TechnoPolitics Podcast: Agile Software Is Not The Cat's Meow

Mike Gualtieri

One-Size Software Development Methodologies Do Not Fit All

Dozens of software development methodologies exist, from waterfall to Agile to pure anarchy (Agile has always rubbed me wrong). Mark Kennaley speaks the truth when he says that “there is no ‘best’; there’s only contextual fitness for purpose.” Mark is the founder of Software Development Experts, a software development methodology historian, a consultant, and the creator of an expert system that helps organizations determine the best software methodology to use based on 10 factors: development team size, domain complexity, technical complexity, the geographical dispersion of the development team, time-to-market pressure, enterprise specialization, contract relationships, compliance, criticality, and culture. This makes perfect sense, and so does Mark. Unfortunately, entrenched dogma and high ceremony can obscure what really matters.

Composite, Dynamic Software Development Methodologies Are Best

TechnoPolitics speaks with Mark about how firms can choose the best methodology based on the 10 factors that matter. One size does not fit all. Listen to find out why and how to move forward.

Podcast: One-Size Software Development Methodologies Do Not Fit All

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The Pragmatic Definition Of Big Data

Mike Gualtieri

Big Data Definition, Mike Gualtieri, ForresterForget About The Three Vs

Big data is not defined by how you can measure data in terms of volume, velocity, and variety. The three Vs are just measures of data how much, how fast, and how diverse? A quaint definition of big data to be sure, but not an actionable, complete definition for IT and business professionals. A more pragmatic definition of big data must acknowledge that:

  • Exponential data growth makes it continuously difficult to manage — store, process, and access.
  • Data contains nonobvious information that firms can discover to improve business outcomes.
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Is 750MB Big Data?

Mike Gualtieri

Big Data Is Relative

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Cloud Prediction #10: Development Isn't All That Different In The Cloud

Mike Gualtieri

Forrester cloud computing expert James Staten recently published 10 Cloud Predictions For 2013 with contributions from nine other analysts, including myself. The prediction that is near and dear to my heart is #10: "Developers will awaken to: development isn't all that different in the cloud," That's right, it ain't different. Not much anyway. Sure. It can be single-click-easy to provision infrastructure, spin up an application platform stack, and deploy your code. Cloud is great for developers. And Forrester's cloud developer survey shows that the majority of programming languages, frameworks, and development methodologies used for enterprise application development are also used in the cloud.

Forget Programming Language Charlatans

Forget the vendors and programming language charlatans that want you to think the cloud development is different. You already have the skills and design sensibility to make it work. In some cases, you may have to learn some new APIs just like you have had to for years. As James aptly points out in the post: "What's different isn't the coding but the services orientation and the need to configure the application to provide its own availability and performance. And, frankly this isn't all that new either. Developers had to worry about these aspects with websites since 2000." The best cloud vendors make your life easier, not different.

Mobile App Is A Great First Cloud App

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Mobile Devs -- The 3 visual tooling changes that will make your life better in 2013

Michael Facemire

2013 is going to be an amazing year for mobile and web developers for a number of reasons, but the top one on my list today is the advance in tooling. This isn't simply a turn of the crank adding a few features/functions to the existing state of the art but instead the realization of a growing paradigm shift in how developers (experience creators, to quote my colleague Mike Gualtieri) create software. Today the majority of web and mobile apps are written by developers manually writing source code in text editors or IDEs, but tomorrow's tooling is becoming much more visual in nature. Here are the three tooling areas that excite me looking forward to 2013.

 
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Create Your Transformation Strategy For Digital Experience Delivery

John R. Rymer

 

Forrester clients can access the full report here. The research is part of Forrester’s playbook (warning: pay wall) to advise application development and delivery (AD&D) leaders on strategies to deliver digital customer experiences. 

Digital customer experience is the next big opportunity for AD&D professionals. Business leaders responsible for marketing, sales, and support need advice and guidance from AD&D leaders as they select vendors and technologies. They need AD&D (working with colleagues in enterprise architecture) to establish the technical services and tools to deliver and optimize cross-channel customer experiences. And they need AD&D's expertise in project and program management and software quality assurance. To grasp this opportunity, the typical AD&D organization must transform to be quicker; master new technologies and relationships; and broker, as well as build, digital experience solutions. This research outlines how to create a strategy for this transformation, both for AD&D shops just beginning the digital experience journey and organizations already well down the path.

Key takeaways from this research:

  • AD&D should play a strategic role in digital experience delivery. Enterprises can outsource to consultants some, but not all, of the design and implementation work required for cross-channel digital customer experiences. Core services will remain strategic assets best managed by AD&D professionals. The question for AD&D leaders is how to gain a place at the table with their enterprise's business leaders.
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Make data confidence index part of your BI architecture

Boris Evelson

I often see two ends of the extreme when I talk to clients who are trying to deal with data confidence challenges. One group typically sees it as a problem that IT has to address, while business users continue to use spreadsheets and other home-grown apps for BI. At the other end of the extreme, there's a strong, take-no-prisoners, top-down mandate for using only enterprise BI apps. In this case, a CEO may impose a rule that says that you can't walk into my office, ask me to make a decision, ask for a budget, etc., based on anything other than data coming from an enterprise BI application. This may sound great, but it's not often very practical; the world is not that simple, and there are many shades of grey in between these two extremes. No large, global, heterogeneous, multi-business- and product-line enterprise can ever hope to clean up all of its data - it's always a continuous journey. The key is knowing what data sources feed your BI applications and how confident you are about the accuracy of data coming from each source.

For example, here's one approach that I often see work very well. In this approach, IT assigns a data confidence index (an extra column attached to each transactional record in your data warehouse, data mart, etc.) during ETL processes. It may look something like this:

  • If data is coming from a system of record, the index = 100%.
  • If data is coming from nonfinancial systems and it reconciles with your G/L, the index = 100%. If not, it's < 100%.
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An effective transformation to Agile can't ignore strategic sourcing decisions

Diego Lo Giudice

Agile and Lean transformations depend to a great extent on cultivating a good sourcing ecosystem. The decisions you make around the partners and providers supporting your transformation and projects will be at the core of a successful strategy. But sourcing strategy needs to go beyond just resource or services providers (read outsourcing) and address a larger ecosystem made of Agile SW development and delivery choices, collaboration and communication capabilities for distributed teams, and teams' physical work spaces, standard equipment, and office layout.

In September, I published a report on how to source your Agile strategy, that describes what the ecosystem looks like and how to navigate it effectively, the document is part of our larger research container on Agile - The Agile and Lean Playbook.  The report gives an overview on how large vendors, SIs, and medium to small consulting organizations can (not) help you with your Agile journey but also what you need to do to be successful. Here are some of the takeaways from the research:

  • What you think about Agile and Lean might not be what your SI thinks. You need to take control of your own destiny with Agile and Lean. Change your application development and delivery sourcing strategy to embed the best talents around the world to help you make it happen. But be careful with the traditional SIs, because Agile is as disruptive to them as it is you, and if they have not been seriously transforming themselves, it will be hard for them to deliver Agile services to you. Some good alternative new fully Agile players exist, including highly specialized external consulting firms. You might want to start testing the ground with these options.
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Personalization Isn’t Enough — Get Up Close And Contextual Instead

Anjali Yakkundi

In our recently published report, Ron Rogowski, Stephen Powers, and I explored how organizations are rethinking their personalization strategies. Organizations have long understood the need to "personalize" their websites for customer segments in order to meet customer needs, feel personal, and deliver in the moment. But we’ve seen many organizations fail to deliver highly relevant experiences to their customers. "We were about to launch personalized content, but our dog ate the segmentation and targeting strategy." We haven't heard that one (yet), but organizations and their agencies frequently cite a familiar set of reasons for continuing to offer non- or underpersonalized sites.

What’s going wrong? Organizations fail when delivering contextual experiences. They must take into account who the customer is, what that customer did in the past, and the customer’s situation — what’s happening to the customer at that moment and from which touchpoint he or she is engaging with the brand. While they may take one or two of these into account, many organizations we speak with (especially outside of the eCommerce space) fail to take all three into account.

What does this mean for application development and delivery professionals? After all, IT will eventually need to support these contextualization initiatives. Here are a few questions to get you started:

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Cloud Keys An Era Of New IT Responsiveness And Efficiency

John R. Rymer

James Staten and I wrote this vision of the future of cloud computing. The full report is available to Forrester clients at this link. The research is part of Forrester’s playbook to advise CIOs on productive use of cloud computing and is relevant to application development and delivery leaders as well.  

This research charts the shifts taking place in the market as indicated by the most advanced cloud developers and consumers. In the future, look for the popular software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) models to become much more flexible by allowing greater customization and integration. Look for more pragmatic cloud development platforms that cross the traditional cloud service boundaries of SaaS, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and IaaS. And look for good private and public cloud options — and simpler ways of integrating private-public hybrids.

The key takeaways from this research are:

  • IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS boundaries will fall. In the future, no cloud will be an island. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS will remain distinct but expand to anchor cloud platform ecosystems that weave together application, development platform, and infrastructure services. Business services built in these ecosystems will be easier to develop, better performing, more secure, and more cost-efficient.
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