“By focusing less on the flow of work and more on the flow of value, enterprises can unify business and development streams,” says Gaurav Rewari, CTO, digital.ai in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.
ET Bureau: How can enterprises unify business and development streams to develop software that creates business value?
Gaurav Rewari: To unify business and development streams to create business value, enterprises must implement solutions that enable a continuous flow of value to the customer, and therefore the business itself.
A successful example of the combination of the business and development value streams is the airline industry. Today the industry is a prime example of where the app is the business. Development streams for airline apps have been put in place for the targeted purpose of making the digital check-in process more reliable, quicker and user friendly.
For enterprises that find their business value streams are more diverse and have a combination of being technology-assisted, having lots of manual steps, or having high latency. These enterprises implement development solutions such as value stream mapping and tools that help provide optimization opportunities.
Furthermore, the optimization opportunities enable intersecting the development value stream with the business value stream that will ultimately help create business value as a whole. As a result, greater visibility is achieved across the business, permitting a more unified approach between the business and development value streams.
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To better align and manage business and development value streams, enterprises can develop new measurement and management systems to integrate business outcome metrics with data from their DevOps processes.
As a result, the enterprise has the end-to-end visibility across not just the DevOps toolchain but the business toolchain, and therefore understands the impact an application can have on a business. By focusing less on the flow of work and more on the flow of value, enterprises can unify business and development streams.
ET Bureau: What steps can enterprises take to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives while delivering secure products and services to their customers?
Gaurav Rewari: Enterprises need to drive acceleration across people, process, and product components of their digital transformation journey. This can be done by investing in a robust flow metrics and analytics solution that enables end-to-end visibility across the business and development value streams and identifies bottlenecks and opportunities used as learnings for optimization.
For example, investing in a flow acceleration solution that provides end-to-end DevOps metrics and helps identify various sources of inefficiencies such as areas of ‘non-value-added work’ can help enterprises with their digital transformation initiatives.
A flow solution that can also use AI capabilities to highlight where there is significant risk in a release can improve this process further because it provides an extra level of visibility. By implementing solutions such as these, enterprises can make more informed decisions across the people, process and product areas of software development, which can subsequently accelerate the digital transformation initiatives for the company.
For instance, the business may find that recurring patterns in the release schedule indicate that a particular team’s ability to estimate the release duration is consistently inaccurate. Therefore, they can decide how to better this process and improve that team’s ability to accurately estimate the release time.
Furthermore, this solution may uncover a recurring pattern of the developers receiving unexpected work from the company’s IT service management operations resulting from a problem management backlog that the help desk agents are unable to resolve. They may also find that there are emerging areas of feature ‘scope creep’ that have previously been shown to translate to schedule risk or a higher risk in release quality.
Nevertheless, with the right investments in data and analytics, enterprises can proactively identify the bottlenecks of their software development stream and supply their software development aircrafts with the cockpit they need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their digital transformation initiatives.
ET Bureau: How can enterprises leverage data and AI/ML technologies to integrate all the disparate tools and processes across the enterprise infrastructure?
Gaurav Rewari: To leverage data and AI/ML technologies to serve the needs of the digital business, enterprises must address the classic ‘information management’ challenge where sourcing, shaping and serving the data specifically for the purpose of analytics.
To do this, enterprises can implement a number of key capabilities that contribute to solid information management architecture. These capabilities can include deep, semantically aware integrations to different source systems across the plan, build and run landscape
A unified logical semantic model that provides accurate results across a siloed data landscape; a set of analytical engines that can provide descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytical capabilities that can provide the visibility into the software development process; and support for ongoing customizations at the source data level and shifting end-user requirements at the business level. These are some of the core capabilities needed to make all of this possible.
Ultimately, at a time when every company is a software company, the software development organization needs analytics as rich as what the sales and marketing organizations have at their disposal. Given scant skills in this area, I believe that prebuilt solutions with curated insights are the best way for enterprises to deliver rapid results in this area.
ET Bureau: What trends do you think will shape software creation and delivery for enterprises?
Gaurav Rewari: First and foremost, enterprises have recognized that they need to align their software development processes to optimize for the flow of value rather than for the flow of work. This is the core goal of value stream management which represents the next stage of the evolution of software lifecycle management (SLM). As VSM becomes mainstream, the implications on how software is developed, how teams are organized, and even how business and technology interact will be huge.
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One trend is a powerful move towards simplifying the software lifecycle management landscape with fewer tools as well as powerful integration and orchestration between all the components. This has been called a value stream delivery platform (VSDP) by Gartner.
Similarly, there is a value stream management platform (VSMP) trend, that provides a data and analytics control plane to power smarter decision making and drives greater alignment between IT and the business. At the core, it is AI, which is leveraged to automate and aid decision-making.
As Chief Technology Officer & GM of the AI & VSM platform, Gaurav brings over 25 years of experience driving technology innovation at leading data and business analytics companies. Gaurav joined Digital.ai following its acquisition of Numerify, a leading provider of AI-driven IT Business Analytics applications, where he served as co-founder & CEO. Previously, he was Vice President of Product Management and Strategy at Oracle.