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Get faster

Kurt Bittner and Doug Washburn of Forrester Research | Dec. 23, 2015
Master modern app delivery to win in today’s digital marketplace.

formula 3 car racing

The tech space is flooded with vendors and thought leaders touting the need for two modes of IT delivery — one fast, one slow — often called “bi-modal.”

Nonsense. Forget any notion of two speeds — you just need to get faster.

For example, your company’s compelling mobile application relies on data housed in the legacy application that runs the business. Great user experiences require that all applications — not just cloud and mobile apps — be delivered faster.

This has a profound impact on your application strategy. Slow-mode IT is not going to enable your company to win in the age of the customer. But a business technology (BT) strategy — one focused on the processes, systems and technologies needed to win, serve and retain customers — will, because it is designed for speed and agility.

Your customers demand it — and your business priorities are shifting because of it. In fact, a 2015 Forrester Data study of global business leaders shows three customer-obsessed priorities at the top of the list: improving products/services, bettering the customer experience and addressing rising customer expectations.

Digital nirvana is fast-paced and cannot tolerate slow-mode IT. To meet and even exceed those customer expectations, you must master three dimensions of DevOps: at the top of the pyramid is people, at the base process and technology.

People

Once upon a time, siloed organizations focusing on specialized roles operated in relative isolation from one another. Today, delivering great customer experiences requires organizations to closely and seamlessly collaborate across roles. The good news is that your business is ready to fight back the disruptors; in fact, Forrester predicts that 2016 is the year customer-obsessed business leaders shed cumbersome processes for agile ones that work at the pace of dynamic, empowered customers.

Flat, lean, responsive organizations deliver faster. Organizing cross-functional product teams that are dedicated to the project eliminates handoffs and wait time that cause delays and increase cost. Eliminating role redundancy will get you to the finish line faster, too, and it’s a good opportunity for team members to broaden and develop skills so that the team is increasingly self-supporting the application delivery cycle.

Process

Traditional delivery methods are rife with handoffs and lag time waiting for things to get done. DevOps shatters bottlenecks and accelerates delivery by using lean practices like value stream mapping to see where those bottlenecks, unnecessary handoffs and waste occur, providing a road map for improvement. Different teams will have different constraints and bottlenecks and will need to improve in different areas. Focusing on two-speed IT obscures this; everyone needs to improve, just in different ways.

 

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