The value of Software Intelligence

Auteur(s): Harold van Heeringen Cast

The value of Software Intelligence

In this paper, two topics are addressed. In the first part, the results of a survey are shown of 500 IT leaders and their technical objectives. In the second part, the value of Software Intelligence is shown from a risk, cost and value perspective.

This paper is about the value Software Intelligence. So, what does this mean? The Wikipedia definition is as follows:

“Software Intelligence is insight into complex software structures produced by software designed to analyze database structure, software framework and source code to better understand and control complex software systems in Information Technology environments. Similarly to Business Intelligence (BI), Software Intelligence is produced by a set of software tools and techniques for the mining of data and software inner-structure. End results are information used by business and software stakeholders to make informed decisions, communicate about software health, measure efficiency of software development organizations, and prevent software catastrophes.”

“Basically, Software Intelligence creates understanding into software health and architecture, end to end transaction flows, data access patterns and more, helping teams decide confidently and work faster. Getting the right kind of Software Intelligence for your organization can help streamline the application portfolio, improve end-user satisfaction, speed time-to-market, prevent business disruption and reduce cost, enabling IT organizations to break down software complexity and tackle the next wave of innovation”

METRI observes in the industry that many organizations lose grip on their Application Portfolio. On the one hand a lot of legacy systems are still running, usually forming the backbone of the organization. On the other hand, especially after adopting agile methodologies to develop software faster and better, new software is integrated into the portfolio almost on a daily basis. And Lehman’s law of Software entropy still applies! Every new release of software result in a weaker structural quality of the application, resulting in a higher TCO. Considering this, and the fact that any organization can go out of business really fast when the wrong software system goes down for too long, it becomes apparent that it’s crucial to understand the structural quality of the application portfolio and base decisions on data instead of ‘gut feeling’. Software Intelligence provides automatically a detailed overview of the application portfolio, the risks regarding security, performance, robustness, maintainability and transferability of the applications. It shows the technical debt, the critical violations, and the technical and functional size of the applications, and even the size of software releases.

And here it becomes even more exciting. Once the functional size delivered by a team per sprint, or release is measured in an objective way, it suddenly becomes possible to compare the performance (productivity, speed, quality) of teams to each other in a meaningful way. And compare the teams with the market. METRI observes a factor 10 difference between best-in-class performers and worst-in-class performers. Insight into the performance of teams in combination with the risks and cost of the applications, provides senior management the right control levers to manage the organization.

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