Much has been said about the possible end of the IT department as organisations move to cloud computing. The drag on business progress due to the IT department has often caused frustration for both business and IT personnel. Machines cannot be provisioned as quickly as required, applications cannot be developed as quickly as is necessary are just two of the areas of frustration. The argument for the end of the IT department has often centred on the role of system administrators but I would like to consider it from the perspective of software development/developers.
In an effort to develop software faster and in a way that better meets the end user needs, agile development practices and techniques have been increasingly applied to the development process. A significant trend today is towards releasing software both regularly and frequently so as to get feedback from the end users. Sometimes release cycles can be as low as hourly. If these applications are hosted ‘in the cloud’ the developers can be located anywhere. Where is the best place for a developer to be located ? Maybe its next to/ with the end user so that on a frequent deployment cycle they can write the code, deploy and get immediate feedback from the end user.
This model of development has many advantages, and some disadvantages too, but the key is that it significantly changes the role of the IT department and software developers. Rather than being an isolated island(s) in an organisation that software trickles out of, the developers are scattered around the organisation, working with the end users to best provide a solution for the business that really meets their requirements.
In summary, rather than working in ‘batch mode’ for software delivery, software features released one by one as they are ready with real time input and feedback from end users can be a significant benefit to organisations. Working in this way has significant business advantages too. It will be interesting to see if it becomes reality for organisations in the near future – some are using this mode already. If you would like to learn about how cloud computing can impact software development, why not consider attending the Learning Tree cloud computing course, where the latest tools and products from the major vendors are discussed and evaluated.