Companies understand that adaptation is essential to survival. Business processes change quickly and being ahead of the curve is important. For most businesses we’ll find the IT department controlling the core processes that run the day to day of the enterprise. However, IT is faced with ever-growing, market-wide pressures from which they are always seeking solutions. Software configuration and change management vendors are constantly changing to meet the needs of businesses. Companies that are willing to change may adopt the use of an enterprise software configuration solution. This choice for some companies is the difference between success and failure.
IT development teams are expected to deliver quality, bug-free code, reduce complexity around integration, Take the costs out of security, make innovations more timely, compelling and less expensive and offer software at costs commensurate with benefits received and measured by relevant metrics. Quality software that works as intended out of the box is a requirement not a goal. And to meet this requirement IT must be thorough in every stage of the design, development and deployment lifecycle of their software. Software configuration management products are addressing the needs of developers, IT managers and CIOs alike. SCM products help IT organizations reduce spending. These products help address the demand for IT to align with business needs that are usually caused by internal governance issues and external regulatory and standards compliance.
They can also reduce the complexity of integrating the work of GDD teams in multi-platform development environments. By simplifying the development process associated with complicated apps stress is taken away from IT development teams there by increasing work flow and over all productivity. SCM products provide a better method for reusing artifacts, meeting shorter development cycles and controlling and securing fast, reliable and remote access. By providing a system of actionable metrics and offering role-based views of all application development and maintenance projects SCM products allow for greater administrative visibility into IT. Companies that want to stay ahead are benefiting from integrated SCM solutions in order to adapt, control, streamline, monitor and improve IT business processes.
There are those in IT that view development as a single stage rather than multiple stages distinct from one another. This way of thinking has major disadvantages, such as, the lack of visibility and management of IT processes, people and assets. Limiting compliance with regulations and standards resulting in a slower time to market, increased business disruptions due to software defects and a lower ROI.
These problems can be greatly remedied by a process oriented SCM solution. By recognizing the limitations of version control in managing the software development lifecycle IT teams and individual developers can greatly reduce frustration in today’s complex and competitive environment.A version control system is great for keeping track of different versions of files but it’s terribly inadequate at providing the infrastructure needed for automating and enforcing software development practices.
Now let’s become more familiar with version control and its place in the development lifecycle. Version control is just one element in the design and deployment process of software. It gives the user a history of files or groups of files keeping track of who made changes, what they were and when they were made. If a bug is detected, version control allows source code to be closely inspected in order to discover which change or set of changes caused the error. Version control also allows for management of conflicting changes. If two separate developers edit the same lines of code or one deletes code that another entered a version control system can keep track of these changes aiding in a quick resolution.
Gate keeping is a more advanced function of a version control system. Although gate keeping requires a lot of manual oversight and can cause bottlenecks, it can be useful for keeping track of who is working on what and when. Overall, the cost of development and lack of efficiency results in an impact on the ROI of the project. Generally, version control products don’t offer accountability and traceability features which leaves a huge gap in regulated firms. And one of the biggest downside to version control products is the constant need for code workarounds, external plug-ins and continual revisions in order to keep up with developmental needs.
Version control is probably fine for one off projects but for complex projects and diverse development environments an SCM solution is the way to go. Both options offer check-out/ check-in support, version history, branching and tagging, IDE integration and change set support but an enterprise SCM will excel at multi-platform enterprise application inventory management. There are actually many advantages to a SCM solution. The user can enjoy a single point of observation and control across a multi-platform environment, concurrent and multi-team development, multiple release management, automated distribution and deployment, incident tracking, approval and authorization, role-based interfaces and management metrics and reporting.
Enterprise SCM solutions take over where version control products leave off, providing greater accountability and requirements management, more insight into the development process, increased automation, and better support for multi-team development. These features enhance productivity, decrease errors, and increase ROI.
Version control tools address only one very limited aspect of the software development lifecycle. In today’s competitive IT environment these tools fall short to say the least. It’s clear that developers and IT teams need SCM solutions but choosing the right one requires carful evaluation. Is there a defined, repeatable and automated process for promoting application components to their respective environments and how is it enforced? Answering these two questions will give you the insight needed to make a more accurate decision.
The more complex your IT environment is the more points of failure there are for development and release processes. This is why an ALM hub is a must have solution to monitor all the processes and people involved the application lifecycle. An ALM hub will minimize manual changes and seamlessly bring together systems and workflows there by maximizing productive collaboration. Enjoy anytime, anywhere mobile access, end to end process automation, error free deployments and point and click compliance reports offering new found levels of visibility.
The pressure is on for IT to meet the demands of business. Higher productivity and faster development time while facing budget constraints are a reality for IT teams everywhere. The rewards of implementing a SCM solution are increased visibility and management of IT processes, people and assets, ongoing assurance if regulatory and standards compliance, reduced business disruption and higher ROI. The benefits of an enterprise SCM solution easily outweighs the costs associated with losing data, releasing “buggy” data and failing to meet release deadlines. Today’s software development process must evolve to meet business demands.
Simple tools that were originally designed to fulfill relatively isolated software development tasks and projects are no longer adequate. Enterprise SCM solutions offer the means for aligning IT process with overall business needs.
Daniel Magid is Rocket’s IBM i solution leader and Director of the Rocket Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and DevOps lab. Having started his career at IBM in 1981 in the midrange computer division, Daniel brings to Rocket Software more than 30 years of experience in the IBM midrange marketplace. Prior to coming to Rocket as part of the acquisition of Aldon in 2011, Daniel was Aldon’s CEO and Chief Product Strategist. Daniel led the growth of Aldon from a small 4 person consulting company to the largest provider of ALM and DevOps solutions in the IBM i market. Daniel is a recognized expert in application development and DevOps in the IBM i market and a well-known presence at IBM i conferences.
Tags: change management, mobile application development, software services
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