HP Hits the Agile Road

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-02-12 Print this article Print

HP has announced a series of enhancements to its tool set for Agile software development, the HP Agile Accelerator, and is banking on its expertise to help enterprise customers modernize legacy applications and build better new ones.

HP has announced a series of enhancements to its tool set for Agile software development, the HP Agile Accelerator, and is banking on its expertise to help enterprise customers modernize legacy applications and build better new ones.

In a Feb. 11 Webcast, HP discussed its Agile platform and shared how its HP Agile Accelerator can help customers increase the quality of their applications, enhance productivity, and respond to changing business scenarios quickly and cost-effectively.

Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

Mark Sarbiewski, senior director of products, for HP Software & Solutions, said Agile development is changing not only software development, but software delivery models.

Moreover, Sarbiewski said HP looks at Agile as an accelerator for application modernization efforts.

"We see our customers involved in probably the largest application refresh in history," he said.

Sarbiewski said HP looks at application modernization across five key areas: technology, architecture, teams, process and platform. And the evolution in each area has moved: from proprietary to open for technology; from being in silos and monolithic to integrated and modular for architecture; from local, dedicated teams to virtual, shared teams; from lengthy waterfall-based processes to accelerated, Agile processes; and from a strictly on-premise platform to the cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments.

"With legacy systems we see a lot of things that are hard to maintain and costly, but we want and need to be more agile and responsive," Sarbiewski said.

Based on HP Quality Center software and HP Application Lifecycle Management consulting services, HP Agile Accelerator manages Agile development projects from proposal to production while helping IT departments better meet their application modernization initiatives. 

HP Agile Accelerator helps software development teams improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their business initiatives with predefined workflows, configurations and user reports. Recent enhancements include a built-in resource planning module, which allows development teams to better manage their Agile projects.

"Application development organizations are increasingly adopting Agile development practices to better manage risk and cut development costs," said Margo Visitacion, an analyst with Forrester Research, said in a statement. "It's time for testing to become more Agile as well. Traditional end-of-the-life-cycle testing is dead."

Recognizing the need to align applications to business priorities, one of the top initiatives for IT decision makers is to modernize existing legacy applications.  According to a recent Forrester report, almost 60 percent of respondents rated application modernization initiatives as "very important" or "important."

By using HP Agile Accelerator for application modernization initiatives, customers can:

  • Improve business agility with faster response to changing requirements: Change impact analysis allows application teams to understand how a change to a given shared component may affect dependent applications.
  • Reduce the risk of application performance degradation by finding defects earlier in the life cycle: With the ability to run security and performance tests in an Agile delivery model, enterprises can prevent the release of faulty software, saving time and money.
  • Increase return on investment by delivering quality software early and frequently throughout the application life cycle: With prebuilt process workflows and user roles, application teams can reduce scoping errors and deliver software more frequently.
  • Enhance productivity through greater collaboration: Standardized progress reporting improves visibility and communication across multiple teams.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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