Agile and Cloud Computing are Made for Each Other?

Let’s find out how good can get agile development methodologies, using cloud-based resources

Agile, the great enabler

Agile is a style of software development that places new capabilities right there in the hands of users, as and when they need them, and usually almost just about as rapidly as they need them. It does this by stripping the project requirements down into achievable component parts and then focusing on each part individually, single-mindedly, full of intent, energy and drive. As each part is developed so it becomes‘iteration’; a release of useable software that can be made available to users instantly. And while they start using it then the development team moves onto the next step, the subsequent iteration. At every step of the way there is an overt emphasis on collaboration between developers and users. Nobody goes off behind screens or departmental smokescreens or politics or excuses; everything is transparent to the client and the users. And one of the most magical aspects of all is that no functionality is built in which users are not going to use.

Put Agile together with Cloud and it’s a case of ‘now you don’t see it, now you do’.

Cloud computing, the great provider

Cloud and Agile are suddenly almost synonymous, in IT-speak. Perhaps the best way of summing up the benefits of Agile development methodologies is to refer you to the actual word itself, or the broad definition thereof: able to move quickly, with skill, and control. The Cloud can catalyze the development process. It’s just like the weather, in fact; it’s everywhere. This means that new applications can be made available to users instantly, the very second a development team has completed them. There is no need for drawn out distribution procedures, the risks of down-time thus entailed, patches and reinstallations. Users can jump straight in and start using. Integration issues are overcome, change management is minimized and risks are minimized.

Putting Agile together with Cloud accelerates an organization’s pace of improvement. Bear in mind also that the working style of Agile is very much tied up with user involvement, drawing users’ right into the heart of the development process. Functionality is developed as they want it, how they want it. As developments move along in cumulative steps (iterations) the features and benefits can be rationalized and reprioritized as each project unfolds. No waste, either of time, or money. And just as soon as everybody agrees that the application is where it needs to be, off it goes into the cloud and everyone can start using it.

The prospects for the organization, in any sector, are breathtakingly exciting; Agile, working via the Cloud, now gives greater control over process innovation and more strength to the competitive edge than has ever been the case before.