Five Trends in Data and Software Development to Ensure Data-Driven Flexibility and Success

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Click to learn more about author Jeff Keyes.

Businesses across multiple industries and sectors are finding themselves delivering more and more software releases at a greater rate than ever before. There is now more technology in existence that requires updates to be rolled out continuously – and at very short notice should a complex issue arise. Business leaders, therefore, should be aware of the latest trends their teams are seeing increase in software development. Being flexible with these is the way forward for businesses to be more data driven with a more efficient and effective delivery pipeline.

1. Increasing Agility for Mission-Critical Systems

Being agile is no longer a luxury reserved only for the development process, as it can also work well with software projects where releases need to be delivered more frequently. For example, the largest software systems – such as that of Google or Facebook – will be required to deliver multiple times every single day. Agility enables these projects to become smaller, more frequent, automated, and have a reduced risk. In companies of this scale, having heavy ITIL-based release management tools can become impractical, and so introducing the ability for agile can assist with larger, more mission-critical systems.

2. Increasing Automation Across the Board

Automation is transforming every industry and area, including software development. Here, developers and their teams are increasingly able to deploy code to production through direct access, which has only been made possible thanks to the capability of provisioning virtual machines in cloud environments. Going one step further, organizations with internal clouds on OpenStack, direct access to automation tools for configuration management and software deployment relieves release managers of some of the more mundane tasks and allows them to focus on bridging the gap between autonomous deployments and efficient service delivery.

3. Increasing Distributions Means Increased Complexity

For the largest of websites, such as those for e-commerce or social media that are managing a vast amount of application needs, any software release can require the complex integration and accurate coordination of multiple independent systems. And as more enterprises are moving to a server-oriented architecture, software releases are functioning less and less as single release events. The impact of this is teams are having to keep on top of every release that is in progress and coordinate how these can work around and benefit others simultaneously – hence why being agile and using automation are also on the up.

4. Increasing Project Management Irons Out the Finer Details

The days of the Project Management Office (PMO) sitting in the background are over, as these team members are eager to get more involved with the actual product itself. Up until recently, PMOs’ roles may have been more restricted to planning strategies, prioritizing activities, allocating budgets, etc., but now they are increasingly required to become more agile to assist development teams in their day-to-day roles. Having team members alongside the developers that can track the product against business priorities and objectives – and being able to have a say in how the product does so – is slowly but surely becoming the norm.

5. Increasing Analytics to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Predictive analytics allow simulations of the delivery pipeline based on parameters and options available, therefore reducing the need to thrash the organization to find the path to improvement. Businesses are beginning to improve virtually, learning lessons through simulations and so, when they’re ready, will be in a good position to implement new releases that they can trust will work. Teams that can simulate improvements to their pipeline will be those that continuously improve faster.

The impact that these five trends are making in software development is spreading throughout the industry as businesses are learning that, more than anything, having flexibility is key. While each of these developments can have a range of different benefits, the ability to adapt and utilize the best working methods for each individual team is what will ultimately make a business more successful. No matter how the organization is delivering releases, release management and the tools for it need to be flexible enough to evolve, or the organization risks restricting its own potential.

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