving impressive amounts of revenue.

A reliable vendor will provide the kind of support one would expect from a supplier that operates as a top-tier contender in the industry.  Vendor support should include:

  • Access to the most up-dated interfaces and devices
  • Assistance with any existing OS
  • Intervention for all platforms, on which, code is being developed
  • Mobile and web development
  • Out-of-the-box plug-ins to converge with other tools
  • Compliance-report templates
  • Delivery of single-screen visibility with all IT involvement
  • Adjustable point-and-click distribution and deployment and mobile functionality with everything

It is an ever-changing business climate where technology is king.  And...

                                            Adaptation equals growth and growth equals SUCCESS!    


About the author: Daniel Magid is Rocket’s IBM i solution leader and Director of the Rocket Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and DevOps lab. Having started his career at IBM in 1981 in the midrange computer division, Daniel brings to Rocket Software more than 30 years of experience in the IBM midrange marketplace. Prior to coming to Rocket as part of the acquisition of Aldon in 2011, Daniel was Aldon’s CEO and Chief Product Strategist. Daniel led the growth of Aldon from a small 4 person consulting company to the largest provider of ALM and DevOps solutions in the IBM i market. Daniel is a recognized expert in application development and DevOps in the IBM i market and a well-known presence at IBM i conferences.




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