Summary: Cloud-based Software and Systems Product development in the cloud reduces IT headaches, drives global collaboration & saves money for large organizations with multiple business units and a robust supply chain.
Q: John, what are the three things that people need to know about product development in the cloud?
A: Wow – thanks for the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject! First of all, the cloud absolves you of all the drudgery of maintaining and operating enterprise-class tools, so you get all the value and none of the pain. While it is certain that you can get an infinite amount of server capacity from the cloud, meaning fast performance and always the latest gear, it's much more than that. The managed services associated with the cloud mean you also get patches, upgrades, backup, recovery, trouble tickets and more: things you'd have to pay a contractor or an employee to do (badly, if they are not skilled).
The second benefit is associated with global collaboration across a large organization and/or a supply chain. The cloud enables the global collaboration that the tools promise, but can't deliver on their own. There is much to celebrate in IBM Rational products like Rational Team Concert regarding team collaboration, but unless all of the stakeholders in the process can access the tools, you can't realize that value: you can't collaborate with people you can't connect to. By putting all of your users (and I mean ALL: contractors, vendors, partners, suppliers, employees, mobile users, managers, customers) in the same server and with the same workbench, you can share, update, inquire, view, guide and support everyone as you see fit.
Finally, cost. The cloud saves you significant money. Because we measure usage based on peak concurrent users, companies that share projects among many people (which is to say, every company) can split their costs between only those who use the tools, and only when they are online. This eliminates a gigantic amount of waste compared to the traditional method of development, and means that your costs are tied directly with project lifecycles.
Q: Awesome stuff! Who benefits the most from this approach? Quality guys, Tools guys – who should be most interested in this topic?
A: First and foremost, those responsible for operating and administrating tools benefit the most, because it means they can focus on building great things, not on keeping the tooling running. But the manager responsible for delivering those products should be paying attention, too, because it means they can get to market faster, with higher quality, and with more innovation than their competitors. And lastly, beleaguered IT departments struggling to deliver infrastructure in this fast-changing environment can see relief in partnering with cloud companies as fellow providers of great service.
Q: Can you give me an example?
A: Well, there are so many examples, but here's a good one. One of our customers started out just needing operational support for their systems development environment. They were growing fast and needed to take the talent that was maintaining the tools and refocus them on the product development. We quickly set up a cloud (in just about 48 hours) and got them on a stable, upgraded release of their tools and connected them to a fast network. That was great, but shortly thereafter they experimented with using their cloud as a collection for telemetry data from their product inside of vehicles that were in action around the world. That quickly became an effort to sift through that data live and provide analytics analysis (something people are now calling "big data"). We went from just helping the construction to collecting performance data about the product, which we fed back to the developers to improve the product (something people are now calling "dev/ops"). Now they are talking about offering the data to the companies that buy and operate the vehicles themselves, turning a cost center into a profit center - all because of the cloud and the new business models it enables. Very exciting stuff!
Here are some ways to learn more about product development in the cloud with CloudOne and the IBM Rational product suite:
• Attend the free IBM Rational Automotive Industry Engineering Forum at Ohio State University on October 10, 2013 (http://tiny.cc/IEF_OSU_Auto)
• Attend the Electric Cloud Client Summit on October 14, 2013 in San Jose (http://www.electric-cloud.com/summit/)
• Attend the IBM Rational Automotive Symposium in Troy, Michigan on October 24 (http://engineering.sae.org/ibmevent)
• Attend IBM Innovate in Japan on October 28, 2013
• Please follow the ongoing discussion by joining/following this community - we’ll be holding a virtual roundtable with automotive experts here soon!
• Interested in knowing more? Visit www.oncloudone.net or contact your IBM Sales Representative
John McDonald is the Chief Executive Officer of CloudOne, the first IBM Business Partner to provide IBM Rational software development tools in the cloud through on-demand Software-as-a-Service licensing. Prior to joining CloudOne, John spent 20 years as an executive and leader in IBM, and was a part of IBM Software Group since its formation in the early 1990s. Outside of work, John is a lay minister and author of two local history books about Indianapolis, where he lives with his wife and family
Maureen Monte helps build successful teams and drive value for IBM clients by supporting IBM’s Rational Partner Ecosystem. She has worked in and around the automotive industry for nearly 20 years. Outside of IBM, Maureen studies martial arts, roots for the Detroit Tigers, and writes/speaks about self-leadership.