Time is money, so let’s keep this post short and to the point. Cloud as a tool helps software companies deliver their services to market quicker. All software companies develop, integrate, deliver and manage their software. So, let’s explore how the cloud as a tool assists in getting to market quicker.
Traditional software methodologies, time lines and cost structures are now coming under scrutiny in every phase of a project life cycle. Companies once took old hardware out of production and then allocated their computing toward development environments because it still had some economic life left. But the costs of managing and maintaining these environments have never been well structured, have not been very flexible and configuring development environments can take several days to configure or reconfigure. If developers are solving unique sets of requirements, this always exacerbates the “hurry up and waiting” for the environment to be configured and reconfigured.
Other areas of infrastructure that are typically overlooked during development are load balancers and firewalls because they are too costly for the development environment. In my experience, these pieces of the infrastructure always seem to cause the most headaches during implementation.
To shorten these time lines, project managers are turning to the cloud to provision and decommission their environments much faster than previously possible. These new cloud environments also include load balancing and firewalls. Additionally, innovative software companies are also leveraging “follow-the-sun” development and organizing unit testing with other development teams around the world. Cloud enables this to happen at incredible speeds by creating unit and load-testing environments quickly and efficiently and then decommissioning them when complete. Problems are found earlier and fixed in the development phase. This is an extremely cost-effective way to lower costs, reduce time to market and bring higher quality software to market in record time.
Most applications today must integrate with other software products and services. But integration environments can become very costly in the set up and tear down. Integration environments can be heavily used during development and testing phase and then not leveraged for months. The cloud is a great opportunity to provision and de-provision instances while not in use, thus saving money and time during the development phase.
As you deliver and manage your software and services in the cloud, it seems this is the area that most industry analysts, writers and others have spent their time discussing. Not all clouds are created equal. You need the cloud to be adaptive enough to follow your software development methodology and then flexible enough to deploy it into an enterprise production cloud.
Larry Steele is technical vice president, software-as-a-service, at Savvis.