Innovation has become synonymous with software. It's through software that businesses can create products, systems, and services that are increasingly "instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent." These innovations in software are becoming the source of real value to the consumer, and for many businesses, it is what sets them apart from their competition.
You see it in mobile applications, where new business models are exploding. Deloitte predicts that mobile banking will surpass online banking as the most widely used channel by 2020. It is also evident in the automotive industry, where today's electronics drive about 80% of the automotive industry's functional innovation. Software is the key to most of it.
But while software is increasingly the driver behind business success, consumer demands, and the heightened pace of technology changes, it can also present challenging layers of complexity for software and systems delivery teams. Processes and methods are being impacted by new application delivery models in fields such as mobile computing, where a proliferation of end-point devices along all sorts of data paths are causing delivery teams to scramble before market opportunities vanish.
Software and systems delivery is a rapidly changing landscape impacted by new application delivery models, such as cloud, proliferating mobile end-point devices, shrinking delivery windows, and the blurring of organizational boundaries. And although organizations try to leverage all of today's advances effectively, most are struggling to manage the changes in a way that will lead to innovation and increased competitive advantage.
As the speed of business continues to accelerate, organizations need to deliver software and software-embedded products continuously. How can software and systems delivery teams take advantage of the trends in mobile, cloud, social business, and other emerging models and achieve success? The answer is a ground-up approach that offers real improvements, based on three core objectives:
- Integration across the lifecycle to connect software, data, and tools
- Collaboration through unified teams, roles, platforms, and geographies
- Optimization through better measurement and alignment with business priorities to improve results
Through these actions, companies are better able to:
- Deliver higher-quality products and services to market
- Be confident that those products and services meet customer needs
- Shorten their delivery times while reducing cost and risk
For improved flexibility, IBM® Rational® uses Jazz™ technology, which is an open standards-based delivery environment that helps you manage more of the elements that define today's complexity. This spring, in collaboration with business partners and the broader development community, we're enhancing this capability to help our clients speed software and systems delivery, improve quality, and reduce cost and risk.
Let's take a look at these announcements.
On June 4, 2012, IBM announced new integrations and collaborative capabilities that help clients optimize their software and systems delivery across the application and product lifecycle. These announcements offer two distinct sets of capabilities for IT teams and product manufacturing and service teams:
For IT organizations
- Accelerate software delivery through improved integration across the application lifecycle
- Reduce cost and create new business value by extending the application lifecycle beyond the development team
- Improve flexibility and boost productivity by leveraging the broader development community
For product and systems organizations
- Speed cycle times by integrating across the complex systems and software development lifecycle
- Reduce risk in high-growth industries through targeted solutions
- Improve systems lifecycle management through access to a growing and extensive business partner ecosystem
Both IT and systems teams need a well-managed software development lifecycle that supports the needs of operations and line-of-business (LOB) teams who, in turn, interact with customers in a continuous business cycle. This spring, IBM Rational is tightening the integration between LOB, development, and operations teams through extended lifecycle management, which covers different horizontal vectors into mobile and cloud areas and takes advantage of a growing ecosystem with partners.
In the IT arena, innovation in the delivery of business systems has never been more critical or harder to achieve. With 70 to 80% of most budgets locked up in maintenance costs, a third of all projects going over budget and the funds needed for innovative breakthroughs are scarce. What's more, a complex software supply chain — increasingly defined by changes in cloud, mobile, and social business models — strains most teams' abilities to govern. No wonder 75% of project teams miss their target delivery dates.
Our new capabilities for IT teams help organizations improve on these statistics.
Accelerating the application delivery lifecycle
After 25 years of experience, IBM developers and specialists have captured a wide variety of best practices based on successes that they have seen repeatedly among our clients. For effective application lifecycle management, we have developed five imperatives that are necessary to overcome the high cost of organizational silos:
- In-context collaboration
- Real-time planning
- Lifecycle traceability
- Development intelligence
- Continuous improvement
Our integrated ALM solution, called collaborative lifecycle management (CLM), enables all five imperatives and has now been extended with design management capabilities. This ensures that design is integrated with the rest of the application lifecycle and that the design team is able to seamlessly collaborate on the design and development of the software with key stakeholders from across the extended team.
CLM helps teams speed delivery and reduce costs and time to market, while managing risks without sacrificing quality. Because CLM is built on the open, extensible Jazz technology, you can unify your infrastructure and protect your current investments. This openness and extensibility means that teams can start with the capabilities they most need to address their priorities and greatest pain points, then extend into other capabilities as their needs evolve. We believe that this helps them get the most out of their infrastructure investments -- whether these assets are new or existing.
There are several major CLM enhancements this spring in the area of testing. IBM® Rational® Test Workbench Version 8.0 and IBM Continuous Integration Solution for System z support continuous integration by enabling automated testing across all application layers. Testing can be performed early and often in a virtualized environment that simulates hardware, software, and service dependencies — and all of that is at a fraction of the cost of traditional test environments. This allows organizations to deliver software quality at the speed that their business demands by avoiding late-stage integration issues that typically hold up delivery.
In addition, IT teams will be able to speed their delivery cycles through a virtualized testing environment, based on incorporating the cloud into their testing strategies. Imagine a project that needs to be deployed to hundreds of servers: How does a business test the reliability and availability of this application? Instead of renting, scheduling, and setting up temporary hardware, with all of the coordination that involves, teams can plug into the cloud, thereby reducing reduce infrastructure costs and the time required to set up traditional test environments.
Extending lifecycle management
A major part of the complexity in software development is the management of assets and skills associated with continuous delivery, as described earlier. This spring, we are announcing new capabilities to reduce cycle times, improve quality, and simplify delivery with collaborative development and operations (DevOps). The goal is to create efficiencies and reduce errors across the continuous DevOps lifecycle.
- Continuous release
- Build automation to integrate new or changed code frequently
- Continuous integration
- Deploy integrated software in production-like environments, running tests and releasing software for production rollouts
- Continuous deployment
- Automate deployment of working software to production environments
- Service management
- Visibility, control, and automation across the service lifecycle
CLM has also been extended with the IBM Mobile Platform for centralized code sharing and distributed mobile application builds. The Mobile Application Development solution helps teams apply an end-to-end lifecycle management approach to accelerate mobile application delivery, and it offers the following benefits:
- Improves alignment between business and development
- Speeds time-to-market by breaking down silos, improving hand-offs, and visibility of project status
- Delivers a high-quality user experience by aligning business analysts, designers and developers
- Integrates with the IBM Mobile Platform for centralized code sharing and distributed mobile application build
Now mobile designers and developers can achieve the five imperatives for effective ALM (described in the previous section) and gain the benefits of end-to-end lifecycle management in an environment that makes testing far easier.
Improving the IT application delivery ecosystem
Our third set of announcements for IT teams is designed to help clients improve flexibility and boost productivity by leveraging the broader development ecosystem. These announcements are centered on two areas of growing importance for IT teams: Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) and skills.
We have made significant updates regarding OSLC and its impact on the market. First, clients can leverage OSLC to integrate more products than ever before. This is not limited to Jazz-based tools, but also includes IBM® Rational® ClearQuest®, IBM® Rational® DOORS®, and IBM® Tivoli® Service Request Manager. Furthermore, a variety of tools from other vendors can be included, including Oracle, Microsoft, HP, Atlassian, and open source.
Second, as a natural growth path for an important standards body such as this, we are driving a move towards a flatter steering committee that will solidify OSLC as an open standard.
When Information Week magazine reports that CIOs rank "Attracting, Developing, Retaining IT Pros" as their number one worry, it behooves companies like IBM to pay attention (see the link to the Information Weekarticle in Resources). Between 2010 and 2020, the US, Europe, Japan, China, and India will face a shortfall of 32 million technically specialized professionals. In the US, incoming freshmen expressing an interest in majoring in computer science has plummeted by 59% in the last four years (see the Higher Education Research Institute citation in Resources).
This is why IBM is partnering with schools, colleges, and universities to help educate millions of students in open standards-based software delivery. This includes virtual classroom offerings, sandbox-based community offerings, and more. For example:
- Brand new IBM® PureSystems™ trial powered by SmartCloud build skills, where students can deploy apps using pattern-based approach in the cloud
- Enhancements to the JazzHub, which enables users to build software with classmates across the room or across the globe
IBM Rational offers product development and delivery teams better ways to produce smarter products that are more intelligent, interconnected, and instrumented. This spring, new capabilities focus on a more integrated lifecycle based on IBM Rational systems products, such as Rational® DOORS®, Rational Rhapsody®, and Rational Quality Manager. Our extensive business partner ecosystem enables Rational to deliver industry-specific solutions for our clients' specific challenges. And the newly available software engineering solutions will help teams leverage this expertise with industry-specific guidance in standards compliance.
A more integrated lifecycle for product development teams
Our systems and embedded software engineering clients need to find ways to manage the complexity when designing, developing, and delivering smarter products. In order to achieve the differentiation that software innovation can provide, teams need a less costly approach to quality management, one that translates technology advantages into business benefits.
The IBM Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering helps teams achieve requirements-driven-testing, with improved workflows based on new OSLC-based integrations across the lifecycle, including integrations for Rational DOORS and Rational Quality Manager, which provides more comprehensive quality management practices. Teams can improve software variant management through new tool capabilities that manage delivery to multiple requirements streams. We offer increased efficiency with cross-project planning, plus increased security for product development IP.
Improving the ecosystem with IBM partner integrations
Companies developing smarter products and systems work in an expanding ecosystem of partners with targeted expertise. Real-time test expertise from National Instruments, integrated with IBM Rational software capabilities for lifecycle management, provides traceable quality and strong compliance support for our clients.
We're also offering new partner integrations based on OSLC, which include Rational Rhapsody Design Manager and Mathworks Simulink, and test tool integrations with National Instruments (available during the second half of 2012) and Spirent. These integrations help teams improve quality, demonstrate lifecycle traceability and compliance, speed defect resolution and reduce startup time -- goals associated with the right side of the classic V diagram in systems engineering and development.
Consistent with enabling IBM clients through better coordination with expert partners, our new industry solutions take this a step further with targeted support for high-growth industries. IBM Rational industry-specific guidance for product development extends the Systems and Software Engineering Solution with best practices, documented workflows, and execution templates for helping companies achieve compliance standards.
These solutions enable rapid access, when and where it is needed, and are ideal for broadly distributed worldwide development teams. Now, teams can implement workflow processes with IBM® Rational Team Concert™ templates and customize these by project or by team or implement their own business processes.
The key value of this offering is providing industry-specific compliance support to reduce risk and cost, including the following benefits:
- Comply efficiently with industry regulations
- Execute guidance on best practices for achieving compliance
- Increase adoption with templates and tool mentors
- Synchronize hardware and software development with common lifecycle tools in the SSE Solution
Targeted industry solutions include:
- Aerospace and defense
- For compliance with DO178-B; DoDAF; MoDAF; SYSML, and UPDM
- For compliance with ISO 26262 and AutoSAR
- Medical devices
- For compliance with FDA and international standards and IEC 62304
For both IT and product and service teams, the IBM Rational Spring 2012 Product Launch offers three essential advancements:
- Improved lifecycle integration at the core of our development and delivery capabilities
- Expanding this lifecycle beyond the development team to the other stakeholders required to get applications, products, and services to market
- Further extending the capabilities to incorporate and embrace the larger ecosystem of partners, open standards, and skill sets.
Visually, these two categories can be seen as three concentric circles – where there is a core set of development needs at center, which is extended out in a larger circle for specific industries, or horizontal technology considerations such as mobile. And finally, the largest circle represents the ecosystem in which businesses interoperate.
CIOs Rank IT Talent Their No. 1 Worry, SIM Survey Finds, by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, Information Week, October 8, 2007.
Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) survey, UCLA, 2005.
Learn more about the 2012 spring launch:
Learn more about these solutions:
- Collaborative Lifecycle Management
- Continuous Integration for System z
- Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering
Mike Perrow works as a writer and editor for the brand strategy team within the IBM Rational organization. His current focus is assisting thought leaders and subject matter experts as they explain the business value of Rational products and services through white papers, journal articles, blog postings, and other forms of the written word. Prior to this position, he served for eight years as the founding editor of The Rational Edge ezine. He can be reached at email@example.com.