Through the adoption of Agile concepts and new best practices such as automated testing, organizations can move beyond the innovation curve and bolster their IT infrastructure. In fact, the need to build agile and resilient IT infrastructure has become increasingly pertinent over the past 18 months.
From remote working and managing the diverse needs of employees in remote locations to the growing rates of cybercrime, the move from the physical world to the virtual one has seriously impacted the ability of organizations to operate. It comes as no surprise that business leaders are increasingly investing more in new tools and technologies to improve their IT infrastructure, transform operations and drive business value.
That said, it still remains relatively rare for enterprises to wholly adopt Agile approaches and techniques, despite the fact that doing so can help improve the efficiency at which goods and services hit the market. The fact is that many technology companies still do not use Agile as it is difficult to implement at scale. In addition, Agile transformation demands a cultural change, which can often take time.
Nevertheless, sooner or later, Agile IT will need to be implemented across businesses in various industry sectors, as well as across all branches of an organization. Our experience has been that Agile transformation will help your business grow and succeed.
What is Agile IT?
Agile is a philosophy—a mindset that can be applied to improve the provisioning, management and operation of digital infrastructure. Agile promotes business-led development, whereby a product owner and software development team collaborate as a single entity to deliver tasks that are prioritized based on business value. These tasks are also delivered over a short timeframe, such as via two-week sprints.
Essentially, your infrastructure is far more likely to be both secure and resilient if Agile concepts are implemented throughout the software engineering process. As a result, new digital products can be delivered to customers more quickly. For example, Agile ways of working include making small, iterative changes to deliver high-quality results with speed. You can also spin up infrastructure when needed, which keeps the cost of innovation down.
The Differences Between Agile and Traditional IT Infrastructure?
Infrastructure agility is best achieved using modern solutions such as cloud technology. This significantly differs from the traditional approach of having on-premises infrastructure, which cannot be scaled up or down as needed. In fact, on-premises solutions often require extensive upfront capital, while investing in cloud resources works on a pay-as-you-go model to deliver flexibility and elasticity for strategic needs.
The conflict between adaptive software methods and predictive methods is another significant difference between these approaches. Development teams follow a comprehensive plan in traditional waterfall approaches, and any changes must go through stringent change control management. Agile requirements, on the other hand, require flexibility, allowing teams to adjust to changes as soon as they occur. This method is suitable for smaller projects that must be performed quickly and efficiently.
Benefits of Implementing Flexible IT Infrastructure
The advantages of having Agile IT infrastructure are numerous. In fact, the adoption of Agile methods not only promotes business growth but is also a great way to reduce costs and improve team performance. By working in sprints, teams can turn around features more often and nurture their value throughout the business. Agile transformation also enables organizations to offer new products or solutions to customers faster, gain early feedback and make changes if necessary, thus avoiding error from the very beginning.
Cost optimization is another benefit to consider. With Agile infrastructure housed in the public cloud, IT leaders can expand or decommission resources based on consumer demand. Cloud companies’ pay-as-you-go strategy also ensures that costs are kept to a minimum viable level. For example, maximum limitations can be set for the scaling out of resources. Most importantly, agile working methods eliminate the need for substantial upfront investments, resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI).
How to Achieve Agility
The benefits of Agile transformation are clear; however, the journey to achieving this can take time. First and foremost, becoming Agile requires a clear understanding of what it means and why it is important for your business’ competitive context. Once the ‘what’ and ‘why’ are defined, the ‘how’ becomes easy. The three core steps to achieving this agility are:
- Implementing new methods
Instead of trying to rework existing IT management tasks and procedures, it is often better to think of new ones as part of the Agile journey. This will ensure that your system’s performance and availability are in line with your core goals.
- Investing in the right tools
Agile is all about delivering smaller outcomes quickly. To achieve this speed, automating key stages of the software development process is key. There are a host of tools available to undertake this automation, including hybrid cloud solutions that can seamlessly switch between the public and private cloud. A careful selection of the tools that best fit your needs and the correct implementation of these throughout the organization is paramount to achieving success.
- Changing the culture
To become an agile business, the entire organization requires a cultural change—from how the business discovers a problem to how that problem is resolved by technology teams and monitored in production to enable a faster feedback loop. At every stage of the process, team members need to perform tasks differently, which often requires training, buy-in from the wider team and a collaborative approach.
Investment in Agile IT is a smart decision for business leaders hoping to transform their operations, ensure resilience and drive business value. By choosing infrastructure that caters to these needs, you can save money and ensure confidence at critical moments.