Cloud computing, agile development make a perfect pair

On their own, cloud computing and agile development have the potential to revolutionize and accelerate operations in the enterprise. When combined, the solutions can streamline innovation, as the cloud provides an ideal partner for agile development efforts, CIO magazine reported.

To illustrate the potential gains offered when companies unify cloud computing and agile development, the news source told the story of Commonwealth Bank, a financial institution that has used the two systems to cut development time significantly and make major improvements to operational capabilities. In the organization’s setup, more than 300 databases have been consolidated into a cloud instance, allowing for rapid provisioning within the environment. As a result, developing a production environment that can be used to support agile development processes can be accomplished in just a few minutes instead of taking approximately three months.

The report explained that cloud computing and agile development function so well together because the cloud provides organizations with the ability to requisition a nearly unlimited number of testing and staging servers without having to worry about excess capital costs in the process. This represents a major gain because development teams traditionally only have access to one physical server to use for testing, limiting the pace at which they can work on projects. The cloud unleashes agile’s full potential by providing easier access to the hardware needed to support operations.

Cloud computing also makes agile development even more flexible, the news source explained. In theory, agile is supposed to run development in a parallel manner, managing projects effectively and releasing iterations periodically to streamline development. However, complexity in establishing hardware systems to support agile has led to a system that looks more like serial software releases. Cloud computing provides the flexibility needed to strive for truly parallel development.

While cloud computing has the potential to provide major benefits in development environments, doing so requires an intricate blend of on-premise systems, cloud solutions, applications and, in many cases, mobile technologies. Navigating this complex web of solutions can be extremely challenging, but implementing business process management software can help companies integrate diverse systems and ensure that the technologies they use provide the process-level gains they desire and do not hold back productivity by becoming overwhelming.