Both the rewards and the challenges remain high in delivering software for today's multisourced, highly distributed, and increasingly mobile computing environment. Because innovation is the real source of value to the consumer, the ability to innovate through software sets many businesses apart from their competition. Hence, the rewards.
Yet, a recently completed IBM survey reports that most businesses experience an "execution gap" between their dependence on software for competitive advantages and their ability to actually deliver that software. According to this survey, 48% of line of business executives and 55% of IT executives said software was "crucial for achieving competitive advantage", but only 11% and 29%, respectively, felt their organizations could leverage their software capabilities effectively. (See "Leveraging Software Delivery for Competitive Advantage 2012 Global Study" from the IBM Institute for Business Value.)
Teams working to build a mobile enterprise, for example, might experience this execution gap. The software development lifecycle for these projects extends beyond the traditional development team environment in several directions, to line of business owners who deal with constant customer demand on one end, to operations and production teams who must deploy and maintain the software systems that development creates on the other end.
The speed of this process is reduced by several gaps in the extended lifecycle:
- Slow feedback between customers and the LOB
- Ineffective interaction between line of business and development teams
- Culture gaps, and the inefficient links between development and operations that can lead to failed deployments
On the bright side, the same study showed that businesses that have worked to increase their software development capabilities actually outperform their peers from a profitability perspective. On October 30, 2012, the IBM Rational organization announced new capabilities to help more teams close the gaps in their software delivery processes and achieve higher levels of success. This article describes these new and enhanced solutions.
The Rational software 2012 fall launch offers new solutions and enhancements in three categories:
- Core development lifecycle
- Extended lifecycle
- Ecosystem and community
The sections that follow describes each of these new capability areas for IT teams.
Core development lifecycle: Ensure quality with better design and collaboration
Several new capabilities and services deliver greater collaboration and agility across an expanding landscape of mobile, cloud, and traditional enterprise environments (also see the links in Resources):
- Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management, with integrated design management
- IBM Quality Management and Test Automation Solution
- IBM Continuous Integration Solution for System z
- IBM Integrated Solution for System z Development
- IBM Rational enterprise compilers
- IBM Rational planning services
Collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) provides effective application lifecycle management that helps the development team seamlessly collaborate on the design and development of the software with key stakeholders from across the extended team. New this fall are several enhancements in software quality management and testing that help software and systems project teams design, build, test, and deliver enduring, high-quality software by combining leading service virtualization and agile integration testing capabilities with Rational CLM solutions for nearly any platform and test domain.
The increasing cost of quality associated with developing and maintaining composite applications with integrations across traditional and more modern technologies (mainframe, distributed, cloud) presents a constant challenge. The continued evolution of our quality management and test automation tools — including new IBM testing capabilities and acquired Green Hat technology — offers teams extended quality management and testing capabilities:.
- Improved productivity and agility with continuous build, integration, and testing
- Expanded service testing and virtualization functionality
- Minimized testing to speed SAP deployments
- Ability to secure and provision sensitive test data automatically
The extended lifecycle: DevOps, outsourcing governance, application portfolio management, and improved compliance
Several new specialized capabilities, assessments, templates, and services meet ever-changing customer, industry, and compliance demands:
- IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery
- IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution and IBM Worklight integrations
- IBM Rational Governance of Application Development Outsourcing
- IBM Rational Integrated Solution for Application Portfolio Management
- IBM Rational Planning for Compliance Solution for Financial Services
See the links in the Resources section and the sections that follow for details.
IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery
The key phrase in our DevOps message is continuous delivery. That's a goal based on the fact that clients expect their needs to be met constantly with applications and services updated often. IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery is an agile, scalable, and flexible solution for end-to-end lifecycle management. It can be adopted incrementally to automate continuous integration, provisioning and deployment, continuous testing, process simplification, and application performance management.
SmartCloud Continuous Delivery helps teams set up a joint DevOps project with the pipeline workflow and tasks, such as build, test, and deploy. It tracks project changes, including development code, application configuration, instrumentation, and installation scripts, and it executes pipeline tasks when triggered by changes, such as code check-in by a developer.
Another area of the expanded lifecycle is the need for outsourcing governance. Outsourcing projects — whether new initiatives, upgrades or maintenance — often increases the risk of delivering late and over budget, without meeting original specifications and/or business needs. Organizations seek to gain control of their application development initiatives by improving visibility and transparency across the project lifecycle and across vendors.
The new IBM Rational Governance of Application Development Outsourcing (with extensions for government) helps organizations gain control of application development initiatives by improving visibility and transparency across the project lifecycle multi-vendor supply chain throughout the project lifecycle. Teams can use to get these benefits:
- Gain a competitive edge with proven techniques to address near-shoring, outsourcing, and off-shoring
- Stay on budget by creating front-end decision support to drive prioritization of ideas, applications, capabilities
- Ensure that “you get what you pay for” by implementing controls and metrics to manage supplier performance, health of outsourcing projects, and contracts
- Maintain alignment of business needs and software requirements from definition, to supplier assignment, to requirements traceability in supplier contracts
Application portfolio management
APM provides insight into the key business functions that an application supports, including the health and viability of those functions. This enables IT and business leaders to make more strategic decisions about application investments and sources.
There are three overall benefits of the new IBM Rational Integrated Solution for Application Portfolio Management provides three key benefits:
- APM expands the lifecycle. Experience shows that most organizations lack the front-end support for accurate, strategic planning. This makes it difficult for them to decide on an optimized and rationalized portfolio.
- APM makes it possible to connect the upfront planning and decision-making to actual execution. Organizations secure better alignment of investment decisions with organizational strategies and priorities through facilitation of an effective dialog between business and IT departments.
- Organizations also gain improved efficiency in the governance of portfolio rationalization. This leads to optimized allocation of capital and resources with reduced time to decisions.
Effective dialogue between business and IT requires that investment decisions be aligned with organizational strategy. The IBM Rational Planning for Compliance Solution for Financial Services helps financial institutions with the planning, prioritization, and optimization of both compliance and business initiatives. Adopting this solution can help reduce the costs and risks of compliance management, while improving enterprise-wide collaboration and project visibility, as well as audits and reporting.
This Rational software provides two different levels of planning and decision-making:
- Enterprise compliance planning
- Helps organizations decide what investments to make and which initiatives to fund. It also helps them prioritize the various initiatives and projects.
- Project execution planning
- Enables organizations to manage and monitor compliance projects. Through repeatable processes, organizations can manage time, cost, quality, change, and risks.
The planning for compliance area focuses on the use of IBM® Rational® Focal Point™ software to support the planning effort by managing compliance initiatives prioritization and cost estimation along with other business needs.
Rational Focal Point is integrated with IBM OpenPages®. OpenPages supports corporate-level GRC (governance, risk, and compliance) management. Mandates, GRC requirements, and controls are some of the key elements that can be imported into Rational Focal Point from OpenPages.
Rational Focal Point is also integrated with IBM® Rational Team Concert™ to provide collaboration support and visibility into project execution planning. The specific compliance tasks that are identified for implementation can be exported from OpenPages and imported into Rational Team Concert to support the governance of the requested changes.
Get more details on new and enhanced capabilities within the expanded development lifecycle, see the link to “IBM Rational solutions for accelerated software delivery" in the Resources section.
Improving the IT application delivery ecosystem
IBM Rational software has a continuing commitment to an open, collaborative ecosystem and an open, integrated platform designed to support improving the software lifecycle and interoperability among tools. We are introducing three new or enhanced ways to do that:
- IBM Rational Lifecycle Integration Adapters for third-party and open source tools (see Resources for a link)
- Agile Assessment
- Business partner community that extends IBM IT capabilities
The Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) helps organizations establish effective lifecycle management across the disciplines by unifying a highly diverse set of lifecycle tools, including non-IBM, open source, or mainframe applications, thereby extending the value of an organization's existing investments.
The Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a set of seamlessly integrated Rational applications that work together as one. It includes IBM® Rational Team Concert™, IBM® Rational® Quality Manager, Rational Requirements Composer, and Rational Software Architect with Design Management. Teams or organizations can start with any one of these offerings to address their greatest needs — requirements management, quality management, testing, change and configuration management, or design management — and expand into the other areas, depending upon priorities.
The foundation of CLM is IBM's open, standards-based Jazz™ technology. Therefore, traditional, agile, and hybrid development teams can collaborate more efficiently even if they are working in different countries and organizations, using different systems, following different disciplines, and outsourcing to third-party vendors. Project teams can more effectively steer through the uncertainties of software design, development, deployment, and management to make better, more measured value judgments. Organizations can still use their existing technology investments even if there is a shortage in skills.
In addition, the reach of CLM is extended by the Rational Lifecycle Integration Adapters (see the link in Resources). With these adapters, teams can unify Rational capabilities and third-party ALM tools without the pain and cost of “rip and replace." The adapters are built on an open platform for integrating HP ALM, open source Git, and Atlassian JIRA with Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) and Rational ClearQuest capabilities, so organizations can practice effective ALM even with a diverse toolset. This way, clients can leverage existing lifecycle tool investments while unifying teams to improve collaboration and time to market. They can also enhance their visibility and measure outcomes across projects and team for better governance.
Support and enablement
There is also a new series of Jazz.net articles on software development compliance (see Resources) that explores the issues of developing in regulated industries, best practices for dealing with those issues, and how the CLM tools can help. The articles also provide a process configuration template and audit report templates to help you apply this work in your environment.
One the best ways of demonstrating and explaining CLM is by using the Money That Matters scenario, an excellent tutorial that continues to evolve on jazz.net. The Proof of Technology materials have also been updated to walk you through the scenario in detail.
The next generation of software delivery solutions for IT organizations
IBM Rational solutions help IT teams accelerate software delivery while maintaining quality. They also help increase collaboration and agility across the broadening landscape of IT technology. Check the Resources section to explore the newest enhancements, which span the core development lifecycle for IT; the extended lifecycle that involves cloud, mobile, DevOps, and outsourcing; and the larger partner ecosystem and development community.
- For more information, start at the IBM Rational solutions for accelerated software delivery page.
- Mentioned in this article:
- Continuous Integration Solution for System z, with Rational software as the foundation
- Leveraging Software Delivery for Competitive Advantage 2012 Global Study, IBM Institute for Business Value (available January 2013)
- Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution, collaborative, multiplatform development lifecycle for mobile applications
- OpenPages governance, risk, and compliance management software
- Rational compilers for the enterprise
- Rational Lifecycle Integration Adapters that extend application lifecycle management with integrations to third-party tools
- Rational Focal Point for market - and business-driven product and portfolio management
- Rational Team Concert, based on Jazz technology, for lean, collaborative planning, project reporting, process workflow, work item management, source code management and build management (also see the Jazz.net page)
- Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM), which combines Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager, Rational Requirements Composer, and Rational Software Architect with Design Management into one image that is available on the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
- SmartCloud Continuous Delivery, IBM's approach to DevOps.
- Brian King's blog on Jazz.net about the Tech Previews for HP ALM, Git, and JIRA Integration Adapters (June 2012)
- Software Development Compliance, a series of articles by Cindy Van Epps and Nick Norris of IBM Rational software (Jazz.net, starting September 2012)
- Explore the Rational software area on developerWorks for technical resources, best practices, and information about Rational collaborative and integrated solutions for software and systems delivery.
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