Paving the way for the future
Everything in life tends to run in cycles. The intensity of the technology industry makes the extremes of these cycles more acute. In the current climate, development organizations must do more with less, and they continue to face the pressures of shortened product development cycles, complex technology infrastructures, and business pressures to build applications faster.
In the quest to lower their development costs, companies are taking a closer look at their development processes. While there is reluctance to make major expenditures in tools in today's market, a renewed focus on quality and efficiency can serve as a catalyst to create long-term process improvements with significant benefits.
With the sizable investments organizations have already made in their technology infrastructure, now is the time to focus on taking full advantage of those assets and fine-tuning them so that they can advance their business' capabilities and prepare for the future.
Web services is advancing this cause, with early adopters experiencing success with integrating data from disparate systems. To gain further benefits from Web services, organizations are taking a closer look at tools that enable them to catalog and manage components so that they can be repurposed and used in multiple applications.
In addition to better utilization of assets, another major point of contention is software quality. End-user tolerance for buggy software that disrupts their business operations is extremely low, as it should be. As software runs business-critical systems, a glitch can result in significant lost revenue, and drive your customers to your competitors in search of a better, more reliable system.
Testing throughout the development life cycle is imperative. While it's always been true that you can lower costs and improve reliability by capturing more mistakes earlier, the combination of business pressures and quality delivery imperatives makes this mandatory.
We're seeing testing earlier in the life cycle to ensure that it reflects design specifications, and meets business requirements. Testing is being conducted in the design phase to validate the technical architecture of applications. As the life cycle has become more complex, and you have different people interacting with one another during the process in new ways, workflow is becoming important to enable an effective process.
With the inevitable business cycles that the technology industry experiences, now is the time to prepare for the next wave. Too many corporate IT departments have put development process productivity improvements on the back-burner, and many have paid a stiff price with inefficient development that results in lost revenue and exorbitant development costs that drain on the bottom line. Now is a good time to take a close, hard look at your development tools and processes and take the measures necessary to streamline your operations and make the investments that will bear solid benefits for the future of your business.
Copyright 2002 Hurwitz Group Inc. This article is excerpted from TrendWatch, a weekly publication of Hurwitz Group Inc. - an analyst, research, and consulting firm. To register for a free email subscription, click here.
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