With efficiency and agility front of mind, business decision makers have turned to online database software and other cloud solutions to streamline operations and more effectively allocate resources. However, according to information technology and enterprise consultant Ajay Budhraja, this has created the myth that using the cloud automatically makes a business agile.
Cloud technology enables quicker software provisioning, but the concept of the agile paradigm extends beyond shorter time-to-deployment. As Budhraja noted, agile techniques involve a framework of continuous feedback and incremental management through the duration of the software lifecycle. He suggested that IT leaders can take a similar approach to their cloud deployments.
"In the waterfall approach projects start with specific requirements and then progress through the phases on the life cycle," Budhraja wrote in a blog post. "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 spaghetti of services that don't work well together."
Corroborating the notion that agile techniques can provide value across the enterprise, Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins said that businesses using agile development were better able to incorporate emerging technologies and respond to disruptive trends. Citing data from Forrester's Q3 2012 Global State of the Enterprise Architecture Online survey, he said only 20 percent of respondents using agile reported "significant troubles with emerging technology disruption," compared with 26 percent among all businesses polled.