Posts Tagged ‘Agile’
There is no doubt that 2012 will be another big year for BI and information management. In the article we`ve tried to gather what we suppose are the top BI trends for near future
Big Data → Need for Speed
The rise in volume (amount of data), velocity (speed of data) and variety (range of data) gives way to new architectures that no longer only collect and store but actually use data: on-demand or real-time BI architectures will replaces traditional datawarehouses. Successful business intelligence projects will need to consider Big Data as part of their data landscape for the value that it delivers. More and more organizations will look toward statistics and data mining to set strategic direction and gain greater insights to stay ahead of the pack.At the same time the BI user is expecting faster answers from their BI environment disregarding the fact that the size of data is increasing.
Shift from analytical BI to operational BI
Increased adoption of cloud and mobile BI encourage individuals to access their KPI dashboards (key performance indicators), more often. An operational dashboard works much like a car’s dashboard. As you drive, you monitor metrics that indicate the current performance of your vehicle and make adjustments accordingly. When the speed-limit changes, you check your speedometer and slow down, or when you see you are out of gas you pull over and fill-up. Likewise, an operational dashboard allows you to make tactical decisions based on current performance, whether it is chasing a red-hot lead or ordering an out-of-stock product.
Latest surveys showed that only 25% of employees in businesses that adopted BI had access to that tool. And that is not because they didn`t want to or didn`t need information, but because traditional BI tools have been too bulky and technical for that other 75% of employees to use.
As now organizations more and more are adopting cloud and mobile BI dashboards, this situation is likely to change. Business intelligence is heading towards simpler, more straightforward methods and tools..
An Agile approach can be used to incrementally remove operational costs and if deployed correctly, can return great benefits to any organization. Agile provides a streamlined framework for building business intelligence/data warehousing (BIDW) applications that regularly delivers faster results using just a quarter of the developer hours of a traditional waterfall approach.
It allows you to start a project after doing 20 per cent of the requirements and design that deliver 80 per cent of the project’s value. The remaining details are filled in once development is underway and everyone has a good look at what the challenges actually are.
BI going mobile
In a survey conducted by Gartner, it was found that by 2013 one-third of all BI usage will be on a mobile device, such as a smart-phone or tablet. BI users want to access their data anytime and anywhere. This puts a demand on both the backend of any BI solution (like datawarehouse appliances) but also on the frontend where information access and visualization must be possible.
BI going up to the Cloud
As Cloud computing continues to dominate the whole IT landscape, so BI also dominates in the Cloud . Throughout next few years adoption of cloud BI tools will be driven by a number of important factors. First, cloud-based solutions offer the advantage of being relatively simple and convenient to deploy. Second, cloud tools are more easily scalable to provide access to key performance indicators (KPIs) to everyone in your organization, no matter where they are or what device they are using. Lastly, continually improving security measures will put to rest any reservations businesses have with storing their sensitive data in the cloud.
We believe these above enumerated areas will grow over the next few years. Organizations will embrace the Agile approach, utilizing new tools and technologies to decrease delivery times and demonstrate substantial business value. As we put more data into the Cloud, big data will become standard. Data itself will be delivered to satisfy the desires of users, so access from mobile devices will dominate desk-based consumption. The businesses that embrace these new business intelligence trends, and take steps to change and adapt the way data is hosted, analyzed, utilized and delivered, will be the ones that grow and prosper in the near future.
And what are your predictions for the big business intelligence trends in the next few years? Do you agree/disagree with our predictions?
Let’s find out how good can get agile development methodologies, using cloud-based resources
Agile, the great enabler
Agile is a style of software development that places new capabilities right there in the hands of users, as and when they need them, and usually almost just about as rapidly as they need them. It does this by stripping the project requirements down into achievable component parts and then focusing on each part individually, single-mindedly, full of intent, energy and drive. As each part is developed so it becomes‘iteration’; a release of useable software that can be made available to users instantly. And while they start using it then the development team moves onto the next step, the subsequent iteration. At every step of the way there is an overt emphasis on collaboration between developers and users. Nobody goes off behind screens or departmental smokescreens or politics or excuses; everything is transparent to the client and the users. And one of the most magical aspects of all is that no functionality is built in which users are not going to use.
Put Agile together with Cloud and it’s a case of ‘now you don’t see it, now you do’.
Cloud computing, the great provider
Cloud and Agile are suddenly almost synonymous, in IT-speak. Perhaps the best way of summing up the benefits of Agile development methodologies is to refer you to the actual word itself, or the broad definition thereof: able to move quickly, with skill, and control. The Cloud can catalyze the development process. It’s just like the weather, in fact; it’s everywhere. This means that new applications can be made available to users instantly, the very second a development team has completed them. There is no need for drawn out distribution procedures, the risks of down-time thus entailed, patches and reinstallations. Users can jump straight in and start using. Integration issues are overcome, change management is minimized and risks are minimized.
Putting Agile together with Cloud accelerates an organization’s pace of improvement. Bear in mind also that the working style of Agile is very much tied up with user involvement, drawing users’ right into the heart of the development process. Functionality is developed as they want it, how they want it. As developments move along in cumulative steps (iterations) the features and benefits can be rationalized and reprioritized as each project unfolds. No waste, either of time, or money. And just as soon as everybody agrees that the application is where it needs to be, off it goes into the cloud and everyone can start using it.
The prospects for the organization, in any sector, are breathtakingly exciting; Agile, working via the Cloud, now gives greater control over process innovation and more strength to the competitive edge than has ever been the case before.
This is hard to answer without knowing company’s current process. You cannot go agile alone. The whole process shall go agile. Process means a business with roles, different types of activities, corresponding work results and sometime some associated projects.
There are many different ways for going agile. The main criteria that matter includes are:
- How much risk are you prepared to take?
- How keen / desperate are you to become agile?
- What ‘good things’ do you want ‘agile’ to give you?
- What aspects of the context you work in would get in the way of becoming agile?
- What does your team already know?
Key questions about the context for transformation to agile are:
- Is the context more focused on Enterprise or Project?
- Do regulations and the need for compliance with them form a significant constraint on the project?
- Does the way the work is governed apply constraints that impact our ability to be agile?
- Does the mind-set of the people involved constrain what we can do?
- Does the inherent complexity of the application constrain how agile we can be?
- Is the team small enough to be able to use the common agile practices effectively?
- Is the work split across teams or representatives from more than one organization?
- Does the team all sit together with the customer in the same room? If not, what degree of geographical separation do you really need to live with?
Unless you work in the ‘right’ context with respect to all of these questions, you either need to change your context or select carefully which set of practices suit your context – applying the standard set won’t work well.
Also one of the first steps in the transformation is to make sure you have executive sponsorship for your agile project.
In recent years agile software development has emerged as one of the most popular methodologies used in software projects.
Agile development, in its simplest form, offers a lightweight framework for helping teams, given a constantly evolving functional and technical landscape, maintain a focus on the rapid delivery of business value. As a result of this focus and its associated benefits, organizations are capable of significantly reducing the overall risk associated with software development.
In particular, agile development accelerates the delivery of initial business value, and through a process of continuous planning and feedback, is able to ensure that value is continuing to be maximized throughout the development process. As a result of this iterative planning and feedback loop, teams are able to continuously align the delivered software with desired business needs, easily adapting to changing requirements throughout the process. By measuring and evaluating status based on the undeniable truth of working, testing software, much more accurate visibility into the actual progress of projects is available. And finally, as a result of following an agile process, at the conclusion of a project is a software system that much better addresses the business and customer needs.
Agile development has its own set of drawbacks and may not be suitable for any type and size of software project, but can be successfully used for reasonably sized projects with a maximum team size of around 100 developers. However, agile development should be taken up by any organization in steps and can be started with a small project that can fall in line with the agile methods.
The advantages and risks of Agile Development are currently discussed very hotly. However, with all its pros and cons, agile development is gaining immense popularity amongst organizations across the globe that believe in simplicity in designing and developing software with great and effective collaboration between the project stakeholders.
I wonder what you personally think on this topic. We would be happy to have your comments on if it really makes sense to go agile.