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Cloud Expo: Article

Agile Cloud, Big Data and Mobility

Cloud and Big Data projects can leverage the incremental and iterative aspects of Agile methodologies

Cloud computing has reduced deployment times and the ability to try out new ideas without significant investments in hardware and software. Cloud supports business agility and Cloud projects may have a quicker turnaround time for releases. Many programs have declared victory as being Agile since they are using the rapid deployment capabilities of Cloud and Big Data. The myth is "I use Cloud" hence I'm Agile". However this is only the business agility aspect in terms of using the "pay as you go" model of Cloud to have quicker provisioning and deployments. Agile management and development is a focus on Agile techniques throughout the development lifecycle. On some projects, in an attempt to get products out using Cloud, Big Data Business Intelligence tools quickly, the magnificent capabilities of Agile management and development have been forgotten. Agile processes do put forth specific methods to manage the rapid development cycles and changing requirements in application development.

With an overall shift towards Shared and Cloud Services, there is more focus on aggregating services hence true Agility is realized when it is leveraged not only in the development, but also in the integration of services. Agile development techniques can be successfully leveraged during the Cloud, Big data and Mobile application development lifecycles. In the waterfall approach projects start with specific requirements and then progress through the phases on the life cycle. An Agile strategy and development approach starting with requirements and working through development can be helpful to demonstrate the releases incrementally and iteratively. The continuous feedback aspects of Agile can reduce the risk of having a sphagetti of services that don't work well together.

For Cloud, Big Data and Mobile services, an Agile approach can enable incremental and iterative demonstration of the aggregated service functionality. The "rapid" aspects of Cloud and Agile can link up to create a complete rapid delivery paradigm. The focus in Agile is on the product being released on a regular basis and releases being determined by regular user feedback to manage changing requirements. Agile development significantly reduces the risks of coming up with a solution that is not what the customer desired. Agile methodologies focus on rapid delivery of releases, and Cloud, Big Data, Mobile projects that also focus on such rapid delivery can be a good match for such methodologies.

Cloud facilitates a shorter turnaround for projects and Big Data technologies can process large amounts of data and provide advanced analytic capabilities. Cloud and Big Data projects can leverage the incremental and iterative aspects of Agile methodologies for iterative and incremental feedback to stay on course and reduce the risks. Many development tools now incorporate Agile techniques and these can be leveraged to build desired business solutions including Cloud and Big Data. IBM's Rational Team Concert provides a platform for agile development and related planning.  HP's Application Lifecycle tools and accelerators enable building solutions for agile development. Microsoft Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server support agile development processes. Testing tools should have capabilities to test regularly and move towards automated testing. The key for such projects is to have tools and technologies that support agile, collaborative lifecycle management and regular integration for releases with periodic testing to demonstrate functionality desired by the users.

(This has been extracted from and is reference to Ajay Budhraja's blog)

More Stories By Ajay Budhraja

Ajay Budhraja has over 23 years in Information Technology with experience in areas such as Executive leadership, management, strategic planning, enterprise architecture, system architecture, software engineering, training, methodologies, networks, and databases. He has provided Senior Executive leadership for nationwide and global programs and has implemented integrated Enterprise Information Technology solutions.

Ajay has a Masters in Engineering (Computer Science), and a Masters in Management and Bachelors in Engineering. He is a Project Management Professional certified by the PMI and is also CICM, CSM, ECM (AIIM) Master, SOA, RUP, SEI-CMMI, ITIL-F, Security + certified.

Ajay has led large-scale projects for big organizations and has extensive IT experience related to telecom, business, manufacturing, airlines, finance and government. He has delivered internet based technology solutions and strategies for e-business platforms, portals, mobile e-business, collaboration and content management. He has worked extensively in the areas of application development, infrastructure development, networks, security and has contributed significantly in the areas of Enterprise and Business Transformation, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Technology innovation, Performance management, Agile management and development, Service Oriented Architecture, Cloud.

Ajay has been leading organizations as Senior Executive, he is the Co-Chair for the Federal SOA COP and has served as President DOL-APAC, AEA-DC, Co-Chair Executive Forum Federal Executive Institute SES Program. As Adjunct Faculty, he has taught courses for several universities. He has received many awards, authored articles and presented papers at worldwide conferences.

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