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Key Aspects to Consider in Every Application Development Process

Rajiv Sharaf, CIO, Torrent Power

Having completed his MBA in Business Analytics from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Rajiv boasts an extensive 35+ years long career during which he has successfully held key positions across numerous companies such as Reliance Infrastructure, BSES Telecom, I2i Media and Gujarat Communications & Electronics Limited (GCEL),SAC to name a few. Some of his key areas of specialization include business analysis, sales & marketing, key account management, business intelligence, business development, customer service and client retention.

In today's dynamic business landscape, time has become a deciding factor for the success/failure of every company, wherein customers expect their requirements to be met in the quickest time frame possible, while also maintaining high quality standards. As a result, by following the agile methodology, the company meeting diverse business demands in the shortest time possible. Companies can ensure that their application development teams are utilizing agile methodologies by using various metrics. These metrics help organizations to measure the performance of every team member, identify TAT of each application, total applications that are being developed, number of bugs in each application, time taken to rectify those bugs and many other aspects. Measuring all these key parameters gives enterprises a clear idea of whether their application development teams are following agile methodologies or not.

Budget Allocation for Application Development Initiatives
In any organization, budget is a very important activity that is done before the beginning of every financial year based on the diverse business requirements. There are two important aspects here - time to use the developer, and the time needed to procure new system or hardware in cases of system/resources unavailability. While preparing the annual budget plans, every business leader must take into consideration all such

aspects that might need the use of capital and accordingly allocate the budget for each department or function. However, one primary aspect that they must pay close attention to is to determine the TCO of these expenses over a period of five years and accordingly chart-out their budget plan in terms of CAPEX and OPEX.

Ensuring Scalability & Agility of Applications
Every client comes to you with their own specific requirements in terms of developing their application. Once the application goes to & fro between business and IT teams, it becomes mature and the number of users starts increasing. This will result in the company getting a clear idea on what further expectation that the end users have and are able to make the necessary changes to the application. There are two parameters that are very critical in this regard - scalability and agility of the application to be capable of catering to any kind of business requirement. While scalability is the ability of the application to be ramped-up as per increased load, agility refers to the ability of application to accommodate changes as per varying customer or business demands. Cloud has been the true enabler for almost every enterprise who have applications with varying loads because every application that is hosted on cloud offers enhanced scalability and agile capabilities.

It is paramount for organizations to ensure that the application development process is structured in accordance to the users who are going to use the application.

Aligning Application Development with Overall Business Goals
It is paramount for organizations to ensure that the application development process is structured in accordance to the users who are going to use the application. Also, it is important for the companies to understand that whatever applications that their internal IT teams are developing, are for end users and not for themselves. Thus, companies must first consider user experience at the base, identify who will be the primary users and accordingly define the application to successfully cater to the demands of that user group. Secondly, you must understand the goal that the business will achieve by building that application - be it operational excellence, customer experience, cost reduction, quick service or training & awareness. Developing the application by keeping these objectives in mind will ultimately result in the company achieving optimized business outcomes.

Security & Integrity of Applications
In earlier days, security was the last aspect that was considered and implemented in the application development process. But today, due to the increased number of security related incidents and the increased frequency at which they are occurring, security has now become the first and foremost strategy right from the initial stage of the application development process. There are many tools and platforms that are available such as DevOps and DevSecOps, which if used effectively, will help enterprises to ensure that their applications are secure right from the starting stage of the application development process. Once the application is developed, the internal security teams can also conduct various threat assessments and vulnerability & penetration testing to ensure that the application is secure and has no vulnerabilities.

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