Digital Transformation Driving VSM Adoption

The number of organizations using value stream management (VSM) to bridge the divide between DevOps and the rest of the business is expected to dramatically increase over the next two years. The shift is due, in part, to investments in digital business transformation initiatives.

A survey of more than 500 executives, IT and business leaders conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of Broadcom, a VSM platform provider, finds the percentage of organizations employing VSM will rise from 42% today to 70% in the next two years. Nearly three-quarters of organizations (72%) that are not currently using VSM plan to do so in the next 18 months or more.

The survey also finds that 85% of organizations are collecting some subset of value stream metrics today as part of an effort to deliver solutions faster (56%), improve decision making (55%) and increase transparency (54%).

Laureen Knudsen, chief transformation officer at Broadcom, said that as organizations embrace DevOps best practices more broadly to drive digital business transformation initiatives, they need more visibility into the application development process. VSM surfaces the insights required to not only identify bottlenecks but also track how changes in application delivery timetables will impact key performance indicators (KPIs).

VSM traces its lineage back to lean manufacturing methods, which called for each step of a manufacturing process to be continuously measured. As software development has evolved from being a craft to an automated process using DevOps best practices—and as organizations realize just how dependent they are on software—an appreciation for the value of monitoring the impact of missed software development deadlines on the business is growing steadily. VSM platforms automatically collect technical metrics from DevOps tools that are then correlated against the KPIs the organization decides to track.

The Broadcom survey found more than 96% of respondents’ companies are already in the process of adopting digital transformation. Strategic objectives include increasing efficiencies (70%), improving product quality (67%) and improving customer value (63%).

Most respondents (92%), however, are anticipating product development challenges for 2022. The biggest product development challenge cited is a lack of visibility throughout the product life cycle (45%) followed by inefficient processes (44%), lack of resources (42%) and enterprise-wide lack of understanding of how products deliver customer value (42%). A full 89% of the business leaders surveyed also noted they continue to struggle with organizational silos between strategic development and operations; 93% noted that better alignment between teams would improve their organization’s overall return on investment (ROI) in software development. A total of 95% said they believed VSM would optimize their product life cycle processes.

Knudsen said that, in time, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will increasingly be infused into VSM platforms to enable automated feedback loops between the business and DevOps teams. In the meantime, DevOps teams should be prepared to adjust project priorities based on the needs of the business and to endure a higher level of scrutiny as business stakeholders become more involved in setting the software development agenda.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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