The 2009 Voke Innovators announced Tuesday were the choice picks by analyst firm Voke Inc. of companies showcasing innovation across the software lifecycle through ongoing communication, collaboration and connectivity between stakeholders.
“We are looking at what types of companies are really making a market impact and really helping people transform the traditional linear application lifecycle to a global lifecycle,” said Voke Inc. founder and lead analyst Theresa Lanowitz.
Modern IT organizations must operate in a collaborative manner, said Lanowitz, so it’s necessary to break down those silos that exist within IT, between IT and other parts of the business, and between the organization and others. “And, that is really going to help people function much better,” she said.
Especially in the current economic downturn, businesses are looking to streamline expenses and could make use of available innovative technologies to gain significant return on investment, said Lanowitz. Most organizations have already invested in some form of application lifecycle management, she said, and continuing to spend in this area by extending that core technology will transform how their business operates.
Among the 2009 Voke Innovators is Toronto-based Blueprint Software Systems Inc., a developer of tools to streamline requirements gathering in software development projects. The company’s chief marketing officer, Matthew Morgan, agreed that the current economic environment is driving organizations to seek other ways of running the business.
“No one has increased budgets, no one has increased headcounts, and there is additional pressure to do more with offshore and outsourced teams,” said Morgan. “And, as a result the status quo is just not scaling.”
The standard IT lifecycle process is made up of different groups – business analysts, designers, developers, quality assurance – performing the same tasks repeatedly, explained Morgan. “By doing this over and over again, you introduce risk through translation and a tremendous amount of wasted time,” he said.
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Morgan cited industry analyst estimates of a 40 per cent “re-work tax” – or the percentage of resources that must be put to fixing a delivered software that doesn’t meet business needs – that can occur as work teams get increasingly distributed. “It’s the impact of those working costs that is really a project backlog,” he said.
Also part of the 2009 Voke Innovators is Waterloo, Ont.-based MKS Inc., a developer of an enterprise application lifecycle management (ALM) platform for coordinating software development.