SaaS solution accelerators in the age of agile project delivery

|September 22, 2017 0
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Janakiraman Jayachandran

Sixteen years ago, when the Agile Manifesto was laid down by a group of seventeen software professionals, their main goal was to find an alternative to “document driven, heavy-weight software development process”.

While the participants didn’t agree about much, they found consensus around four main values:

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Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools

Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation

Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation

Responding to Change over Following a Plan

From then to now, from a humble manifesto to a modern software revolution, agile delivery has gained ground quite rapidly to the point of nearly overthrowing traditional paradigms. In fact, a study by Standing Group revealed that agile projects are three times more likely to succeed than the traditional waterfall model of project development.

Today, in the age of Cloud Computing, agile project delivery is all the more relevant as the very idea of mobilizing applications and infrastructures on the cloud helps organization afford light-footedness. The concept of Software as a Service (SaaS) will play a key role in fulfilling agile promises on the cloud for enterprises, invariable of their size and growth. Gartner even predicts that “Cloud Shift” will become “one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending” by 2020 with an estimated cost incurred up to $1 trillion, out of which a significant 37 percent is estimated to be spent on SaaS segments alone.

SaaS Solution Accelerators- Agility on Cloud

The steep increase in the popularity of cloud adoption has left a significant portion of the business world, especially the traditional segments, perplexed with a multitude of problems and a myriad of solution providers.

As a preliminary component of a successful cloud transformation, addressing SaaS solutions has become a top agenda for enterprises of every size. As per the Gartner Hype Cycle for the year 2015, SaaS as a concept was predicted to reach its plateau of productivity (defined as the period over which a concept is widely understood for enterprises to benefit from it) in less than two years.

Today, the requirement has created a new wave of opportunities for Independent Software Vendor (ISV) to create unique SaaS applications, catering especially to the SMB segment of the market, for a wide range of functionalities.

In order to remain profitable, ISVs, while addressing the SMB segment, have to manage the fine line between making the most out of their budget while still offering exceptional applications. This necessity often pushes them to spend longer hours with minimal cost in fine-tuning their exclusive solutions. This is where the need for a solid framework, with in-built structural and functional components to build applications on top of it, comes into the picture.

Thus a SaaS solution accelerator essentially offers a template for ISVs to create and manage applications of any magnitude, from a simple subscription management to an elaborate office management system. By having a pre-built skeleton, ISVs can unzip, build, deploy and destroy applications in a jiffy thereby putting resourcefulness on the pedestal and offering greater cost and time flexibility for the enterprise.

Some of the other advantages for ISVs to seek a solid solution accelerator are:

Greater agility, lesser time to market: One of the important requisites of addressing segments like SMBs where the room for a fallback is little to none, is having short and continuous bursts of stable product upgrades and patch-fixes. A solution accelerator can enable the development teams to pick up from wherever they want and deploy solutions on the go.

Complete lifecycle coverage: Having pre-built solution accelerator means the applications that are built-on it are intrinsically ready for a full lifecycle of development. This allows ISVs to have more room to constantly innovate.

Enhanced support system: By opting for applications built over solution accelerators, the customers are guaranteed a broader support base that can address issues and deliver fixes almost instantaneously. Furthermore, working on pre-built frameworks also reduces the chance of the teams running into unique development and maintenance challenges.

The author is Director, Testing at Aspire Systems.

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