Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Kelly Burford, Automic Blog, Derek Weeks, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

The Missed Opportunity of Agile SaaS | @CloudExpo #DevOps #Microservices

We are seeing a similar groundswell around agile marketing

As the launch date approaches for Markodojo, my agile marketing SaaS startup, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my SaaS experiences have shaped my thinking on agile management, and visa versa. SaaS and agile present complementary aspects that enable a uniquely symbiotic relationship. Agile aims to help businesses increase responsiveness to customer needs, while laying a foundation for continuous improvement. SaaS opens up real-time customer communication and product delivery channels, while simultaneously establishing a long term customer relationship. The high velocity at which SaaS customer value can be understood and then delivered through the SaaS product enables faster, more accurate fulfillment of SaaS customer needs to reduce SaaS churn and drive SaaS growth. IMHO, adopting and mastering agile software development, agile marketing and pretty much agile everything should be a priority of every SaaS business.

agile saas opportunity

A Little Agile History

The roots of agile software development and agile marketing lie in agile manufacturing, lean manufacturing and total quality methodologies. The original total quality goals were very simple: increase quality and improve productivity. Two goals that were seen as opposite were made to be one. As global manufacturers mastered total quality, they upped their game and looked to increase responsiveness to customer needs, while maintaining productivity. Again, two goals that were seen as opposite were made to be one. This is the origin of agile.

Agile software development and agile marketing have followed similar, but unique paths. Buggy software, product delays and death marches were the norm in the 90s. A groundswell formed around the idea of taking the agile principles that had been so successful in manufacturing and applying them to software. Could we turn a death march that produces bugs into an efficient production line that produces quality software? In 2001, this culminated in the publishing of the Agile Software Manifesto. Since then, agile software development has become the industry standard.

Today, we are seeing a similar groundswell around agile marketing. The emergence of modern marketing as an essential revenue driver has led to high pressure performance, inflicting many marketing organizations with the same ills that plagued their pre-agile software engineering peers: too much work, too little time, and too little understanding in the rest of the organization of the work required to produce quality results.

The Forgotten Agile Customer

agile saas customerAs agile evolves and adoption expands throughout the SaaS sector, one thing concerns me greatly. What happened to the customer? The very first line of the principles behind the Agile Software Manifesto begins: “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer…”, but all I ever hear is SCRUM, collaboration, backlogs, sprints, and story points. The voice of the customer has somehow been lost. On most agile development teams, a single ‘product owner’ represents the voice of the customer and must compete with CEOs, VPs and VCs to be heard.

There are three ideas at the center of any agile methodology.

  1. Customer-driven products and services enabled by real-time customer data
  2. Increased productivity from higher quality and reduced waste
  3. Iterative, continuous improvement over the long run

It is #1 that defines agile; #2 & #3 are borrowed from earlier methodologies. The overarching idea is that productivity and quality are table stakes, whereas real-time customer responsiveness creates sustainable competitive advantage in a fast-moving market. There are few markets moving faster than SaaS, but we are missing the agile SaaS opportunity. Agile is not SCRUM. Agile is not sprints. These are just means to the end. Agile SaaS aims to accelerate SaaS business growth increasing the velocity of value delivered to your SaaS customers.

Agile SaaS and the Velocity of Customer Value

We use the word ‘value’ alot in SaaS: lifetime customer value, average subscription value, total contract value, SaaS company value, and so on. However, we rarely use it in the agile sense of the word: customer value. Not the value of a SaaS customer to the SaaS business. Not the value of a SaaS business to its investors. The value a SaaS business delivers as judged by its SaaS customers.

When we choose a feature off the backlog, publish a blog post or handle a support ticket, the opinion that counts in agile is the customer’s. Your SaaS customer must say it, read it, write it, click it, rate it, review it, share it, try it, buy it or recommend it to provide a measure of your work. It is a core competency of any agile SaaS business to collect, analyze, disseminate and act upon feedback from its customers. If your SaaS business has implemented agile software development or agile marketing, but it doesn’t have a continuous real-time flow of feedback from your customers indicating the value of your work, then you don’t really have agile.

On the other hand, you might be the most customer-focused SaaS business on the planet, but if you don’t have the ability to act on it faster than your competitors, then it will do you little good. An agile competitor can learn from your customers as well as its own, copying and improving whatever innovation you deliver before you have time to sell it. Agile SaaS businesses set up a continuous loop of customer feedback and product delivery: listen, build, deliver…listen, build, deliver…etc., that responds rapidly to the needs of their customers and keeps them ahead of the competition. The higher your velocity of value, the faster your SaaS business grows.

The Agile SaaS Opportunity

Imagine getting real-time SaaS customer feedback on your SaaS product on a daily basis. Your customers can rate, review, suggest, complain or ask for help from directly inside your product. Then, complement that with real-time product usage data and ongoing customer surveys. Then, expand that feedback beyond your product to everything you do from your blog to technical support. Now, imagine that information being accessible to everyone in your organization, not just a product manager or market researcher. Finally, imagine your teams using agile methods to take that feedback and turn it into new product releases, new marketing campaigns and new services in a matter of days and weeks as opposed to months and years. This is the Agile SaaS opportunity.

No other industry has the same intersection of intimate long-term customer relationships, potential automation of customer feedback and product delivery, and intense market competitiveness. No other industry has more capability to reap the benefits of agile or the need to do it. Does your SaaS business measure up to your agile imagination? Or, are you missing the opportunity of Agile SaaS?

More Stories By Joel York

Joel York is an Internet software executive and popular SaaS / Cloud blogger at Chaotic Flow and Cloud Ave. He is well known for his work in SaaS / cloud business models, sales and marketing strategy, and financial metrics. Professionally, he has managed global sales and marketing organizations serving over 50 countries, including local offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and India. He holds degrees in physics from Caltech and Cornell and received his MBA from the University of Chicago. Joel York is currently VP Marketing at Meltwater Group and Principal at the Internet startup consulting firm affinitos.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering management. To date, IBM has launched more than 50 cloud data centers that span the globe. He has been building advanced technology, delivering “as a service” solutions, and managing infrastructure services for the past 20 years.
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the benefits of the cloud without losing performance as containers become the new paradigm.
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve full cloud literacy in the enterprise world.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. That means serverless is also changing the way we leverage public clouds. Truth-be-told, many enterprise IT shops were so happy to get out of the management of physical servers within a data center that many limitations of the existing public IaaS clouds were forgiven. However, now that we’ve lived a few years with public IaaS clouds, developers and CloudOps pros are giving a huge thumbs down to the ...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex to learn. This is because Kubernetes is more of a toolset than a ready solution. Hence it’s essential to know when and how to apply the appropriate Kubernetes constructs.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is correlated with 20% faster time-to-market, 22% improvement in quality, and 18% reduction in dev and ops costs, according to research firm Vanson-Bourne. It is changing the way IT works, how businesses interact with customers, and how organizations are buying, building, and delivering software.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. For more information, visit https://www.t-mobile.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Jenny Hung, E2E Engineer Manager at Yahoo Gemini, Haoran Zhao, Software Engineer at Oath Gemini, and Lin Zhang, Software Engineer at Oath (Yahoo), will describe the technical challenges and the principles we followed to build a reliable and scalable test automation infrastructure across desktops, mobile apps, and mobile web platforms on the cloud. We also share some...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lavi, a Nutanix DevOps Solution Architect, explored the ways that Nutanix technologies empower teams to react faster than ever before and connect teams in ways that were either too complex or simply impossible with traditional infrastructures.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that saves you time and money and ultimately simplifies your life.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.
Every few years, a disruptive force comes along that prompts us to reframe our understanding of what something means, or how it works. For years, the notion of what a computer is and how you make one went pretty much unchallenged. Then virtualization came along, followed by cloud computing, and most recently containers. Suddenly the old rules no longer seemed to apply, or at least they didn’t always apply. These disruptors made us reconsider our IT worldview.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nirmata will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nirmata provides a comprehensive platform, for deploying, operating, and optimizing containerized applications across clouds, powered by Kubernetes. Nirmata empowers enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers and its underlying resources. Nirmata not only simplifies deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters but also facilitates delivery and operations of applications by continuously monitoring the application and infrastructure for changes, and auto-tuning the application based on pre-defined policies. Using Nirmata, enterprises can accelerate their journey towards becoming cloud-native.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Opsani is creating the next generation of automated continuous deployment tools designed specifically for containers. How is continuous deployment different from continuous integration and continuous delivery? CI/CD tools provide build and test. Continuous Deployment is the means by which qualified changes in software code or architecture are automatically deployed to production as soon as they are ready. Adding continuous deployment to your toolchain is the final step to providing push button deployment for your developers.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations and optimization to employee training and insights, all ultimately create the best customer experience both online and in-store.
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous architectural and coordination work to minimize the volatility of the cloud environment and leverage the security features of the cloud to the benefit of the CICD pipeline.