Altabel Group's Blog

Archive for October 2011

According to Gartner’s predictions, by 2012, 50% of traveling workers will leave their notebooks at home in favor of other devices such as iPad, Tablets, and Smartphones.

By 2012, 80% of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology. Many open-source technologies are mature, stable and well supported. Open Source is here to stay. Such as: specific applications such as Gimp (GIMP.ORG) which are now contenders for the commercial market. Look at the CRM market for good open source examples.

By 2012, at least one-third of business application software spending will be as service subscription instead of as product license (SaaS). The web will allow SaaS providers to compete worldwide against established players. Cloud computing & SaaS will be a big push this year – Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, etc are all moving in that directions. I think this will be big for development projects – many organizations will be showing Proof of Concepts with it — and it offers an option to crowded data centers. This type of development will go in conjunction with the changing view of Desktop platforms to the new alternative devices.

Personally, I don’t subscribe to Gartner’s views since they get it close 33% of the time. The OSS trend has been happening for 10 years now, the mobile trend has been visible for some 3-4 years now, and the service oriented trend has been visible for some 8 years now. They have little forward thinking.

In my opinion right now the trend is towards mobile. If you are a developer and you are not developing your application to run on mobile devices, you are behind. IOS, Android, Mac OSX, and Linux are the targets developers need to focus upon.

The next top trend is HTML5 which lends itself to the cross-platform need above. HTML5 still has a fair amount of shortcomings from a consumer perspective, but will solve those when the applications truly require the missing functionality.

Finally, the consumer markets are hot. Enterprise business continues to trudge along, but if you look around consumerization is everywhere.

So in summary, the trends are mobile/cross platform, HTML5/CSS3, and consumer focused software.

One last moment to think about. The software market is changing rapidly, a far faster pace than Moore’s law predicts. Hardware is also changing rapidly – ARM has changed the mobile industry and is about to change a lot more in the coming months. Software developers need to be looking much further ahead than Gartner just to keep up.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Answers to this question will depend on the organization type. If you are into purely IT organization (i.e. Software development) then the prioritization in technology is absolutely correct. But if we’re talking about IT divisions in other organizations (i.e. large manufacturing firms, FMCG, etc) then the priority will be changed. Since entire technology now in era of transforming into SaS and cloud base architecture I think it will be much better to have skills in that area. Because IT divisions is seeking for IT professionals who have set of skills in SaS and cloud.

Here are the IT skills that will be in demand in 2012 according to Computerworld’s annual Forecast survey:

1. Programming and Application Development – This covers the gamut from website development to upgrading internal systems and meeting the needs of mobile users.
2. Project Management (but with a twist) – The twist is that companies are not going to just be looking for people who can oversee and monitor projects. They also want people who can identify users’ needs and translate them for the IT staffers – the increasingly popular business analysts.
3. Help Desk/Technical Support – Mobile operating systems have added a new dimension to help desk and tech support.
4. Networking – This demand is being fueled partially by virtualization and cloud computing projects. The survey also revealed that execs will be looking for people with VMware and Citrix experience.
5. Business Intelligence – A shift in many companies, from cost savings to investing in technology. That will be nice if it pans out that way.
6. Data Center – Virtualization and the Cloud could also be behind the increased need for IT professionals with backgrounds in data center operations and systems integration.
7. Web 2.0 – Tech skills centered on social media will be in demand, with .Net, AJAX and PHP as key back-end skills, with HTML, XML, CSS, Flash and Javascript, among others, on the front end.
8. Security – Security stays a top concern.
9. Telecommunications – The survey indicates a demand for people with IP telephony skills, and for those familiar with Cisco IPCC call center systems.
10. Mobile – The future is heading mobile. Skills in the various OS systems as well as HTML5

Besides hard skill, I would also list soft skill and the ability to align and connect with business. At the end we need to deliver to the business and add value. Understanding business strategy and processes are important.

What do you think?

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

The German IT market is the largest in Europe and number 4 in the world (behind US, China and Japan). According to market research it is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4% over 2011-2015. The addressable domestic market for IT products and services is projected by BMI to reach US$60.8bn in 2011 and US$71.8bn by 2015.

German IT services spending is forecast to reach US$24.8bn in 2011 and to rise to US$29.9bn in 2015. Demand drivers will include emerging technologies, such as projects to enable SaaS use, and reducing costs through data centre infrastructure outsourcing.

Despite the fact that German market is relatively mature, there is plenty of potential for ERP implementations in industries such as consumer products, telecommunications, energy, engineering transport and retail. ERP demand drivers include boosting the efficiency of global supply chains and logistics processes. Meantime, business intelligence will continue to be one of the fastest-growing product areas in 2011.

Industry Developments Government funding for technology policy measures amounted to EUR2.3bn. The German has announced it will provide an additional EUR12bn for education as well as research and development (R&D). Among other priorities, the government is determined to encourage German companies to innovate, to cope in the economic upturn.

In 2011, software vendors in the German market will focus increasingly on cloud computing. In October 2010, Microsoft launched a cloud computing alliance with German-based Datapoint, a provider of ICT services to the public sector. Meanwhile, SAP launched a new version of its hosted CRM software product SalesOnDemand, after the first version, released five years before, had failed to really take off.
One distinctive feature of the market is the influence of medium-sized companies. The German software market is competitive, with smaller companies having a niche alongside major players such as German software giant SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. Around 300 software providers compete in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market for the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment alone. Other major players across all segments include Sage, SoftM and Infor Global Solutions.
As far as German market characteristics are concerned, the German market differs from other European markets: German market is peripheral. If you want to sell to France, you have to be in Paris – and you have 90% of the market nearby. If you sell to the UK, you have to be in London – and you have 90% of the market nearby. If you sell to Germany you have to be everywhere. There is no single town dominating everything – particularly not Berlin. There are core areas for some market sectors. Frankfurt is such a core area for the finance market, Berlin for the governmental business and Munich for the IT companies. But Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Stuttgart, Nuremberg are also important places for the business. And we shouldn`t forget about Bremen, Hannover, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Leipzig .

German IT market seems to be rather perspective for market players. But we shouldn`t forget that in order to be a successful market player we should follow “the receiving party rules”.

Kind regards,
Anna Kozik – Business Development Manager (LI page)
Anna.Kozik@altabel.com
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

It’s so sad to hear that Steve Jobs has passed away, everyone has been sending out links and status about him. It is such a pity that we have to use the past tense when we are going to talk again about this brilliant mind. And no matter whether we are his fans or not, we definitely feel sorry that the mankind has lost such a valuable person. However, he did left some impressive works that can easily guide our steps towards some truly incredible technological developments.

Some of the most important works that Steve Jobs will always be remembered for according to LI members are:

For Apple Computer and for Pixar;

Toy Story… My Macs, Iphones and Ipods…;

His disciplined focus on his goals and His imagination;

For i-Everything
- Improving communication speed
- Increasing personal accessibility
- Innovation
- Incredible insight;

For having the backbone to proceed when everyone thought he was nuts. For knowing better than anybody what not to do. What features to exclude, which buttons to eliminate, which explanations not to give;

Do not depend on the other people, building from bottom to the top and learning from the failure;

Everyone will remember Jobs for different reasons
- A kid – Nemo, Buzz Light year, Lightning McQueen etc.
- A teen – iPod
- A young guy – iPad and iPhone
- A developer – iTunes and app store
- A marketing managers – Marketing and branding
- A finance manager – for his financing decisions
- A guy who just failed – NeXT Step and Pixar
- A guy who is at top – Lisa
- An entrepreneur – Apple II
- A student – Stanford 2005
- Everyone – Apple…

Thank you Steve Jobs. You Will Always Be Remembered!

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

There are numerous, comprehensive project management models in use. To deliver a quality system, it’s critical to know the risks facing your project and to use a model that reduces those risks.
Nowadays scrum is the most popular methodology used. Scrum is an agile software development model based on multiple small teams working in an intensive and interdependent manner. Scrum employs real-time decision-making processes based on actual events and information. This requires well-trained and specialized teams capable of self-management, communication and decision-making. The teams in the organization work together while constantly focusing on their common interests. Scrum model emphasizes communication and collaboration, functioning software and the flexibility to adopt to emerging business realities – all attributes that suffer in the rigidly ordered waterfall model.

Scrum involves:

Initial appointment of a project manager called the “scrum master.”
Definition and prioritization of tasks to be done.
Planning sessions for each task.
Daily meetings among teams.
Identification and evaluation of potential project risks and process pitfalls.
Execution of projects in brief, high-intensity, frequent work sessions.
Reviews of progress and evaluations of completed projects.
Openness to constructive criticism and ideas for improvement.

As with any form of methodology, there are always positive and negative aspects of assigning a task or project to a set workflow. The specific nature of scrum template differs from more conventional development methodologies, as the latter are only designed to take into account and foresee unpredictability of the external and development environments at the start of the enhancement cycle.
One of the key benefits of the scrum model is its flexibility and adaptiveness as work requirements change. It provides control mechanisms for the planning of a product release, and then managing variables as the project is carried out. It means that the project can be altered and modified depending on updates, and in the end manages to establish and deliver the most appropriate release, emerging from the ability to adjust work to changing expectations once the project is underway. Because the scrum process also provides much room for individual work and contribution, developers are free to devise ideas and solutions. Usually these ideas are pioneering and innovative as the team relies on the best possible formula for the completion of their work, in order to finish the project as appropriately, and as efficiently as possible. Another positive aspect of the scrum model is the Object Oriented approach to methodology, suggesting a discrete, reliable and manageable environment. The scrum model is a highly adaptive and flexible form of project management, and procedural code does not apply to scrum project management because of this
Overall, the lack of external policy and procedure is what makes scrum a useful and unprecedented approach to project management and effective workflow. It ensures work efficiency and is strongly based on the experience and reliability of the people evolved – providing not only a stronger drive and increased self-efficacy in team members, but also room for the improvement on ones work ethic and innovation. Through this process, scrum methodology may within itself develop procedural systems, although these tend to remain subjective and only reliable in similar project circumstances, involving homogenous conditions.
Of all the agile methodologies, Scrum is unique because it introduced the idea of “empirical process control.” That is, Scrum uses the real-world progress of a project — not a best guess or uninformed forecast — to plan and schedule releases. In Scrum, projects are divided into sprints, which are typically one week, two weeks, or three weeks in duration. At the end of each sprint, stakeholders and team members meet to assess the progress of a project and plan its next steps. This allows a project’s direction to be adjusted or reoriented based on completed work, not speculation or predictions.
But what allows the Scrum methodology to really work is a set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings that never change. If Scrum’s capacity for adaption and flexibility makes it an appealing option, the stability of its practices give teams something to lean on when development gets chaotic.
What do you personally think, what makes this Scrum methodology so popular and so useful? Do you personally use this model in PM? Would you enumerate some weaknesses of this approach, if any?
Feel free to share your comments and on thoughts.

Kind Regards,
Natalia Kononchuk
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

E-mail: Natalia.kononchuk@altabel.com


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