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Scaling in an application development environment can take many different shapes and forms. For the purposes of this blog, let’s agree that scaling implies:
Now that we’ve set the stage…our research suggests that over 90 percent of enterprises have adopted some form of Agile, and 63 percent believe DevOps is becoming a de facto delivery model. Having tasted initial success, most enterprises plan to scale their Agile/DevOps adoption.
The first thing we need to address here is the confusion. Does increasing adoption imply scaling?
Purists may argue that scaling across different projects isn’t really scaling unless they are part of the same program. This is because scaling by its very nature creates resource constraints, planning issues, increased overhead, and entropy. However, the resource constraints primarily relate to shared assets, not individual teams. So, if team A on one program and team B on another both adopt Agile/DevOps, neither team will be meaningfully impacted. Both can have their owns tools, processes, talent, and governance models. This all implies that this type of scaling isn’t really challenging. But, such a technical definition of scaling is of no value to enterprises. If different projects/programs within the organization adopt Agile and DevOps, they should just call it scaling. Doing so makes it easier and more straightforward.
The big question is, can – and should — Agile/DevOps be scaled?
Some people argue that scaling these delivery models negates the core reasons that Agile was developed in the first place: that they should thrive on micro teams’ freedom to have their own rhythm and velocity to release code as fast as they can, instead of getting bogged down in non-core tasks like documentation and meetings overload.
While this argument is solid in some respects, it doesn’t consider broader negative enterprise impacts. The increasingly complex nature of software requires multiple teams to collaborate. If they don’t, the “Agile/DevOps islands” that work at their own pace, with their own methods and KPIs, cannot deliver against the required cost, quality, or consistent user experience. For example, talent fungibility is the first challenge. Enterprises end up buying many software licenses, using various open source tools, and building custom pipelines. But because each team defines its own customization to tools and processes, it’s difficult to hand over to new employees when needed.
So, why is scaling important?
Scaling delivers higher efficiency and outcome predictability, especially when the software is complex. It also tells the enterprise whether it is, or isn’t, doing Agile/DevOps right. The teams take pride in measuring themselves on the outcomes they deliver. But they often are poorly run and hide their inefficiencies through short cuts. This ends up impacting employees’ work-life balance, dents technical and managerial skill development, increases overall software delivery costs, and may cause regulatory and compliance issues.
What’s our verdict on scaling Agile/DevOps?
We think it makes sense most of the time. But most large enterprises should approach it in a methodical manner and follow a clear transitioning and measurement process. The caveat is that enterprise-wide scale may not always be appropriate or advantageous. Enterprises must consider the talent model, tools investments, service delivery methods, the existence of a platform that provides common services (e.g., authentication, APIs, provisioning, and templates,) and flexibility for the teams to leverage tool sets they are comfortable with.
Scaling is not about driving standardization across Agile/DevOps. It’s about building a broader framework to help Agile/DevOps teams drive consistency where and when possible. Our research on how to scale Agile/DevOps without complicating may help you drive the outcomes you expect.
What has been your experience scaling Agile/DevOps adoption? Please contact me to share your thoughts.
Wipro has won a $100 million, five-year integrated outsourcing contract from German reinsurer Munich Re that involves infrastructure management services and application development. TCS was the other major contender for the deal.
Jimit Arora, who leads US-based advisory Everest Group’s IT services research practice, said he has witnessed increased investments from insurers in trying to drive end-to-end transformation of their technology estates.
25% of the IOT start-ups analyzed had been acquired by larger players between 2013 and 2017; they share these key characteristics
Enterprise executives say continuous innovation based on collaboration and proof of innovation are most important aspects of their approach of innovation
Enterprises define disruptive innovation as transformation; they rate business model transformation, improved functionality, and better user experience as most disruptive
New MACRA policies will stimulate IT investments as healthcare providers seek to document quality of care and ramp up patient engagement under new Medicare reimbursement model.
By 2020, healthcare providers will more than double their spending on technology services, which represents an incremental opportunity of over US$9 billion dollars for the healthcare IT outsourcing (ITO) market, according to Everest Group, a consulting and research firm focused on strategic IT, business services and sourcing. The healthcare provider segment is poised to be one of the fastest growing segments in the healthcare IT services market in coming years.
Accelerated IT investments on the part of healthcare providers will be driven in large part by new reimbursement policies taking effect under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Under MACRA, providers will earn more or less depending on the quality and effectiveness of the care they provide. As a result, healthcare providers will continue investing heavily in technology that supports initiatives such as compliance, legacy modernization, electronic health records (EHR) and patient engagement.
“MACRA encourages ongoing technology adoption by US healthcare providers by mandating specific tech-related measures,” said Abhishek Singh, practice director of Information Technology Services at Everest Group. “This will translate directly into four IT investment trends we’ll see develop over the course of the next 24 months. First, performance improvement and cost takeout will be a strategic focus; both are critical for compliance and to raise capital from the market. Second, patient engagement will drive the differentiation strategy. Third, we’ll see a growing urgency for data security. And, finally, we’ll see a market crying out for interoperability, nimbleness and innovation with respect to EHR.”
These results and other findings are explored in a recently published Everest Group report: “IT Outsourcing in the Healthcare Provider Industry – Annual Report 2016: The Big Bang MACRA-economic Theory of Provider IT Transformation.”
The full report provides an overview of the ITO market for the healthcare provider industry, which comprises large health systems, stand-alone hospitals and clinics, pharmacists, physician practices and diagnostic laboratories. Everest Group analyzes the current trends and future outlook of large, multi-year ITO relationships in the provider market, covering market dynamics, the current state of the market, and the future state of the provider IT industry.
Other key findings: