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Application development morphs into application delivery

Closing the gap between the needs of the business user and the capabilities of the developer is a driving demand these days. It is also a major theme of Forrester Research’s upcoming Application Development & Delivery Forum 2011 (Sept. 22-23 in Boston, MA). Most of us already know the Web has drastically changed application integration and development. But, many years into the Web tsunami, the changes continue to astound. Thus, Forrester’s event is focused as much on delivery as it is on development.

“In the past, the world of the IT development manager was different”, said Mike Gilpin, Forrester  VP and Research Director, who chatted with us about the upcoming event.  “You were much further away from the customers, and the usage tended to be focused on accounting or human resources – supporting the (in-house) operations of the company,” said Gilpin.

It’s true.  It was not long ago that IT built its applications primarily for in-house users. Most new apps directly face customers; that places new responsibilities on development managers to ensure the applications are easy for customers to use. Now they are built for the general public, and development managers are more toughly measured on how easily their applications work. Inability to deliver engaging experiences may mean business lost to competitors.

”Just as QA is now everybody’s business, so is customer experience,” said Gilpin.

Greater agility is required – in every way. There is more ground to cover – everything is connected to the Web.

The world is increasingly digital. Application delivery leaders are finding they are under much more pressure to deliver. ”Today, you are on the hot seat,” Gilpin said.

He’s right. The Web has changed the frequency of application integration updates. IT no longer works a year or more to build something that will remain unchanged for up to a decade. We have rolling launches and continuous integration based on Agile principles. This too is front and center at Forrester’s Application Development & Delivery event.

Many of the presenters at the event are familiar to readers of pages. Jon Rymer and Phil Murphy discuss the impact of Information Technology-to-Business Technology transformation. Mike Gualtieri talks about how application development teams can get better at designing user experiences. And
Dave West, familiar to readers of sister publication, outlines the connection between Agile development and customer-facing design.

If you are a solutions architect, enterprise architect or application development manager, and customer-delighting application integration building is not naturally in your DNA, an event like this may be worth consideration. If you are not going to be in Boston, will be there reporting on the event for you.

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