Ron Tolido, SVP and CTO of Applications, Continental Europe, for Capgemini, wrote a great blog post the other day about how the IT industry has adopted agile principles, hook, line, and sinker. It’s all agile, all the time these days, whether we’re talking about agile infrastructure, agile development, or agile operations (aka “devops”). Ron writes
Guys (and girl): here’s your wakeup call: you’ve done it. Your mission is completed. Victory is yours, Agile is the new normal. So let’s focus just a bit more on actually delivering agile projects, rather than writing about how to do them, shall we?
At ServiceMesh, we agree. We think so highly of Agile principles that we even went so far as to name our product the Agility Platform.
While I loved Ron’s post, I think there is something that went uncaptured. While it’s great that we no longer question Agile principles and that we’re applying Agile methodologies in multiple domains within our organizations, the true win is going to be the “emergent agility” that is going to come as multiple Agile domains start to interact with each other. For instance, while agile development and devops are cool by themselves, if you can arrange them organizationally such that one feeds seamlessly into another, you’ll take yourself to a higher level altogether.
Years ago, the financial services world started building a model they called “straight-through processing” (STP), eliminating all the paperwork such that financial transactions could be processed completely by machine, without human intervention. It revolutionized the trading world and allowed transaction prices to drop dramatically. You wouldn’t get $7 trades at your discount broker without straight through processing, for instance. Now, the only time humans get involved with financial transactions is to process the exception cases, when something goes wrong (e.g., trade information between counter-parties doesn’t match, for instance). Organizing things this way is difficult, but the benefits are profound.
In the IT world, Agile principles are the building blocks for “straight-through IT processing,” the primitive elements that will be strung together to take us to a new level of application delivery agility, efficiency, and cost reduction. Ron’s right — Agile is the new normal. Now let’s kick it up a notch.
(See also: Shift Your Cloud to the Fast Path)
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