I just heard of a new beta HP software service called Agile Manager. In beta through November 30, 2012.
HP Agile Manager is a SaaS-based solution for organizing, planning and executing agile projects. It is purpose-built and designed specifically to serve agile teams. It leverages a native cloud architecture for instant-on access and boasts a clean, intuitive design offering technology innovations that minimize latency, aids the adoption of agile practices and fosters continuous improvement. There is even an Agile Manager support community to collaborate with others learning about the service.
Some key features:
- Advanced visualization for easy planning, task allocation, and capacity management
- Comprehensive analytics and real-time visibility into code, quality, and progress
- Seamless IDE integration so developers can work in the environment they prefer
- Insight across projects, teams, and geographies to successfully scale agile efforts
I’ve not had my hands on it yet myself, but it does sound interesting, since I’ve been using agile techniques since long before the term agile was applied to software development.
I recently switch my smartphone over to an ATT Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. This is a very impressive, capable and versatile device. I’ve only started to delve into writing software for it, since my background is more Windows mobile than Android.
I had one of the early Windows mobile devices back in the early part of this century (~2001) and used it to watch movies, read books, send emails… So I was a bit surprised to see a post from Mike Lachtanski saying that Smartphone video-viewing isn’t ready for prime time.
I’m taking an on-line course from Coursera on gamification right now and watch most of the lectures on my smartphone – while on the treadmill or stationary bike. It may be that I am just more tolerant than most of the small screen, but I love the ability to consume media anywhere.
Since smartphones are the computer we have with us all the time, they are the target enterprise organizations should use for first deployment of business functionality. Mobile devices can augment our capabilities and take latency out of our response to events. The BYOD movement has complicated the development and deployment but with modern development tools, it’s well within the reach of almost any organization. With SaaS, we are likely to see that the SMB market will have mobile capabilities early (if not first) since it will be backed into the services
I was talking with someone about the problems facing the CIOs of the future. With all the emphasis on consumerization and more recently Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in IT, the enterprise environment of the future could easily turn into a Bring Your Own Service (BYOS) to work (naturally when I did a Google search someone had already coined BYOS).
I mentioned a few weeks ago that a technical leader for large global services organization said that all applications will be pulled together by end users in the future – I hope he was just exaggerating by the way. He clearly sees this BYOS world as something he is planning on. His thinking though was still limited to IT.
If we even get close to this kind of environment where users create tools and relationships, then leave the organization (or even move on within the organization) and expect others to support what they built (we’ve seen before with Excel and Microsoft Access – both extremely useful tools), the IT team could easily end up being forced to support something that was done off the cuff by amateurs and then evolved into a mission critical tool. Can this happen with other parts of the business as well?
It the past I would have said that it was an enterprise governance issue. Now I wonder if it is more of an architecture issue. Can we architect flexibility into the system so that it is easier to develop, monitor and more importantly maintain these kinds of systems? I doubt that anything that smacks of a peer review will be supported by the user community.
As IT organizations look to a future of greater service orientation, they should look for service orientation of the enterprise as a whole on not just IT. IT has cloud and SaaS as examples from its domain but service orientation techniques can be broadened to other parts of the business. In the future we may not be talking about IT devices or bringing LinkedIn information services into the enterprise but other non-core services like manufacturing, distribution, HR… depending on the organization.
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One slide that was used in HP Discover last week quite a bit was this one:
It shows how technology has shifted since the dawn of the Information Technology. These changes are not likely to slow down because it is all fueled by exponential technology growth.
It is about the unimaginable change that is possible when driven by exponential growth. The story starts with the man who invented chess. When he showed the king of India the game, the king was so entertained and excited by the game that he told the man he’d give him anything he asked for – within reason.
The man made what appeared to be a simple request. He asked that every year for the next 64 years (the number of squares on a chess board) a few grains of rice in the following manner: the king was to provide a single grain of rice on the first chess square and double it every following year.
The king quickly agreed.
The first year the inventor received 1 grain, the second 2, the third 4… It doesn’t get interesting until you cross over into the 2nd half of the board.
On the 23rd square we are talking about 8M grains. A still reasonable amount of rice, that can be delivered by a small field of rice. At the next square, when crossing over to the 2nd half, the king finally took notice, because now it would start impacting his grain inventory. The king realized by the time they would reach the end of the board, it would have required enough rice to cover all of India one meter thick with rice. He’d been had and the inventor’s head was soon cut off and the rice deliveries were no longer a problem.
I bring this up because all these exponential trends that we’ve been taking advantage of in IT, like Moore’s law, Edholm’s law…, are now reaching into the 2nd half of the board. We’re the ones who need to understand and take advantage of the change since it is quite different than what we’ve seen to date.
How many of you have already felt the constraints of your own thinking getting in the way of technology adoption? I know I for one need to take a step back every once in a while and say “what does this really mean?”
We are entering into a different world where there is an abundance of data – with all the sensors and mobile devices… We don’t worry as much about if the data is available, but more about what we can do with it. For those people who believe that data is king, it can be a rude awakening when they realize that in a world of abundant data, having more of it is worthless.
We don’t worry as much about if we can transport the data to the processing location. The networking is typically there, although it may still cost more than we wish.
With cloud computing, we have the resources to crunch all that data into something useful.
Additionally, our access to software capabilities is more than we’ve ever seen before as instantiated in the phase – there’s an app for that. For businesses that may be SaaS, Open Source, COTS…
For most businesses though the systems were designed with a very constrained view of the world. They were based on scarcity of data, computing… and it is time to take a step back and really look at that portfolio of applications for what they are really good at and how they add value.
Peter Kretzman in his post about the death of the CIO says that we have all heard quotes like:
“Users can go out and get their own technology now; they don’t need IT to do it for them. End-users are now IT-savvy, and can fend for themselves. They’ll bring their own devices (BYOD); they don’t need or want IT to provide devices for them. They’ll procure the services they need and want from the various SaaS offerings in the cloud or from outsourced vendors, and they’ll handle it all themselves.”
But just because we’ve heard them doesn’t make it true. When you talk to people about this kind of sentiment, it ultimately gets expressed as the question: “Who needs a CIO anymore?” It can even go further to: “Who needs an IT department at all anymore? “
In Kretzman’s post, he goes on to talk about how, “this frequent linking of cloud and IT consumerization to the looming demise of the CIO and IT is not just misguided, but actually gets it completely backwards.”
There are definitely changes taking place to the underlying technology that fuels IT. I agree that the off-loading of some of this effort (that is no longer valued by the enterprise) should free up the IT organization to focus on what is actually important to the bottom line.
Some of the elements that were viewed as “technical” are not as much of a differentiator as they used to be. Agile CIOs are making adjustments. The fact remains that all the new value generation efforts (social, mobile and analytics) are enabled by technology – that is undeniable.
These enablers require a degree of discipline (security, data integration, 3rd party management…). Even if hardware support and some of the value enabling software disappears into a service, the business is still left with everything else needed to integrate the activities and deliver value. If it is or isn’t called IT or the role is called the CIO; it is irrelevant – skilled personnel that understand what is required will still be needed.