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Agile, continuous delivery models represent 'cultural shift for IT'

Clint Boulton | Aug. 18, 2015
CIOs say their software development models are evolving to incorporate more rapid, iterative delivery and deployment. This requires special talent management.

At engineering and construction company AECOM Technology, software development is comparable to how many companies build and upgrade mobile software. CIO Tom Peck says AECOM's agile development spans between the U.S. and Europe, where IT and business leaders develop 80 percent of a solution, and improve it over time from versions 1.0, to 1.1, 1.2 to 2.0 and so on. "It's all about trust and credibility" between IT and the business, Peck said.

These five companies are a small sample of corporations practicing agile methods. Gartner estimates that about 25 percent of Global 2000 companies are expected to adopt agile and DevOps methodologies by 2016, with tools to support the work becoming a $2.3 billion market by the end of this year.

How to manage talent in the era of agile development
Successful grooming of senior IT leaders who excel in strategic thinking and can influence business leaders is a key aspect of developing more agile processes, the CIOs say.

Eli Lilly uses an "office of the CIO," where Kamenz has delegated to key executives management of vendor sourcing, finances and other functional roles that support the delivery of IT to the business. Kamenz, who served in the office of the CIO while helping Marriott build out its global lodging strategy, says the office is important to helping her run the department. She's also reversing the company's outsourcing practice by hiring more senior leaders and engineers, and pairing them with business leaders to learn more about Lilly treatments for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other ailments.

Cisco's Jacoby employs a chief of staff as her trusted lieutenant, whom she regards as an "extension of me" to help take the pulse of the organization while she is busy with her daily duties. She says the chief of staff role is very challenging because the senior leadership team must also trust the person. "It takes a very special person to play that role," she says.

Perretta says State Street prizes experts in certain technical areas who can "go broad," and apply solutions that worked for previous problems to future challenges. AECOM's Peck says he cross-trains individuals by moving them into unfamiliar roles, including in different geographies, to make them more well-rounded. "I've done it several times and people have gone on to flourish," he says.


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