The pace of change for App Dev leaders has always been rather hectic. In my 32+ years as an "apps guy" - I can't recall a time when supply of technology resources ever fully satisfied all  demand for the work that business leaders would like to do. Satisfying that demand has always been a challenging and constant balancing act. The past few years have heralded the age of the customer, where the voice of customers is amplified by social media and enabled by mobile applications - accelerating the pace of change for app dev & delivery leaders to a relentless pace. If you're hoping for a brief respite in 2015, it's time for rethink.

As a group-think exercise, esteemed colleagues John Rymer, Kurt Bittner, Chris Mines, and I focused on predictions for calendar year 2015 in the context of the change swirling around modern app development & delivery. We believe that several watershed events will drive 2015 change to the technology we'll use, the processes we'll employ, and the comeptition for a shrinking pool of talent. The full details can be found here - Predictions 2015: Modern Apps Mean New Technologies, Processes, And Skills. As an aside, Mobile app dev & delivery is tumultuous enough to warrant its own set of predictions - see Predictions 2015: Mobile Development Goes Composable, Contextual, And Cross-Touchpoint

You'll consolidate technology:

  • Public cloud choices will narrow into two groups - the big three versus everyone else - where should you place your bets?
  • DevOps trends will consoldation in the application life-cycle management (ALM) tools market and favor of lighter-weight continuous delivery ecosystems - how does this affect your tooling strategy?
  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) business apps provide new options for legacy application escape hatches to shed obsolete technology, redundant apps, and aid application rationalization movements - have you assessed whether SaaS business apps are right for you?

You'll change core processes:

  • Late majority firms that have successfully employed Agile on several teams will work to scale across teh enterprise, while innovators and early majority firms will embrace DevOps to realize Agile's promise - faster delivery.  Demand for expertise will far outstrip supply - will you have the skills you need to accelerate delivery and fulfill demand from your business leaders? 
  • Rationalization processes become incredibly important to reduce waste, free resources for customer-centric work, and identifying which groups of apps can be eliminated or replaced by SaaS suites. Is it time for you to get serious about rationalization - whether the target is SaaS OR merely freeing resources for more innovative work?

You'll adapt your staffing practices:

  • You will pay more for key skills - cloud, mobile, and modern app delivery require new skill sets that are already in high demand, and in 2015 will come at increasingly high cost. How will you acquire and retain key skills with only modest budget increases?
  • The legacy skills market tightens as baby boomers begin to retire in earnest in 2015 - 65 years after 1950. How deep and wide is your exposure to boomer retirement, and how does that accelerate your need to rationalize away from legacy technology?

Those points represent some key take-aways from the report, read both reports to get a handle on app dev & delivery in 2015. Fair warning, you need to be a Forrester client to view the full reports. Your comments on this and other blogs are welcome, as always. You can also contact us here.

This blog originally appeared at Forrester Research

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