Agile is a process methodology in which a cross functional team uses iteration and continuous feedback to successfully refine and deliver a process outcome. The Agile methodology has been developed in the world of software development over the past few decades where it has been paired with DevOps. Agile is mostly about process while DevOps is about automated build, test automation, continuous Integration and continuous delivery.
Digital Transformation is all about efficiency and working together to drive faster and more relevant business outcomes, and that is why more IT organizations are adopting the Agile methodology. IT organizations have a legacy of siloed operations with server, network, storage, data base, virtualization, and now cloud administrators passing change notices back and forth to deliver a business outcome. Many would argue that IT was more focused on IT outcomes and not business outcomes. Even when data centers used technology to create shared data repositories to break down the data silos, the different functions were still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now with cross functional teams including business as well as IT functions working together using iterative Agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business out comes and deliver it more efficiently.
Hitachi Vantara"s IT under the leadership of our CIO, Renee Mckaskle, has been using Agile methodologies over the past two years to drive Digital Transformation. And the results have been very impactful. I described this in a previous blog on how IT used Agile to change the branding of three companies, Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight, and Pentaho into Hitachi Vantara on our electronic systems and service desks worldwide in less than 30 Hours! IT was also part of an Agile cross functional team lead by our Chief Communications Officer, Mary Ann Gallo, including other key stakeholders, like sales, supply chain, HR, legal, DevOPs, etc. which completed the process of rebranding in less than 6 months, a process which would otherwise take over a year.
Hitachi Vantara has expanded the use of Agile from its beginnings in software development across the entire organization. Agile provides us with a nimble approach, where small cross functional teams, with a clear direction and strategic milestones can iterate through short sprints to ensure alignment across the board, communicate effectively, and focus on problem solving and achieving our common business goals.