Arch & Infrastructure

Gartner Analyst: Rethink the application paradigm - consider business capabilities

The application platforms we are dealing with today encourage outdated software design processes.  A better way for development managers to think is in terms of deploying capabilities to a particular environment that has the ability to interact with other capabilities. This eliminates the artificial walls between applications. It may, in fact, for some advanced enterprise architects, represent a new view on SOA infrastructure.

That is at least one take away from a discussion with Kirk Knoernschild, a research director with Gartner Group.  Enterprises are beginning to uncover a fundamental mismatch between the way code is developed and the business value of the development process, argues Knoernschild.  “We have taken this notion of an application that runs in its own process that we are accustomed on the desktop and essentially carried that over into the notion of an app on a server,” he explained.

“Why do we even need the notion of an

    Requires Free Membership to View

application on the Web?” asked Knoernschild.  “It is an artificial notion that constrains how we go about building, deploying and managing software. Instead of application, we need to think in terms of business capabilities, the business process and business activities. “

A significant contributing factor to this disconnect lies in the way in which new code is funded. The challenge is that this process has developed a monolithic application mentality, which makes it easy to add too many competing elements to the finished product. He noted, “Before we know it, we are left with application bloat. We have this all of these applications and some do the same thing, while others are unique.”

The source of the problem is caused by thinking about the development process in terms of applications rather than metrics which are meaningful to the business.  Thinking about code in terms of application focuses the attention on metrics like project cost and time to code, which detract the focus from more significant metrics that relate to the end product.

Traditionally IT focuses on IT metrics like cost, time to market, and the number of defects, code quality and test coverage. Perhaps those types of metrics are useful for assessing how streamlined the development process is – but there are other values to consider.

Organizations also have to look at the value their software provides to the business after it is developed. Just because it cost $2 million to deliver a project that is on time and on budget, does not mean the system provides the value the organization needs.

Knoernschild said, “Understanding the business value is also very important, and that is an area where a lot of organizations tend to fall short. That can come in a variety of forms such as worker productivity, customer satisfaction, and retention.”

This was first published in January 2011

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.