Systems Management and Development Essay
Management of systems in an organization involves planning and adoption of new ideas and ideologies with the aim of improving the output and performance of an organization. This analysis of agile development, cloud computing, and green computing is based on the responsibility of my position as a Development manager. The firm in question is considered a medium sized organization.
Agile development is one of the trending IT development manifestos. The idea of agile development is based on core values of managing IT and software based projects and teams. The concept was developed in 2001 by a group of concerned developers who felt that the management of software projects based on the traditional approach was a letdown with today’s demand, requirements, and rate of development. The Idea of agile development is based on our principles:
Individuals and exchanges over processes, procedures and ICT tools;
Functioning software over complete documentation;
Client collaboration over agreement mediation;
Responding to modification over succeeding a plan.
The concept of agile development is based on the definition of the project: “Agile software development is based on fundamental changes to what we considered essential to software development ten years ago” (Bekker and Vermeeren 1996, p. 115). The following diagram depicts the fundamentals of agile software development.
Challenges to the Agile Development Concept
Agile development is relatively new to the computer science world. This is a factor that contributes to one of the greatest challenges that the venture expects during its implementation and execution phase. Knowledge of this concept is a huge obstacle to the project. There are few experts of the managing approach. In addition to a reduced human resource, there are new developments of the approach, which means that the experts involved in the approach will spend more time on training and developing ideas as opposed to utilizing the idea. Thus, expertise in agile development is a huge challenge in the management and implementation of the approach.
Another common problem that is associated with agile development, especially with teams, is change burnout. The introduction of a new managing system is a threat to the existing approach, and teams often have to put forth a lot of effort in adopting the new system. During the transition, often teams involved are stressed and should take on too many responsibilities, which leads to change burnout. This is especially common with new approaches, such as agile development, which is still in the developmental phase and where improvements and new knowledge is being impacted through the changing processes. Introducing the managing approach in phases may aid in eliminating or reducing the team burnout, but it is often expensive and less efficient in productivity.
Communication is a huge pillar in organizations and relationships between various entities in an organization or environment. Although communication is highly advisable, it must be controlled since it is a time consumer as well. The agile development managing strategy may be an interesting concept for consumers, but it is quite involving. There is a lot of communication that is involved in the implementation of agile development, which means that a consumer and an organization must always be in constant communication through the implementation process. The consumer must be introduced to the system and must be involved through the process via frequent communication, which is an obstacle for it hinders the development process.
Traditional and conventional organizational structures are another obstacle to the implementation of the agile development process. In the case of most organizations, teams have specific responsibilities and are usually the final signatories to a specific task or responsibility. The existence of specific teams is a hindrance to agile development since the system is interactive and integrative, which demands that a team constantly makes commitments with fellow teams and individuals. The implementation of change in an organization, thus, creates a challenge in the form of a new structure as well as policies. In the concept of management, this may mean a complete overhaul of the organization to incorporate the new policies and requirements associated with the agile development strategy.
The other obstacle associated with managing software systems is the amount of risks involved. Agile development presents its own set of risks that are detrimental to the productivity of the organization. The implementation process requires the adoption of risk management techniques to counter any changes that may be threats or risks to the organization performances. The nature of agile development, being new, involving, and often being improved and updated, means that bugs are a common incidence with agile management systems. The implementation of the agile system may require partial and backed up systems of implementation since a change in the system could lead to a drastic loss of organizational IT information.
Quality control is another obstacle associated with agile development, especially in an organizational structure in which teams are involved. As discussed previously, teams present several challenges to the management system (Truex, Baskerville and Travis 2000, p. 67). Teams that are required to meet a certain level of quality may have several challenges that come with adoption of the new program; this may mean that the customers may experience a change in the quality of overall products and services, which may potentially mean unhappy clients, or a loss of clients. The implementation of the agile management system requires that the teams are under constant stress and pressure and are always concentrated on the improvement of quality, which may also lead change burnout.
The other challenge that faces the implementation of agile development is being stuck with the old system. This is usually an issue of comfort. Implementation of change in the management of software projects into agile from a previous system shall incorporate several challenges, which are absent in the existing system, to which the organization was conformed. An issue of a pull towards a system that teams were comfortable with is an issue with implementing the agile development system, since it has new challenges. Teams shall compare the new system with the old system, and time is required to get used to the agile system, which means that there exists a period in which the old system is preferred, prior to realizing the benefits of the agile development process.
The planning and testing phases of the agile system implementation are other challenges that are expected. The planning process shall include setting deadlines and targets that have to be met by the organization while changing into a new and unfamiliar system, which is an obstacle to the organization. Successful implementation shall involve a testing period, in which the performance of the agile development system shall be analyzed. The testing phase is quite intensive since the teams involved must double check the processes, responsibilities, and results among other production necessities, which predisposes a period of labor-intensive responsibilities, which means additional expenses to the organization.
Cloud computing is a concept that revolves around the idea of delivering hosting services via the internet technology. The use of internet to provide hosting services in cloud computing is done through different platforms. In the practice, three services are provided under cloud computing: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) (Beyer and Holzblatt 1997, p. 89). These formats of cloud computing are based on the same ideology, though practiced under different channels. The cloud computing system differs from traditional concepts in that it is based on customer demand, elasticity and control by the provider. The concept of cloud computing revolves around the idea of using fewer resources, as a simple PC that has access to a network can benefit from the cloud computing idea.
Challenges to Cloud Computing
The first concern associated with cloud computing at an organizational level is security. Cloud computing must meet requirements that protect information that is owned by organizations, which involves continuous monitoring and maintenance of the inventory system. There exist a number of security challenges associated with an online located or based database over that of a physical system (Stapleton 2003, p. 89). This concern has security as the main concern with the online systems. An organization’s information being hosted over the internet is prone to numerous threats and attacks; it may be used by any hacker with the capability of attaching to the network and knowledge of bypassing security checks.
Cloud computing is a new concept that requires users obtaining new information, techniques, and strategies of using the resource. The users of cloud computing need more guidance on the working of the system as it provides different platforms of operation. Requiring guidance in cloud computing is justifiable in the concept that a user of SaaS, IaaS or PaaS has different requirements to be met to effectively use the cloud computing ideology. The guidance is necessitated by the lack of expertise and knowledge by the providers and users. The guidance relates to issues of application, purchases, IT resource assessing and management, with government also playing a role in the management concept.
The new cloud computing idea also means that little resources exist. The most affected resource in the use of cloud computing that presents the largest challenge is the necessity of the diminutive knowledge and expertise. Organizations, agencies, and teams may lack the necessary resources useful in implementing cloud computing. The resources could be in the physical or intangible measures, such as the lack of expertise and knowledge. In addition to a low availability of resources, constant growth of the concept requires that extra learning opportunities are implemented in the organization policy. The knowledge challenge greatly affects the choices made by the organization, with some of them being quite expensive.
Another challenge associated with the cloud computing technology is the idea of a service provider. From definition, cloud computing is controlled by a provider, and thus, one has to choose whom to sign up with in service provision. Government and authorities are having a hard time certifying and verifying vendors that provide the service, which is a challenge for organizations when considering issues such as security. The network-based system may have numerous vendors, which means that the organization shall spend a lot of time and resources analyzing the vendors. In addition, the services offered by vendors may not be tailored to the needs of the organization and may be insufficient or require an extra cost (Sommerville 2001, p. 172).
Another challenge associated with cloud computing revolves around the idea of compatibility. Service providers of the network-based service are faced with a challenge of ensuring that the client data is always available despite changes in the system or its infrastructure. A change in the system could easily lock up the client’s data, which means that the vendors of the service have to ensure that the system maintains easily accessible data formats despite changes in the infrastructure and platforms of the system. Changes in the platforms must incorporate the challenge of data portability and interoperability between different platforms that may be developed through improvements to existing platforms of service provision (Boivie, Aborg, Persson and Lofberg 2003, p. 625).
The nature of cloud computing is dependent on the supply and demand forces of the market. A challenge in the system is the procurement of services as the market demand or consumption changes. The service offered in cloud computing is hard to define and regulate since the demand by the market defines what the service provider is expected to provide to the users. Fluctuations in the cloud computing market is a challenge to both the clients and service providers due to issues of competition, competitive advantage, reliability, quality, and other business defined operation parameters. Due to such issues the concept of cloud computing requires various planning and implementation structures that shall aid in management, regulation, and control over the technology (Boivie, Gulliksen and Goransson 2006, p. 623).
Green computing is a concept developed that focuses on the idea of effectively using computing resources, while observing minimal impact on the environment, maximizing the viability of the venture economically while encompassing the responsibility social duties (Beck 2000, p. 123). The idea of green computing is based on the requirement of improving the efficiency as well as the life of the products used in computing. Green computing involves minimizing the amount of energy dissipated during the use of computing resources.
Green computing implementation may be implemented after an analysis of the benefits to the organizations. The Dematel technique involves numerical calculations that result into graphical theory, wshich facilitates arranging and deciphering of problems with visual aid. Therefore, segregating several principles into a cause and effect cluster that increases the competency of contributory associations is used to draw network diagrams, such as diagraphs used to exhibit direct associations of systems and their sub counterparts. This technique involves four stages of quantitative evaluation based on a specific criterion. The steps begin by determining a standard matrix, which is used to determine a standardized preliminary direct connective matrix, which is eventually used to determine a total connective matrix that determines a verging numerical finally used in drawing the network diagram specifically showing connectivity in a network relationship map (NRM) (Borgholm and Madsen 1999, p. 96).
Determining a standard matrix is the first stage that involves numerical calculation of a number of experts who have an opinion on a specific criterion. The experts (N) give an opinion on how a specific criterion affects another one, specifically criterion a and b respectively. This evaluation is represented by Hab, with each opinion given a rank from 0-4, whose numbers symbolize a null opinion, low opinion, medium opinion, high opinion and excellent opinion respectively. The standard matrix symbolized by yxy= S is then computed with the following formula [Hab]yxy=1/N ?Nk=1[xkab] yxy, which is also referred to as the preliminary direct connective matrix that shows an impact of one criterion on the other. The second stage involves determining the standardized preliminary direct connective matrix C using the following formula E= max (max1?a?y?b=1Hab, max1?b?y?a=1Hab), which is used in the next formula, C=S/E. E determines the computation of rows a and b of matrix S, therefore symbolizing the total impact of criterion a with the other criterion and vice versa with criterion b on a (Catarci, Matarazzo and Raiss 2002, p. 125).
The third stage involves computing the a total connective matrix M of the initial yxy by the following formula max1?a?y ?yb-1Hab, with M=[mab] and a,b=1,2……., which finally develops a new formula M=C+C2+Ct=C(1+ C+C2+….+Ct-1)=C|(1+ C+C2+….+Ct-1)(1-C)|(1-C)-1=C(1-C)-1, as t ? and |(1+ C+C2+….+Ct-1)(1-C)|= (1-C)m. Finally, the rows and columns are defined in terms of o and l vectors that are used to compute the sum of the total connective matrix developing the following formulas o=[o a] yx1=(?yb=1 mab) yx1 and l=[l b]’ yx1=(?ya=1 mab)’yx1. This rows and columns lead to the equalization between a=b, therefore determining the sum (oa+lb), giving an indicator that symbolizes the impact specified and expected by criterion a. The difference, which is (oa-lb), provides a net impact of a on the application tested. The following correlations are, therefore, formed from (oa-lb), where if positive and negative cause them to be a net specified and expected respectively.
The fourth stage that involves determining a verging numerical, z elaborates the organizational association among the criteria above, therefore, managing the convolution of the application (Credit risk assessment) by sorting negligible impact in matrix M (Damodaran 1996, p. 370). The criteria whose impact on matrix M is greater than the verging numerical should be used on the network relationship map according to expert opinions. The final verging numerical is finally chosen and used on the map.