Developing Software for the Cloud: Are Your Partners Agile?
The “cloud” has opened up the opportunity for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to rapidly deliver new software features to customers. The days of waterfall development are over, with newer methodologies such as Scrum gaining in popularity. Understanding how frequently a company releases software and the methodology they employ is an important consideration for you and your customers.
Here’s why: With waterfall methodologies, software releases are completed over a long period of time. In this model, customer requirements change and often what was planned for is obsolete by the time it is released. With Scrum or Agile practices, releases are done with greater frequency and the work done by the developers is prioritized by business value, which is defined by what customers need. This allows for software companies to release new features or enhancements that improve the customer experience much faster than waiting for a full feature to be completed and released.
Consider that roughly half of software features developed are never used. Scrum helps ensure that you will not only use the features, but that they are rooted in what represents the highest business value to the customers. An important distinction here is that the focus is placed on value to the customers, not value to the company. Too often, companies develop software based on what they think is needed, never asking customers for input on what they actually need.
If you are a partner, make sure that there are Agile methodologies in place at the companies you’re partnering with. They will not only deliver you software quickly, but it will allow you to have a competitive advantage. Another important consideration is whether the technology is actually being developed by the company you are purchasing from. Many companies, known as system integrators, are trying to sell you software they simply did not developed themselves. This presents a major challenge to you as a reseller because you will have little, if any, say in what features are released.
When you place your bets on a company, especially a “cloud” vendor, make sure the intellectual property belongs is them and that they practice Agile methodologies. Your business will benefit as a result.
Eric Webster is VP of Sales and Marketing at Doyenz, a leading provider of cloud-based disaster recovery to the channel. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of TalkinCloud’s annual platinum sponsorship.