The Changing SDLC – it’s time to move from the beaten path

By: Subramanian NN, Director – Maveric Systems

The way software is developed and released has changed, drastically and swiftly, especially in the last few years. The decades-old waterfall or iterative approach of software development is unable to withstand the quick time-to-market deadlines, ever changing technology landscape with its myriad OS and device upgrades, and increased customer expectation from the products and services on offer.

With software having become the most essential component of any business enterprise in today’s world, the search to simplify the process is always on and as a result, we have reached a stage where the cost of developing, implementing, and owning a software has fallen and will continue to do so. Organizations now ask themselves if they are truly able to achieve more, given the number and speed at which new & innovative choices are available, as well as the frequency with which these choices become obsolete as well.

In this article, we take a deep dive into what is changing in business and technology which is requiring companies to reexamine the way they are adopting technology. These advancements and trends are rocking most businesses, and those that do not develop requisite competencies are bound to lose relevance.

1.  The rise of Shift-Left & Test-Drive Development (TDD) – With the ever increasing emphasis on top quality, quick time-to-market, and reduction in costs, companies expect their IT teams to adopt Agile & DevOps which through smaller, self-organized teams, promote TDD and augur better collaboration between business & IT teams, as well as ownership and accountability for deliverables.

2. Changing Roles within IT – Another significant impact that Agile and shift-left have brought forth is the blurring of roles within these self-organized groups. Testers enter the lifecycle right at the requirements stage and spend time refining acceptance criteria and its relevance to business goals, whereas business analysts also spend time testing the software. It is no longer sufficient to have exclusive functional or technical skills, techno-functional is the talent to be developed by IT companies and incorporated in their strategies too.

3. Changes in Development – Increasingly, developers are writing less code and are being trained and encouraged to use relevant, good quality tools and frameworks that are time tested and not only offer the flexibility to work across different technologies, but are also open source in nature, thereby, enabling cost reduction too. But with open source comes the challenge of a supply chain that draws from multiple individual projects and hence, the need to tackle with licenses and security issues.

4. Shrink in the SDLC – With the typical implementation cycle lasting anywhere between 2-4 years, businesses are realizing the disadvantage it augurs in today’s digital landscape. Cloud infrastructure, platform-based services and immediate provisioning are being preferred in any IT strategy as they reduce the implementation time drastically and introduce automation right at the beginning of the lifecycle.

5. Rise of the Gig Economy – The changing economic and technological landscapes have also increased the need for professionals in highly technical areas such as Internet of Nano Things, Block Chain, Augmented Reality, etc. With it becoming increasingly impossible and uneconomical to house all these super-specialized talent under one roof, IT companies have to open themselves to engaging a gig workforce who may be distributed across the globe and available to work only a project-to-project basis.

6. Catering to end-user or customer demands – Today, with the end-user being extremely tech-savvy and well aware of what they seek from a software or application, there is a need or rather demand for the product to be validated after every release or sprint by the business. With this necessitating greater interaction between business and IT teams, IT needs to be well-versed with business processes, priorities as well as vocabulary that their audience will understand – a strict move away from dealing only with requirements documents.

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