Technology

How Agile Teams Can Pursue Technical Excellence

Many businesses are exploring cloud transitions and Flexcube implementation to boost agility and stay up to date with rapidly expanding technology and consumer demands. However, the agile product teams that support these initiatives often struggle to satisfy the technical requirements of current cloud-native architectures, especially the need for safe and dependable apps to be released on a timely basis.

This problem is mostly caused by the absence of a systematic and consistent strategy to emphasize technical excellence throughout application development on the part of corporate product teams. Non-functional requirements (NFRs), or operational characteristics of an application, such as performance, reliability, and cost, are the focus of technical excellence in software development. Most of the time, product teams only evaluate NFRs after a large release or when issues, such as repeated outages, have occurred. The effectiveness of an application’s functional requirements, which are the behavioral features that product teams use to determine whether or not the application is successful, may be affected by NFRs.

Consider the scenario of a product team that needs to transition a containerized application from a containerized on-premises environment to a cloud-based environment. Unfortunately, the team discovered that the previous application infrastructure would not function in the new environment. They did not factor in the financial consequences of such a move during the planning process. This example highlights a prevalent belief that cloud-computing apps would be more stable and cost-efficient than on-premises applications. However, this is only true if the programs are developed specifically for the cloud environment from the beginning of their development.

A well-architected framework built on five pillars—operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization—against which to evaluate technical excellence can help teams identify these types of obstacles and improve NFRs that may affect application performance. To do so, teams should use a well-architected framework based on five pillars—operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization—against which to evaluate technical excellence. In fact, by using the framework to assist in the development of solutions for the cloud environment, businesses may reap the full advantages of a cloud transformation initiative.

The well-architected framework at work

A well-architected framework serves as the compass for achieving technical excellence. As a result of using this framework, firms will be able to build uniform and standardized criteria and standards that are readily adopted by product teams, and banks can use that to measure the effectiveness of NFRs. The performance will increase with time, and the criteria will develop along with it. As a result, regularly analyzing NFRs and technical improvements should become part of known agile techniques like sprint planning and backlog prioritizing. Backlog grooming, among other things. During the assessment phase of the transformation, the well-architected framework may also be utilized with commercial, off-the-shelf software or software as a service (SaaS) to provide a platform for probing inquiries and comparative analysis.

Five pillars support the well-designed framework for assessing technical excellence. These pillars are as follows:

  • Operational excellence is defined as the ability to operate and monitor systems in order to provide value to the organization while continuously improving support processes and procedures.
  • Protection of information, systems, and assets while providing business value via risk assessments and mitigation measures is the goal of security.
  • The capacity to recover from infrastructure or service failures, dynamically acquire computing resources in response to demand, and manage disruptions such as misconfigurations or transitory network difficulties are important aspects of system reliability.
  • Efficiency in performance: making efficient use of resources to satisfy system requirements while also maintaining performance as demand changes and technologies advance.
  • Cost optimization is the process of finding the lowest possible price point so that it gives a company value. This is achieved via the reduction or elimination of needless expenditures.

As far as we’ve seen, cost optimization is one of the most overlooked components of cloud computing. However, it is crucial in today’s pay-per-use cloud computing environment, based on consumption. Companies should be aware of which systems or operational practices contribute to application costs in order to make appropriate financial-management choices in the future. It is hoped that these results will assist product teams in better defining criteria for analyzing the cost implications of a business decision and more effectively allocating resources across functional and non-functional needs.

The analysis of service-usage patterns might help organizations discover workloads that could be relocated to various geographic locations, and they could also minimize the amount of infrastructure that is superfluous or underutilized during nonpeak hours to cut operational expenses. In addition, cloud providers’ automation and other cost models may lower expenses even more.

Because an unsecured system or application may do significant harm to a company’s brand as well as its application performance, security is less likely to be taken for granted than other factors. However, when assessment criteria are inconsistent or ill-defined, it is difficult to identify problems, even when security teams spend a significant amount of time laying out, codifying, and documenting the controls and measures necessary to protect an enterprise’s data systems, intellectual property, and other assets. If the framework is properly designed, it may direct product teams toward common security needs, such as standardized identity- and access management techniques, infrastructure, data protection, incident detection, and response.

One product team needed to migrate from an existing (three-tier) virtualized application stack to a new cloud environment. In order to rethink the platforms used in each of the tiers—for example, whether to use Oracle Flexcube universal banking—and evaluate the security issues and controls established in the new cloud environment, the group utilized the framework as a guide to assist them. As well as cost-optimization strategies, the team evaluated extra security concerns. As a result, by offering direction on assessing alternative methods and approaches, the framework helped the team save hundreds of hours throughout both the planning and development stages.

Using the well-architected framework as a foundation, matrices have been established in another firm to enable product teams to track how successfully their specific products are utilizing NFRs. Afterward, heat maps are used to display and compare items, aiding management in prioritizing, budgeting, and scheduling product releases. In this way, the growth and maturity of apps, as well as the teams responsible for their development, can be measured.

To connect their attention to each of the five pillars of the well-architected framework and increase NFRs and overall technical excellence, teams might start by asking specific questions about each of the five pillars:

  • Is the application intended to make the best use of available resources at the lowest possible cost?
  • Was it possible to put in place the essential security measures to maintain the integrity of the application’s data and identify and respond to security events?
  • Are we taking the necessary steps to ensure that our system meets our users’ reliability and performance requirements?

Conclusion:

As companies grow their dependence on Flexcube technology and make the shift to the cloud, their expectations for performance, dependability, and security risk increase as well, making a properly-architected framework a vital tool in this process.

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