For more years than anyone wants to remember or admit, it seems like the only conversation that anybody wanted to have about IT involved controlling costs.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, but a recent survey conducted by Serena Software, a provider of application lifecycle management (ALM) software, finds that the speed at which applications need to be developed has topped cost control as the top priority of the organization.
The informal survey of about 200 IT professionals attending Gartner's Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit last fall found that pace of application development narrowly edges out cost control in terms of IT priorities, which suggests that IT organizations simply want to have their proverbial cake and eat it too. Adam Frankl, vice president of corporate and community marketing for Serena Software, says this means that IT organizations are now faced with demands to keep costs under control, while simultaneously boosting developer productivity. As any IT manager will tell you, controlling costs or boosting productivity is relatively easy. Doing both at the same time is a major challenge.
Frankl says to accomplish those twin goals, IT organizations need to bring some discipline to the application development process, especially in this age of agile development. It's too easy, says Frankl, to let the application development process spin out of control when developers can literally launch new virtual servers at the touch of a button, which, in turn, exacerbates IT management costs.
This is creating more demand for federated approaches to managing the DevOps process in ways that allow IT organizations to maximize system resources without getting in the way of the application development process. That's especially challenging, adds Frankl, when you consider that the application development process today takes place across a global supply chain of internal and external developers.
When you put this all together, there is a prevailing feeling that things have been hard in IT over the last three years. But it just may be that we've seen nothing yet in terms of actual degree of difficulty ahead.