Enterprise App Development Shifts

The world of IT application development is shifting to help the enterprise stay connected.

By Trenton Cycholl

In a fast changing application development landscape, how does the enterprise continue to derive business value from applications, one of the key objectives of Information Technology (IT) application groups?

It used to be a pretty structured set of tasks for IT - deploy and maintain ERP and CRM systems, connect them with some core integrations, and provide enhancements over time.  Enterprise business units would then gain value by sharing information and content within the core platforms and realize continued value over time with upgrades and custom enhancements to the core platforms.

Today however, core platforms are being "unbundled" with the move to the cloud and several things are happening:

  • Departmental solutions are providing more value for business units and groups
  • Mobility is providing increased productivity value to individuals
  • Grass-root efforts are driving more individualized experience and adoption

All this means a value-add shift for IT developers and technology solution providers in the enterprise. This alters how IT development teams manage supply and demand in the IT value chain as well as the expertise required to enable businesses to be productive.

"Sculpting" demand is shifting the expectations to manage requirements for smaller, micro-level ideas. Businesses are less interested in prioritizing requirements across entire departments and large groups, but rather setting expectations that IT groups find enterprise value from individual requirements that can be connected with technologies or solutions. Large projects will need to become a series of smaller enhancements to meet the agility and flexibility required from today's fast-paced business climate. This trend will continue to drive the demand discussion to meet the needs of smaller teams and individuals.

Supplying resources and solutions to meet this new demand will require more strategic supply methods from application and technology teams. Core development on platform technologies is providing more ways for the individual business units to configure functionality and enables developers to focus on only the required customizations or real differentiators for the enterprise. These business unit resources, sometimes known as “citizen developers”, are able to configure systems "on the fly" with a high level of agility while leveraging the core platform that IT manages and maintains. Also, open source and community development initiatives are becoming sources for supplying additional resources to solve enterprise problems and provide core features that meet the enterprise demand.

The world of IT application development is shifting to help the enterprise stay connected. Functionality and capabilities are giving way to connecting and virtualizing the “platform” for the enterprise. Collaboration is extending outside IT teams into business units and operational teams. Additionally, with the focus on user experience, expertise in design is required. Professionals will be shifting skills to more use of integration tools and adapting to open source development tools. Connecting value across the enterprise is the priority.

At Citrix, one way we are moving with this shift is through our Citizen Developer program. Over the last year, we have leveraged developers outside of IT to configure over 3,000 hours of system changes. As part of this formal program, changes are still governed and integrated with the core enterprise systems. Additionally, this program has allowed our core enterprise developers to focus on complex development changes and systems that are used internally in Citrix.

Let’s keep the enterprise connected!  

Trenton Cycholl
Senior Director
Information Technology, Cloud Application Delivery