In-House App Development

A survey from Apperian, and its follow up, the “2015 Executive Enterprise Mobility Report,” has revealed that most IT organizations are bringing mobile application development in-house. 60 percent of organizations (compared to 42 percent in 2014) currently have internally developed apps in place. They’re making this shift in order to:

  • More effectively meet the specific needs of users
  • Improve business processes
  • Gain a competitive edge

Of course, change isn’t always easy. The survey also brought to light the top challenges in achieving mobility goals (security – 67%, ROI determination – 32% and lack of budget – 29%). Regardless, organizations are making an investment in app development. 47 percent of the respondents are investing in more apps for core business processes to increase app adoption and 43 percent are trying to improve the user interface and experience of their apps.

This trend also speaks to a larger trend that we’ve been talking about at DCG: IT working more closely with the business to support organizational goals. This type of relationship benefits the organization as a whole, leading to more successful projects and more satisfied customers (and an improved bottom line). The more IT prioritizes according to the goals of the business, the more fruitful the investment will be.

If you’re interested in reading more, check out the Baseline article, “Why IT is Bringing App Development In-House.”

Mike Harris
DCG President

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
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The Value Visualization Framework

The Value Visualization Framework (VVF) was developed by Mike Harris, President and CEO of David Consulting Group, to address some of the current challenges in software development, namely that most initiatives are driven by technology and time-to-completion rather than economic value.

The VVF addresses this issue by fostering collaboration between the BU and IT to jointly set and measure value-focused goals. In doing so, IT becomes a strategic contributor to the organization. Here's what the 5-step framework looks like:

Value Visualization Framework

The key is that the VVF enables IT and the BU to track actual versus target goals in order to make timely adjustments (or terminate a project, if necessary). Further, use of the framework facilitates cost savings and improves value flow throughout the organization.

Of course, this is just a high-level overview; more information about the framework is available here. Mike Harris is also available to speak about the VVF and other related topics. Learn more about his background here.

Questions? Comments? As always, we want to hear them! Leave a comment below or email Mike directly!

Written by Default at 05:00
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How to Transition from Packaged Products to the Cloud

Mike HarrisWith all the talk about the cloud, you’d think most companies, at this point, would be discussing how they can make use of the power and flexibility it offers. And you’d be right – for the most part. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide market for SaaS offerings is on track to grow by around 20 percent per year through 2018 (exceed $100 billion).

Of course, this is no surprise to most you reading this. At least, I’d assume not. Cloud computing allows for faster processing speeds, better network connections, lower delivery and support costs, and improved customer experiences.

Despite this, only eight percent of the revenues of the top 100 software companies come from SaaS models. The reason is largely because of the challenges that face companies as they wish to move their offerings to the cloud, including security concerns.

That’s where the article, “From Box to Cloud,” from McKinsey & Company proves useful. The article offers 6 principles for a successful switch from, well, box to cloud. We’re sharing the principles here, with our thoughts, in hopes that more companies will capitalize on the power of cloud.

  1. Minimum viable products – Cloud almost necessitates “light” versions of software – or minimally viable products. Develop your cloud-based software with the assumption that it will be tested and refined on an ongoing basis. It doesn’t have to be the final version!
  2. Users are key – With cloud, your development team should be engaging with their customers as often as possible, again, on an ongoing basis. Their real-time feedback is important – and something that developers can use to their advantage, by A/B testing features to assess and refine for the future.
  3. Failure will happen – In packaged software, bugs are seen as a major failure. With cloud, bugs are expected – and can (and should) be fixed quickly. Software maintenance should be easier in the cloud, and some developers even simulate failures regularly to make their own adjustments.
  4. Agile! – Look, we know that we talk about Agile all the time, but that’s because we know the value it offers, and if you’re moving to cloud, Agile is a must-have. The cloud functions best in an environment of continuous release, which is a tenant of Agile. DevOps, which brings together IT and R&D, is also useful in the cloud. On the whole, frequent releases can help manage risk and complexity. And, as the article notes, Agile teams can increase their productivity by about 27 percent and improve the timeliness of feature releases by 30 percent!
  5. Developers’ expanded role – Developers should now be given the responsibility of QA and testing – and they should be expected to fix problems as they come across them.
  6. Invest in the latest and greatest – This means people and products. Seek out the top talent for development and invest in the tools and infrastructure that will power a cloud model most effectively.

The move to cloud will certainly not be easy, but it’s worth the time, effort and frustrations that may lie ahead. We’re here to help ease the transition. We’re ready and available to help your team transition to Agile or improve their current Agile implementation, ahead of a cloud-based move. Prepare your organization for the future or risk being left behind!


Mike Harris
DCG President


Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00

A SMAC in the Face for Enterprise Software Development


Earlier this month we attended UNICOM's series of co-located conferences, including the DevOps Summit, Next Generation Testing, Digital Transformation and Programme & Project Management.

The event was great! UNICOM's events are always well-organized and thoughtfully planned. We enjoyed the diverse presentations and connecting with others in the industry at our booth in the exhibition hall.

In addition to the DCG-SMS booth at the event, Mike Harris, CEO & President of David Consulting Group, also presented. "A SMAC in the Face for Enterprise Software Development" discussed how social media, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) affect software development. Mike focused on how organizations should prepare for these changes, particularly in terms of improving the flow of business value.

You can download his presentation here.

We hope to see everyone at UNICOM's Process Improvement Conference in November - we'll be there!

Written by Default at 05:00

DevOps: Success Based on Collaboration

Organizations are seeking faster releases, cloud capabilities, reduced time to customer feedback and – most importantly – the ability to more quickly capture market opportunities. As a result, DevOps (a word derived from “development” and “operations”) is going mainstream.

Previously a niche strategy, DevOps is growing in popularity, partly as a way to address the changing priorities of the organization, but also due to the rising popularity of Agile development. DevOps is based on Agile and lean principles, making it easier to implement once an organization has committed to Agile (as many have).

The key to DevOps is collaboration amongst most, if not all, of the organization – the business owners, development, operations and quality assurance. The goal is continuous software delivery. The collaborative aspect of DevOps is important – and it can determine success or failure. Such collaboration typically requires a cultural shift in an organization, something most organizations find challenging – and it doesn’t happen overnight. But once all the people involved in the process are invested, the result is more efficient processes, happier customers and improved profits.

The quickest path to understanding DevOps at a basic level, is with the graphic below.

 DevOps Description

Source: “DevOps: Breaking Barriers to Benefit Bottom Lines,” IEEE Magazine, April 2015

If your organization is considering DevOps, we suggest starting with Agile – whether it’s a first-time implementation or a tune-up to make sure that you’re running Agile as it is meant to be. We can help with that. Regardless, it’s becoming more and more obvious that IT is no longer an isolated entity within an organization; it is increasingly relying on collaboration with other stakeholders. If your team is set apart from the rest of the organization, it’s time to break free and seek out opportunities to work together for the benefit of all involved.

For a more in-depth look at DevOps, read “DevOps: Breaking Barriers to Benefit Bottom Lines,” in the April 2015 edition of IEEE Magazine.


Mike Harris

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00

"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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