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HP Software's community for IT leaders // November 2013
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3 forces driving Agile deeper into the enterprise

Agile is more important than ever. Fortunately, it’s getting easier to explain why to your CIO.

The bottom line

What: The new, user-focused style of IT makes Agile more essential to apps than ever.
Why: Mobility and Big Data are about speed to innovation—which Agile provides—and cloud fuels Agile success.
More: To stay on top of the trend, start at the Application Lifecycle Management page.

Most enterprises have adopted Agile development in some form and to some degree, but some IT organizations still resist the dramatic change from waterfall to scrum. Some worry that it’s a fad. Others have a hard time with the cultural change that Agile requires. Others just don’t understand it. But in a user-centric world, Agile plays an increasingly vital role.
 
For applications leaders looking to advocate for greater adoption of Agile in the enterprise, three key trends are on their side. Here’s how to have the conversations about the critical role that Agile must play in development if organizations are to compete in a world where users demand speed, quality, and a great experience.

Trend no. 1: Mobile

Increasingly, mobile is becoming the face of the enterprise. This trend is confirmed by analyst firm Gartner’s prediction that, by 2015, mobile app projects for smartphones and tablets will outnumber those for PCs by a 4:1 ratio. Mobile is quickly becoming the primary way that customers and employees interact with the business, and IT can’t afford to not offer a great mobile experience. When customers don’t have the newest features and functionality they demand, they defect to competitors. When employees don’t have the tools they need, a quick search on Google typically reveals a SaaS solution that they can procure on their own, contributing to the shadow IT plague.
 
The sheer speed necessary for mobile development has pushed many enterprises toward Agile methodologies. Agile and mobile are an ideal fit, because Agile enables all of the things that mobile users demand: shorter time-to-market, frequent enhancements and fixes, and better focus on the customer.
 
Mobile doesn’t carry the burden of legacy systems and processes that other development projects might have, so mobile is the perfect place to start using Agile. Talk to the LOBs about the mobile projects they need, and then take your case to the CIO. Mobile demands the kind of responsiveness that only Agile can deliver.

Trend no. 2: Cloud

Organizations can apply every Agile technique to train developers, improve processes, and transform the culture—only to hit operational delays when it comes to provisioning the right dev and test environments. Agile is about empowering the team that does the work, and removing latencies and handoffs. That’s why cloud and automation is vital: it allows developers and testers to stand up on-demand environments without those latencies, easing a major point of friction between development teams and operations.
 
Extend the gains of adopting sprints, standup meetings, and closer collaboration with the business by talking to your ops counterparts about the cloud. Discuss the best ways to enable automated environments and SaaS-based tools that can reduce latencies, ease the administrative overhead on both sides, and let you focus on providing customer value, faster.

Trend no. 3: Big Data

Embedded within customers’ clicks and comments is a wealth of information about what they want and don’t want. Today, that kind of information is pouring into the enterprise at an unprecedented speed, and organizations are hungry for a way to take advantage of the valuable intelligence hidden within.
 
Big Data is giving rise to technologies that enable connected intelligence: combining data from a wide variety of sources—such as historical data, purchase patterns, and preferences—to draw new insights. But without Agile processes in place, what good is a great idea in a fast-moving marketplace? It’s the ability to act quickly on new intelligence that makes a business’s investments in Big Data analytics pay off.
 
Forge relationships with the lines of business driving analytics investment, and make sure your CIO and business leaders see the connection between Big Data and Agile’s ability to act on it.

The time is right to drive Agile deeper into the enterprise

A user-centric world demands responsiveness, and IT organizations are realizing that nothing enables responsiveness like Agile. Fortunately, the major trends shaking up the IT world today—mobile, cloud, and Big Data—all make the case for the kind of fast, iterative development that Agile enables.

For more on maximizing Agile in your enterprise, see the Application Lifecycle Management page.


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