Speaking in Sydney today BMC Software general manager John Balena, who runs the company’s DevOps business unit, said that; “The closer applications get to the customer, the more impact they can have on the business. When applications ring the cash register…these are the things you can never give away.”
If companies did abdicate responsibility for customer facing applications then; “You would only have one insurance company, one department store, one bank,” said Mr Balena.
Speaking at a BMC DevOps forum in Sydney, Mr Balena acknowledged that major enterprises faced enormous challenges when it came to managing and keeping current their multi-tiered interdependent applications, especially when business users and market conditions demanded extreme agility from IT departments. However he cautioned against enterprises simply handing over responsibility for applications which provided a competitive edge to third party software as a service suppliers.
Nor should business users of technology abdicate responsibility for scoping and development of IT systems to the IT department.
This he said would necessitate cultural reform on both sides, and an understanding from the IT side of the house that traditional development approaches were no longer swift enough to meet business needs. There needed to be more of an “applications publishing” approach to software development – allowing for problems to be fixed and systems updated on the fly, rather than bogged down by rigorous traditional development processes.
He said he had come across a large financial services organisation which had a semi-colon in the wrong position in the meta data of the header page of a web page. Because of rigorous adherence to development processes by the IT group, it took six weeks for the problem to be fixed, to the frustration of the customer impacted by the problem.
Admittedly it was only one customer said Mr Brand; “But that one customer was worth $35 million.”