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Time and lack of understanding holding back agility

CA Technologies has found that it is not money but rather fears over time and a full understanding of the technology and process that is holding back the adoption of more agility

When it comes to helping a business become more agile the problems holding back progress are perhaps surprisingly not too heavily related to cost.

What prevents an awful lot of firms from rolling out the sort of technology and practices that will give them the chance to be more flexible is a lack of understanding and fears over the time it will take.

At this point there is clearly an opportunity for the channel to step forward and provide the calm and helpful assistance needed to get customers to the next stage.

The barriers to greater agility have been identified by CA Technologies, which discovered that many CIOs fully understood the benefits of greater flexibility, with only 15% expressing budgets as a problem.

As well as a meed for more education there was also a chicken and egg issue with IT departments expected to do more with less and roll out agile IT, which would help them with efficiencies, but do both at the same time.

“This research highlights the real benefits that adopting agile practices can bring to IT departments and how an agile approach can be the answer to many of the pressures they are facing,” said Andrew Sales, agile coach (Emea), CA Technologies.

“Interestingly it’s not a lack of money, but a lack of understanding that is holding back that change. Agile can be the catalyst that allows businesses to embrace benefits such as delivering more frequently and keeping up with the competition, but only if they are open to it,” he added.

Although CA found that more firms were looking at increasing their activity this year there still remains a fair amount of work needed to get he vast majority into a position where the business is truly agile.

Most of the work that has been done so far, or is planned for the rest of this year, is largely confined to the IT department and agile practices are yet to spread across other parts of the business.

Earlier this week Oracle’s UK boss warned customers not to delay embracing digital transformation otherwise they faced losing out to more fleet of foot competition.

Dermot O’Kelly, Oracle’s senior vice president for UK and Ireland, told told delegates at the firm's Digital Transformation conference earlier this week in London that time was running out.

"The good news is that CEOs get it. The bad news is that don't think they have to do anything about it yet," he told an audience of customers and channel partners.

"You don't have two to three years. Businesses now are doing a lot to digitise their business processes," he added.​

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Time is often misunderstood, especially when it comes to using an agile development process. But, whether you’re following an agile approach or not, speed can only come from slowing down, and applying the necessary discipline and rigor to development practices. Only then will being more agile be possible and effective.
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It does take time to give up old habits and develop new ones. Unfortunately, it's very rare when team building is considered a real and critical deliverable, and time and effort are allocated for that. Note: One day trip might be a useful instrument but it doesn't flip the switch.
On the other hand, there's a fear from management side. A well jelled team is self-regulating and successfully resists external pressure. In organizations with blaming culture strong teams would undermine divide-and-conquer approach.
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