In the same way that water, power, and roads help us to go about our daily lives, digital infrastructure is the foundation of our digital lives. This is because they help understand the vast array of data that engulfs us every day.
Agile development and outsourcing are in fashion nowadays. Why is this case, and what kind of digital infrastructure does this require? Read on to find out.
A Short History of Business Software
A long time back, business software was primarily created to automate business processes. While those processes would somehow change, the core processes pretty much have remained the same. Good examples of such processes are scheduling accounting systems, and CRM products, among others.
Today, in addition to automating business processes, the software is now part of the product, and in some cases, is the actual product. In addition to that, the software is mainly an online service. Examples of these are smart room thermostats, financial services, and online banking. In social media, sites such as Facebook and Tindr are the actual products.
How Products and Markets Affect Each Other
Every product changes the market that uses it. Just consider how cars have changed the way people travel and how it influences where they live. The software is the same. However, the fact that the software world is always changing means that the products we use or want to use also change.
There is an interplay between supply and demand in this regard. For example, do people have breakfast out of the house often because there are more opportunities to do so? Or is it that the number of breakfast places increases because people are going out more? It is not clear, which causes the other.
Now that software is almost always the product, it becomes essential to adapt it to the market needs. As a developer, you affect the world that uses the software in unpredictable ways. In the same way, the world that uses your software affects you as well as the software you build.
In this dance between the software and the market, the faster the change, the better.
This is why Agile development methodology helps to prioritize initiatives and improve productivity. Between an idea and its realization, there should only be two weeks, not two years if the product can get to market faster than two weeks, the better.
Digital Infrastructure Required for Agile Development
The primary objective of digital infrastructure is to enable developers to deploy application functionality. In the past, the quality of digital infrastructure was measured by the number of users it could support. Developers used to talk in terms of the number of users the system could support concurrently.
However, Agile project management comes with a new goal: increasing feature velocity. This refers to the speed with which new features can be deployed. With agile, the time between getting an idea of a feature and deploying it to a massive user base is shorter than the time the environment has to change.
As such, your digital infrastructure should support this velocity rather than be a bottleneck. It should have automatic testing, the ability to quickly scale up and down, and manage itself with as little manual intervention as possible.
Conclusion: Why Agile Development Needs Cloud Computing
Agile development needs cloud computing. The primary characteristics of cloud computing are elastic, fast, and self-serving provisioning of resources. That is the bread and butter of agile development. This allows developers to do new things, such as improve security. By responding faster to new functional requirements, developers can also respond more quickly to security issues.