|By Andreas Grabner||
|November 30, 2016 12:00 PM EST||
Transformation to Continuous Innovation and Optimization
Businesses have always had to transform to find better and more efficient ways to deliver value faster to their users, customers or consumers. The motivating factors are shorter lead times, automated and streamlined value flow, as well as reduction of overall costs and bound capital, requiring enterprises to transition to a continuous innovation and optimization model.
Prominent examples can be found when studying the last decades in the automobile industry with Toyota and their way of optimizing and automating their end-to-end manufacturing process. It is also the most referenced story I hear when researching IT and Digital Transformation stories. The DevOps movement as well as literature around Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment all draw the analogies to the manufacturing world and explain what the software industry can learn from it. Studies, such as the Puppet Labs State of DevOps Report conducted with Gene Kim and others - show that it boosts business outcome:
Proof and motivation for many IT organizations to transform their software delivery processes.
Besides the reference to Toyota I personally keep referencing one other industry that has transformed significantly over the past 10 to 15 years, and had an impact on most of us. It is the photography industry, and the digital transformation it experienced. The "Lead Time" from picture taken until holding the print in your hand used to be weeks or even months. This ihas been reduced to seconds with our mobile phones or digital cameras. I typically use this story as an example of how our software delivery process has already, or is about to, change for many companies that rely on software to power their business. It boils down to faster lead times but most importantly it will lead to continuously innovating and optimizing the value generation process for our end users.
Waterfall Model with Lead Time Measured in Weeks or Months
I am sure most of you remember the times when you had your Kodak (or other vendor) camera (#1). You went on a family trip and started taking pictures. You were really selective in the pictures you took because you only had 24 image per film roll. If the film roll wasn't full after the trip you also didn't just waste the remaining photos. Instead you waited for the next trip to finally fill up that roll with 24 pictures (#2). That film roll was dropped at the store that developed the film (#3). Days after that - and weeks or even months after taking the first pictures - it was finally time to remember the good times we had. Finally seeing that picture where we kissed our smiling baby girl (#4).
Unfortunately, this was often the moment where we realized that most of the pictures didn't turn out that great, the kid didn't smile (#5) but actually cried as we forced it to be happy in that scene. This "reality check" is feedback that comes far too late. It is hard to go back and redo that picture we so desperately wanted - leaving us with frustration and potentially an empty photo album (#6):
Taking pictures back in the days feels like a slow and old fashioned way of developing software: Big bang releases with late and often frustrating feedback
Needless to say that this reminds me of the waterfall development model. We pack "24 Features in a Box". It takes weeks or months to develop until we get the feedback from our users on whether we actually built something of value!
CIO (Continuous Innovation and Optimization) with Lead Time Measured in Minutes
Now let's think about how taking pictures has "transformed" since the advent of digital cameras, but more so - with the rise of smart phones, photo apps and digital distribution channels:
If I go out for a hike with my girlfriend she is very quick to take pictures. Because the feedback about image quality (and other characteristics) is instant, she can immediately decide whether to keep or delete the image.(#1). She is not a trained photographer, but thanks to the photo apps she can apply a variety of automatic photo optimizations (#2) such as light filters. These photo app developers basically automated the work that a professional photographer would do manually - thus making every user of their apps to "photo experts".
Instead of waiting for the next family reunion or party to show off the pictures she can immediately "deploy it to production" - which in her case means: posting it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (#3).
Minutes after taking the first picture she receives feedback from her friends and family on whether they like or dislike it, or whether they want her to take more pictures from that scene. This instant feedback loop allows her to immediately react to what her followers expect from her. And because she is still at that scene it is easy to do.
Delivering value through software has to become as instant as posting a picture on Instagram - including the close feedback loop back to engineering
I hope you found this analogy useful to seeing the direction software engineering is heading. Instead of big bang releases, with very late feedback, we must think of small incremental value-adds that we deliver instantly, capture feedback and optimize, until we achieved optimum user satisfaction. This reduces lead time from months to minutes. It also allows us to easily course correct our actions if we learn early on that our users are simply not interested in certain features, or shift priorities and resources to those features that our users really appear to prefer.
Click here for the full article.
"Qosmos has launched L7Viewer, a network traffic analysis tool, so it analyzes all the traffic between the virtual machine and the data center and the virtual machine and the external world," stated Sebastien Synold, Product Line Manager at Qosmos, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 602
"We are a modern development application platform and we have a suite of products that allow you to application release automation, we do version control, and we do application life cycle management," explained Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 746
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,112
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,664
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 748
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 369
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 4, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 891
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Dec. 4, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 2,194
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Dec. 4, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 5,727
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 10:45 AM EST Reads: 872
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 4, 2016 09:45 AM EST Reads: 542
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
Dec. 4, 2016 09:45 AM EST Reads: 870
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Dec. 4, 2016 09:30 AM EST Reads: 796
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 4, 2016 09:30 AM EST Reads: 604
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Dec. 4, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 568