by Walker Royce
Chief Software Economist, IBM Rational software
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.
As you think about your organization, what is the biggest challenge you are facing NOW? What is NEXT if you want to innovate and set yourself apart from the competition?
These issues are why our IBM Innovate 2012 conference theme is “Next Now.” If you’re still undecided about attending this year’s conference in Orlando, Florida, from June 4 to 7, consider this: We’ll be addressing the biggest challenge facing software and systems delivery teams: accelerating software delivery cycles. Here are the top five challenges facing software and systems team, which will be part of our keynote presentations and technical tracks at the conference:
- Technology is now the #1 concern for most businesses.
This is perhaps the most striking result of IBM’s recent CEO study. And technology means software, the engine that drives business outcomes. Today’s macro business and technology trends (cloud, mobile, analytics, etc.) necessitate better lifecycle management of software and systems. Software innovation = business innovation, and accelerating software delivery is the key to business success.
- We must balance the needs and capabilities of practitioners and stakeholders.
We must provide management with improved steering mechanisms (measurement control and economic governance) and enable practitioners with more freedom to innovate (through automation, process enactment, and change freedom, complexity management, reduced scrap and rework, etc). Today, management governance and practitioner freedom are competing forces. We need a platform that integrates governance and freedom so they are complementary, not competitive. The goal is less overhead and more freedom for practitioners AS WELL AS more predictable, well-governed outcomes for stakeholders.
- We must rely on more honest collaboration across the lifecycle. This allows better steering, smarter development analytics, and earlier resolution of uncertainties. Leading enterprises have optimized the critical software development operations through metrics, automated instrumentation, and drillable dashboards. They’ve gone from a typical two-week build cycle to a daily build cycles. This has been enabled by real time automation of measurement and reporting, which allows data collection directly from the engineering code and test base so practitioners spend less time in status reporting and more time in code and test.
- We must build continuously evolving systems, products, and applications.
Which means the improvements in integration, collaboration, and optimization must span the broader software supply chain. The systems and software lifecycle is expanding. There are more stakeholders, more roles in development, deployment, manufacturing, and operations. The lifecycle now extends further back into design and further forward into operations. We need to bridge the gaps in the lifecycle with solutions in analytics, social business and agility@scale.
- We need more engineering, less overhead.
Accelerated delivery requires improvements in our internal cycle times through automation and integration of tools, data, and change management. Continuous delivery capabilities -- including test-driven development, model-based systems engineering, continuous deployment, transparency, and measurement -- are available NOW in IBM's lifecycle platform, and we’d like to show you how our current platform integration, team collaboration, and optimized process can improve your team’s productivity quality of products, all leading to better business outcomes.
At Innovate, we’ll illustrate how automating overhead tasks leads to more freedom for accelerated software delivery and better instrumentation and control. And our announcements will provide details on how you can improve the breadth of integration, collaboration, and optimization across a broader IT and systems delivery lifecycle.
I look forward to meeting you there.
About the author
Walker Royce is the Chief Software Economist for IBM Rational. He joined Rational in 1994 and served as Vice President of Professional Services from 1997 to 2003. He has managed large software engineering projects, consulted with a broad spectrum of IBM’s worldwide customer base, and developed a software management approach that exploits an iterative life cycle, industry best practices, and architecture-first priorities. He is the author of Software ProjectManagement: A Unified Framework (Addison-Wesley, 1998).