Software Delivery

  • Increasing the cadence of software delivery to drive competitive advantage, is what most Business Units want from their IT departments. Getting there is not simple, however: software in any company is a complex environment. Speeding up software delivery without adversely impacting existing systems requires strong processes, quality management and good governance. One of the most important processes in the handover of software from development into production/ operations is Release Management. This is a core process to ensure quality, stability and good governance is maintained. Ultimately, Release Management manages software as it passes through four critical phases: Planning, Development, Testing and Implementation. Each of these phases is well understood by IT, but guiding software through them, at speed, can sometimes appear to be more of a haphazard game of chance than a well thought out engineered approach. In this spotlight review we look at the next version of Serena's Release Manager, how it integrates with their existing tools and what it offers both the business and IT departments when it comes to increasing the speed of software delivery.
  • In this spotlight report we look at HP’s Service Virtualization and Network Virtualization capabilities and offerings. In particular, we examine what it means to developers, test and quality assurance teams, and why the next generation of business applications requires a new approach to development and testing that allows not just corporate systems to be simulated, but also the network conditions and third-party services. This real-world testing is the key to ensuring not just faster time to market, but also stable systems, delivered to production with confidence.
  • This report specifically looks at the productivity gains achieved through the Uniface platform compared to the more common approach of using various frameworks, languages and paradigms to build complex applications. These gains primarily come over the life of the application, rather than all in the initial build phase. For this reason, the report looks at how applications have typically evolved during their lifetime and how the Uniface platform would have shown productivity benefits during that time, in comparison to other types of common technology development platforms.
  • A change of ownership can be challenging for any organisation. For Uniface, that change is muted because it has spent the last five years running as an autonomous entity, inside Compuware, responsible for its own profit and loss accounts. With the transfer of ownership to Marlin Equity Partners, the challenge for the Uniface team now is to turn its new found freedom and investment from its new owners into a high growth future. In this spotlight, we take a look at the recent history of Uniface, along with its partner, product and customer story going forward.
  • The mainframe has proven to be the most resilient computing platform in the market. It has survived the arrival of the mini-computer in the 1970’s and the PC in the early 1980s. In the last three decades client/server, distributed computing, blade computing and cloud computing have all taken their turn at trying to displace the mainframe. While there may only be one mainstream mainframe vendor left, mainframe sales are showing a rise. This is due to new computing demands and engagement methods such as mobile which offer pervasive access to the analytical processing and performance capability of the mainframe. The depth of customer investments made in the mainframe platform is recognised by the leading mainframe tools vendors. They realise that while customers are transitioning to new operating systems such as Linux and modern languages such Java on the mainframe, there is a need to ensure it is integrated into their development and operational workflows. This has led to a change in the capabilities of tools serving the market today with many struggling to incorporate the rich productivity features that are now considered to be standard for developer and operation toolkits. In this spotlight review report we assess Serena’s support strategy for improving the change management of mainframe application assets and enabling a broader community of developers to support the mainframe platform.
  • This report highlights five important focus areas for those looking to understand the value of modern APIs along with crucial considerations and strategies for their creation, lifecycle management and security. Specifically, readers will discover: 1. The value in APIs Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable easier and faster development of many different types of applications allowing for new values and capabilities to be delivered. APIs are not new and in this report we discuss the five drivers progressing the use of APIs today, outlining the value they specifically bring to organisations and the foundations for successful APIs. 2. API evolution: backdrop to the modern API landscape There have been various abstraction and integration approaches that have evolved over the years, each achieving varying levels of success. In this section we outline the constituents of today’s API landscape today while pinpointing the underlying technologies behind the transition to modern APIs. 3. Strategies for the development community One of the big challenges from a technical perspective is how to break down an API to make it easier to develop and maintain. With APIs, those responsible for creating them will need to think about their design and how much functionality they want an API to address. In this report we identify technical skillsets to address some of the specific challenges facing those tasked with creating and managing APIs. Crucially, we outline and discuss in detail the various development and management strategies as well as the primary considerations for API Creation, API Management and API Security. 4. An effective API delivery and management strategy for practitioners IBM API Connect brings together two key IBM products – IBM API Management and IBM StrongLoop. In this section of the report readers will get an overview of IBM’s API lifecycle management solution and a detailed breakdown of the facilities it offers for creating, securing, consuming, running and managing both APIs and micro-services. We specifically discuss the competitive advantages of IBM’s API Connect solution and outline the wider potential it offers organisations and their development teams for either on-premises or cloud based application. 5. CIC Analysis CIC provides an insider’s perspective and unique user directions and qualifies why integrating software packages and services to share data and provide additional functionality has been, and continues to be, important. Readers will see first-hand CIC’s guide for building a high quality API, complete with a journey planner based on user input and experience.
  • As a publicly traded company, Box has sought to bring its finances more in line with typical public companies, as opposed to capital intensive start-ups. This it is successfully doing without slowing its ability to grow both customers and capabilities. This report charts the evolution of Box’s business strategy and provides a profile and review of the Box platform in meeting the enterprise content needs of the digital workforce. Specifically, this report covers:
    • CIC direction and analysis
    • Evolution of Box’s business and a growing product portfolio targeting a broad audience base
    • Proof points of Box as a true enterprise vendor
    • The business and operational value of the Box platform services with an outline of its industry leading security credentials
    • Building the modern organisational unit to drive application success
    • Competitive position with end user scenarios
  • One of the biggest trends in the market today is Digital Transformation. Therefore, it is surprising how little clarity there is to what the term specifically means. To try to bring clarity to the term Digital Transformation and answer important questions for organisation concerned with it, CIC conducted a quantitative study of over 300 organisations of various sizes, industries and geographies. This report outlines the key findings, along with the dynamics underpinning the drive and journey towards digital transformation. Importantly, it presents the following:
    • A map of the challenges and barriers to overcome, as well as key channels that must be navigated if the opportunities presented by a digital transformation are to be realised.
    • Defines the underlying support for low code development tools and their role in helping to deliver the digital transformation process.
    • For organisations looking to ensure the most effective strategy for their digital transformation journey CIC’s study offers 4 insights that must be in their game plan.
    This paper was authored on an independent basis by the analyst team at Creative Intellect Consulting, with sponsorship from Uniface. The content is based on industry intelligence gathered and analysed by the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor.
  • In this report, we identify the breadth and mix of the DevOps tooling support on z Systems and the opportunities available for balancing the support, for both open source and commercial enterprise tooling solutions. With so many options available, it is crucial that stakeholder roles strike the right balance to leverage z Systems to the full and ensure its continued value proposition in a hybrid landscape. The download consists of three papers for different audiences: the complete report, a version for business leaders and a version for technical leaders. This paper was authored on an independent basis by the analyst team at Creative Intellect Consulting, with sponsorship from IBM. The content is based on industry intelligence gathered and analysed by the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor.
  • The use of cloud-based services and operations and wider support for cloud deployments is a growing reality. This is true even amongst those organisations committed to maintaining a level of support for non-cloud based workloads. Crucially, cloud underpins many of the technologies spearheading the digital economy. Across industries and markets, many also see it as a fundamental component for digital transformation. This report investigates the dynamics of the cloud market and profiles technologies that leverage cloud to enable new innovations and opportunities and improve business and operational output. Specifically, the report:
    • Identifies the mix of workload scenarios that are being adopted in hybrid environments, that support cloud services and on-premises IT infrastructure
    • Offers guide points and step directions for those who have already, or are looking to, invest in WebSphere Application Server technology, so that they are better equipped to start their use of cloud computing
    • Highlights the new features within WebSphere V9
    This paper was authored on an independent basis by the analyst team at Creative Intellect Consulting, with sponsorship from IBM. The content is based on industry intelligence gathered and analysed by the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor.
  • In today’s IT infrastructure landscape and operating climate there are key technology and processing trends that established runtime platforms must evolve to meet the new digital demands. This report summarises the main trends and practices impacting the application server estate. We recommend this briefing note as a companion to CIC’s report on Galvanising and supporting hybrid cloud delivery.
  • The last few years have given us mobile, cloud computing , Internet of Things (IoT) and so on. Each of these comes with a wealth of languages, platforms, tools and more. While organisations are caught up in the frenzy to not be left behind (and get disrupted), choices are being made today that may have implications for many years to come. In this CIC report based on an independent study conducted on the drivers for adopting application programming technologies and models, we identify the following:
    • 7 trending dynamics in app development and delivery
    • The App Development choices shaping the app market
    • The criteria for what makes a language popular and ripe for adoption
    In short, our briefing note highlights the main criteria that should be considered when making, what could turn out to be important strategic decisions. This paper was authored on an independent basis by the analyst team at Creative Intellect Consulting, with sponsorship from IBM Mobile. The content is based on industry intelligence gathered and analysed by the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor.  
  • Harnessing AI engagement effectively for business and operational gain

    IBM, through the capabilities of its Watson cognitive technology services, is enabling a powerful and more effective and productive Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that can be easily implemented with existing investments in software development skillsets. In this briefing report, CIC explores the business and operational advantages that IBM Voice Gateway offers, particularly in addressing the skills challenge faced by organisation looking to support some of the latest technological advances impacting the digital landscape. We draw from research studies conducted into the support for key digital technologies across various industry sectors and the opportunities, goals and challenges expected from their use. With insights into proof of concepts conducted by independent software vendors (ISVs) and the market dynamics of contact/call centres, this report will identify vital differentiators to current IVR systems, showcase established use case scenarios and outline important usage considerations. Other points highlighted:
    • Getting to grips with the Artificial Intelligence hubris underpinning the digital economy with a spotlight on the cognitive reboot for telephony.
    • CIC Journey Planner for IBM Voice Gateway and an ISV user profile
  • In this CIC case study, you will learn how a 40+ year old leading furniture retailer in South Florida undertook a successful mobile transformation to improve its workforce’s productivity. Important points of focus:
    • An overview of the transformational journey that City Furniture needed to undertake
    • Discover four key insights underpinning City Furniture’s transformation execution
    • Review the dynamics of a transformation in action
    • Take away five essential lessons that can help guide other journeys
  • Sale!
    The primary success of DevOps has been in helping to break down the barriers between development and operations. In and of itself, this is a significant bonus. In reality though, DevOps is a collective term and home for several foundational changes and a broader set of characteristics that have helped this happen. This CIC report outlines what they are and offers insights into the trajectory for DevOps: NoOps or Product teams? While DevOps signifies a much welcomed need for change, CIC’s attendance at Jenkins World 2017 offers a perspective on its maturity. Readers will learn the potential of a broader role for DevOps within the rest of the organisation.
  • There is no doubt that User Experience (UX) has become a critical concern for those that procure and develop software. BMC, a leading global IT vendor, began its UX journey almost 5 years ago. Its journey has lesson for all enterprises. This report specifically highlights a number of important considerations:
    • Driving Business Value
    • Driving Broader Business Modernisation
    • UX for managing risks
    • Design and development
    • Industrialising UX for scale
    • A path for enterprise to follow
    • A UX checklist to guide others in their journey.
  • The promise of low-code, or even no-code, environments has been around for over three decades. While there have been challenges over that period on its adaption, the demand today for software from business units has outstripped the ability for IT departments to deliver. As a result Low-Code tools and strategies has broaden the development tool to meet the demands for new application quickly a backing vogue. This Briefing note highlights how OutSystems is proving and meeting market demands , specifically it covers:
    • OutSystems’ Low-code differentiation
    • An integration strategy for speeding up app delivery
    • Opportunities for embracing key future technology trends
    • How to build a skilled community
    • The key to sustainable business
    • Plus point for customer choice
  • Organisations are looking to implement strategies and processes that allow them to successfully operate in the digital economy. They need guidance to understand how best to achieve their goals and what supporting practices will ensure the most effective and efficient approaches. While no two organisations are the same, learn how BP Castrol employs customer-centred outcomes, planning and enterprise architecture to support its investments in agile and DevOps.