One of the more popular posts this morning at IT Business Edge is a discussion of the need to tackle application development and management in different models, depending on the core value of the software to the business. Ann All reports on comments by Gartner analyst Yvonne Genovese that applications can be broadly described as fitting into one of three categories:
Makes sense on a high level, particularly since applications will naturally move from category to category as they and the business mature. However, most observers (including Ann) also note that the current state of application management is pretty dire these days. So for many shops, basic housekeeping and policy-setting is the first order of the day before they can move on to graduated portfolio management.
Here in the IT Downloads library, we have numerous tools to help IT organizations become more proficient at managing their applications. Here's a quick look at two of them:
The Software Development Policy Template, from our partners at Info~Tech Research Group, lays out a baseline for making your development process as efficient as possible. The template expects the business to define (or select) a coding standard, select up to three integrated development environments (IDEs), and to spell out a fairly detailed re-use policy, among other standards.
The Project Development Process Template, developed internally for use here at IT Business Edge, lays out an alternative development approach to classic Waterfall, with an emphasis on modified agile principles. This approach may be a good option for smaller dev operations to consider for projects that Genovese would describe as "disruptive."
You might also want to check out these tips, provided by vendor HP, on how to identify and clean up clutter in your portfolio of applications, both those built in-house and licensed. A key nugget of wisdom - you don't necessarily need to update every application on your network. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.