Last week, CAST attended the Gartner EA Summit, held at National Harbor. It was two days of jam-packed sessions and workshops about Enterprise Architecture, but what stuck out the most was the value of this very unique discipline as a catalyst for Digital Transformation.
EA and Digital Transformation were the core focus of many presentations, including Mike J. Walker’s session “Leverage EA to Understand the Value and Impacts of Digital Disruption.” Mike stressed that this ever-evolving discipline is becoming a vital component to corporate strategy, delivering high-performing and sustainable business outcomes.
IT leaders from throughout the federal government discussed the value of how software measurement can positively impact their development process at CAST’s recent Cyber Risk Measurement Workshop in Arlington, VA – just outside of the Washington, D.C. area. The event brought together more than 40 IT leaders from several governmental agencies, including the Department of Defense and Department of State, system integrators and other related organizations. The group shared their experiences in how their respective organizations are driving value to end users and taxpayers.
Measuring and managing software quality is not just about compliance with government mandates, but rather around the proposition that strong software quality, security and sustainability are paramount. However, compliance remains essential. Three primary points around software compliance voiced by attendees were:
Application portfolio analysis was at the center of discussion as Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst, Margo Visitacion, presented how Agile development is affecting the application development process and IT’s portfolio planning. Ms. Visitacion explained that in the “Age of the customer,” they want more for less and expect companies to fluidly change based on their needs and demands. As companies shift their attention to customers’ experiences rather than production figures, it’s leading directly to higher revenue and a longer-lasting relationships.
So how do organizations remain agile to customer needs? They employ an Agile portfolio management process that collects metrics while aligning with the budgeting process; understanding that requirements will change. Using this strategy, companies gain clear visibility into their portfolio to measure risk, cost and complexity based upon objective measurements. The data collected during development enables them to defend current positioning and communicate more effectively with the business.
Here are some recent thought provoking questions, along with supporting answers, which we received during the Forrester webinar:
In the current tech scene, it has become common practice to refer to programmers as engineers. It seems that if you aren’t part of sales or marketing teams you are now entitled to being designated as an engineer. However, what has been forgotten over the 50 years of looking to turn software development into a legitimate engineering practice, is that we still haven’t reached the aspiration of being just that: a legitimate engineering practice. Traditional engineers have to go through stringent regulation, certification, and apprenticeships in order to gain the title. This creates an implicit responsibility of providing reliability and public safety. Software development hasn’t reached this point yet – software quality and standards are not universally valued.
So why is the tech industry using the engineering title to describe its technical workers?
The purpose of this white paper is to portray the worldwide state of agile adoption for our readers. While much has been written about the strengths and weaknesses of the technology, little data has been published to show how widely agile methods are used. This paper corrects that by providing data from our databases for public consumption. As shown in Figure 1, agile methods have become the dominant software development paradigm used throughout the world based on data from 330 organizations. Some of these organizations are offshoots of the 120 firms and government organizations from which we have received data. Figure 2 summarizes which agile methodologies are in use by these organizations. As many said that they were using a hybrid approach, i.e., one that combined agile with traditional concepts, we have included their response and categorized them as either hybrid or hybrid/lean (agile combined with lean).
For the last half-decade, a debate has raged over which project management method reigned supreme – Agile or Waterfall. To determine which held the advantage, some looked at the management techniques and fluidity with which projects were completed, others judged the debate by pointing to the structural quality of the applications being developed.
Digital transformation is a project many business executive leaders have recently taken on, especially those in banking and financial services. These organizations are competing to digitally transform front-end systems that are connected to brittle legacy systems. The subsequent failure to identify the structural vulnerabilities in combined applications, produces security and reliability issues the negate the value of digital transformation.