|By Noel Wurst||
|January 30, 2014 09:25 AM EST||
In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays the roll of Phil Connors, a regular Joe who wakes up each day to find out that he is reliving February 2nd all over again—and he’s the only one aware of the time loop. To take advantage of this phenomenon, knowing that there will be no long-term consequences to his actions, Connors seduces women, steals money, drives recklessly and even ends up in jail. The next morning, all is back to normal, and he starts his antics again.
Connors also repeatedly attempts, and subsequently fails, to get closer to Rita, a love interest of his. The combination of the same day’s repetition and Connors’ futile attempts set up the classic definition of insanity—doing the exact same things over and over but expecting different outcomes.
In today’s hyper-competitive markets, enterprise software development teams who suffer a lack of innovation find themselves stuck in their own Groundhog Days. In order to stay competitive and relevant, companies need to innovate faster and change to adapt to market demand quicker than ever before. Enterprises today compete on differentiated products and services and do so by adopting more efficient processes. Those that fail to innovate, change, or modernize and optimize existing applications will learn more than an economic lesson—they risk the demise of the entire business.
Rapid innovation is at the underpinning of the enterprise competitive advantage. Whether a change in process to your business applications, developing new products and services or consolidation/modernization of existing systems—the pace of innovation and quality of software released is the differentiating factor to enterprise success.
So, why is innovating so darn difficult? Here’s a hint; it's all about development environments.
Technology is delivered through a software lifecycle that is often measured by cycle time, defined as the amount of time it takes for a feature to move from concept to customer value. In a perfect world, features move smoothly from concept to value. But, the reality is that with accelerated release cycles, quality suffers. An acceptable level of quality is always important prior to releasing an application to production, but low quality is often tolerated in an effort to decrease cycle time in order to get application releases out on time and within budget. Most enterprises that are trying to innovate faster are trying to adopt iterative development, agile, scrum, continuous integration, continuous delivery & devops in an effort to ensure quality while significantly decreasing cycle time.
Here lies the fundamental issue that plagues most organizations.
The anchor drag on cycle time is almost always idle time or any delay in the above mentioned processes. Removing idle time should be the focus of all application development executives, as the reduction of idle time is always within their control and enables them to reduce cycle time and accelerate innovation to drive the competitive advantage to the business. But, like Phil Connors, most enterprises do the same things over again and again, expecting different outcomes. The only change they may make is putting more people on projects, spending more on expensive on-premise infrastructure, and implementing idealistic processes—all in an effort to squeeze a few more days from release cycles.
Many enterprises fail to see that the single largest cause of idle time in software projects is shared environments. Typically on-premise environments for dev/test need to be scheduled, may not be available when needed and provide no value to keep around when not in use. While shared software project resources can include people, in high-priority projects, environments are generally what causes the greatest amount of contention.
All software projects require environments that typically include development environments, test environments, user acceptance environments and production. Each environment consists of four layers:
1. Infrastructure & OS
2. Software libraries to support the application
3. Application binaries
4. Application configuration files
Due to the sensitivity of the application to changes in any of the four tiers, consistency across all environments is critical to identifying defects sooner. When environments are not identical, idle time is introduced and cycle time is increased. Sharing environments for any software project will create idle time and disrupt the SDLC. As a result, innovation, velocity, and quality suffer..
Enterprises that leverage SaaS-based environments not only can eliminate idle time, and the developer time wasted managing and maintaining environments—they dramatically impact the time to delivery, and overall release quality. Enabling development teams the ability to self-provision, replicate, share and collaborate on environments as needed greatly removes the inefficiencies and interdependencies caused by environment contention.
One of Phil Conner’s most memorable lines from Groundhog Day is when he asks his buddies, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing you did mattered?” For enterprises that find themselves in a similar predicament, the answer is easy—start using SaaS-based environments for dev/test. Take advantage of the elasticity, scalability and on-demand access of SaaS-based environments. Enterprise grade solutions exist that address security concerns, provide self-service to development teams and complete visibility and control for IT over resource utilization. Believing that on-premise infrastructure is going to help you innovate develop, test, and release quality applications faster is pure insanity.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,018
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 911
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
Nov. 26, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 986
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 988
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 26, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 934
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 661
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 657
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 650
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,021
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 988
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,473
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
Nov. 25, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,141
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,229
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,281
"Verizon offers public cloud, virtual private cloud as well as private cloud on-premises - many different alternatives. Verizon's deep knowledge in applications and the fact that we are responsible for applications that make call outs to other systems. Those systems and those resources may not be in Verizon Cloud, we understand at the end of the day it's going to be federated," explained Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,340
"For the past 4 years we have been working mainly to export. For the last 3 or 4 years the main market was Russia. In the past year we have been working to expand our footprint in Europe and the United States," explained Andris Gailitis, CEO of DEAC, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 25, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,123
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,318
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,010
"Cloud consumption is something we envision at Solgenia. That is trying to let the cloud spread to the user as a consumption, as utility computing. We want to allow the people to just pay for what they use, not a subscription model," explained Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 25, 2014 06:15 PM EST Reads: 985
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,322