Enterprise Agility and CollabNet

I recently had the good fortune to get on the road for a few weeks and take a deep look into both the state of software delivery and the role CollabNet plays in the industry.  From recent meetings with our growing field sales force, to visits with global customers and partners in the U.S. and Asia, I am excited to see the alignment of our company strategy with actual market dynamics.  As a company that has always been agnostic to any tool or process, the reality of today’s software development environment is that it requires both flexibility and structure across a range of tools, markets, processes, and even regional cultural differences in IT maturity. With the proliferation of open source tools, agile scaling and the rise of DevOps as the natural progression to promote collaboration, we’re seeing strategic approaches that are aimed at meeting both business needs and competitive pressures in various markets around the globe.

Trips like the one I just took give me time to think, and are a great reminder to me why CollabNet is so incredibly energized about the future.  The reasons I feel this way are many.

There’s the investment and support of our new equity partner, Vector Capital. There’s the new energy of a growing development, support and sales force. There’s the hard work and commitment from a growing executive and global team that is truly inspiring. However, it’s the external forces and dynamics – related to the role of software and how it’s delivered within large enterprise organizations – that has me most excited.

What we see is a huge mash-up of dynamics and forcing functions within the software industry that is leading to an end-goal that encompasses Agile, Continuous Delivery and DevOps combined.  These dynamics extend across IT infrastructure, external clouds  and interactions with embedded software systems. We all talk about getting software out faster, and with higher quality. Good stuff for sure. But today’s organizations – from SMBs and startups to the largest corporations, and including local, state and federal government agencies and education institutions – are now taking a big-picture view of their business value chains and their ability to respond faster to their market pressures.

So what is CollabNet doing about providing solutions to help enterprises have this “big picture view”?  Said simply, we are sharply focused on advancing the  notion of Enterprise Agility.

What is Enterprise Agility? I can tell you it’s not just another marketing buzzword being thrown around. It’s what CollabNet has been committed to for the past 15 years since we created the Subversion SCM open source project and first put commercial software development into the cloud. It’s also what Agile started – and what spurred the introduction Continuous Delivery and DevOps. It’s the notion of taking a strategic view and approach to orchestrating ALL of the functions and processes that go into building and deploying software. Enterprise Agility is about being adaptive, to internal and external dynamics, and the ever-changing tides of how people use software and the expectations they have, where they work, where they live and the federated tools they use, and finally to enabling change and responsiveness.

Today’s software-driven organizations need to have agility  – not be fixated on agile development. They need to offer developers freedom of choice when it comes to tools and processes, yet have the means to track activities with complete governance and leverage throughout the entire software delivery lifecycle. Said another way, Enterprise Agility is about enabling the combination of agile development and governance, not agile development at the expense of governance.  That’s precisely what we are committed to doing.

What’s your take on “agile versus governance”  or “Enterprise Agility”?   I’d like to get your input.


Bill Portelli

Bill Portelli is Chairman of the Board and cofounder of CollabNet. Bill has been a business innovator in open source, globally distributed software development and on-demand provisioning since the late '90s. Bill's background includes 30+ years of experience in creating businesses and driving startups to rapid growth through to successful IPO and acquisition, as well as executive staff leadership in billion dollar companies. He has consistently conceived of and led teams to deliver client-enabling IT strategies, products and services in both the hardware and software industries. In recognition of his accomplishments as a leader in global software development, Bill was honored at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the Technology Pioneer Award in 2010.

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