By Scott Wilson
In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, enterprises are constantly seeking ways to innovate, stay competitive, and drive growth. But with legacy systems that can’t keep up, and being outpaced by dynamic startups and the demands of customers, they need to transform in a way that is sustainable and allows for digital transformation goals to be reached.
Digital transformation remains the focus for many enterprises, and yet, they have been digitally transforming for some time. Demand is outpacing supply, and there’s a real struggle being felt by enterprise development teams to keep up with the pace needed to build and deploy faster, better, and more effective services for their customers. This takes time, and that is an asset that many developers lack.
There’s a myriad of potential solutions. One of these options could be to hire more developers – however, this can come with its own challenges. But one in particular that is garnering significant success is Agile delivery.
A refresher on Agile
Agile delivery or deployment isn’t any one product or resource, but a strategy that applies to an entire organization. And, when coupled with products or systems that share these values of efficiency, collaboration, and pace – the digital transformation possibilities are endless.
Flexible and adaptable, Agile delivery enables organizations to streamline their development and deployment pipeline. Rather than relying on lengthy planning and sequential execution, Agile delivery focuses on collaboration amongst teams and iterative development, meaning you can adapt quickly to the rapidly changing demands of your market.
Acting as a remedy for enterprises that are struggling to meet the expectations of their customers means they can develop and innovate in an adaptable, customer-focused way. By breaking down the delivery of services, products, and updates into smaller and more manageable ‘sprints’, development teams can respond to any changes as they arise. The goal is for each iteration to be as close to production-ready as possible – meaning releases are deployed more often, and feedback can be responded to swiftly.
Operating in an Agile way is as much a working shift, as it is cultural, and it takes strong leadership to implement this – trusting in your teams ability to innovate without stringent guidelines – and succeed. With continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) being key to an Agile framework, developer teams will establish clear goals and organize their teams around diverse skill sets. Working in short cycles allows them to work dynamically, responding to issues as they arise, rather than at the end of a laborious development and testing cycle.
Having the opportunity for frequent feedback and communication ensures developers can stay on track, and respond dynamically. Automation tools are then used to speed up testing, draw out inconsistencies within the iteration, and above all, help teams deploy faster. It’s a value-driven approach that encourages collaborative work, and above all, drives digital transformation.
Bringing in Agile to enterprises
Embracing agility isn’t a new concept to enterprises, but it is an essential component of their future success. Agile solutions enable enterprises to mitigate risks and reduce project failures, gaining a competitive edge and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Through iterative development and continuous feedback cycles, organizations can identify and address potential issues early on. This piece-by-piece approach minimizes the likelihood of costly mistakes and allows for corrections and updates in real-time, ensuring successful project delivery.
Working in an Agile way also means that enterprises can be better prepared for the hype points in technology, such as the boom of generative AI this year. Agile enterprises are much better positioned to react and readjust their offerings in real time, addressing the interests of their market, than those with lengthy, drawn-out development timelines. This isn’t to say that Agile enterprises aren’t planning ahead, but instead that they follow a test-and-learn approach, with their plans being flexible and malleable to the ebbs and flows of the market.
Not only does Agile give immense business benefits, boosting production, efficiency, and accelerating time-to-value, but there is also a positive impact on employees and development teams. It’s not merely about improving the bottom line. Teams that are encouraged to work in an Agile fashion are able to share and develop diverse skill sets, resulting in better outputs. By moving away from these intensive pipelines with little room for flexibility, developers avoid burnout, improving employee satisfaction and retention – something that is essential in driving the talent of the tech and software development industries.
Why Agile delivery is too good to be ignored
Agile delivery is the key to success for enterprises, ensuring they can thrive even in uncertain times, leverage the collective talent of their team, and stay ahead of the curve as the business landscape evolves. Enterprises that want to progress, nurture their digital transformation strategy, and accelerate it need to adopt this game-changing strategy. Implementing in an Agile way allows organizations to ‘shift left’, identifying potential challenges and bugs early on in their pipeline and adjusting accordingly. Working in this proactive way ensures that market changes and obstacles can be resolved swiftly, and QA and testing teams can work in sync with development teams, improving team collaboration, and the efficiency of the development pipeline.
In an era where technology, business, and even the economy is so uncertain, with customer demands changing rapidly, enterprises need to be prepared for the unexpected, and failure to embrace Agile may increase an organization’s risk profile. The ability to adapt and innovate is no longer just a competitive advantage, but a crucial strategy for survival and business success.
Scott Willson is Head of Product Marketing at xtype. Scott has over 20 years of technology experience that spans software development across Financial Services, Manufacturing, Government, and tech industries. Professionally, Scott has built software, managed professional services, sold and implemented software, and is currently applying that background to marketing. Scott is passionate about technology and helping businesses achieve value through technology and was leading DevOps at organizations before it was coined DevOps. He has also co-authored papers for the DevOps Enterprise Forum. Off-hours, Scott is an outdoorsman, cook, and burgeoning author.