Cloud and “As-a-Service” Development Companies and Scrum

By Mark C. Layton

Cloud and “as-a-service” development companies use scrum to get their products out the door quickly and effectively. They leverage the power of the Internet.

Cloud software and scrum

Clouds in software and IT do not refer to droplets of water. (After all, water and electronics don’t mix well.) Cloud computing is actually the networking of large groups of remote servers that enable centralized storage of data and other software functionality. Software services in “the cloud” provide online access for customers to access their data and use the software, usually through a web browser. Clouds may offer public access, private access, or a mix of both.

SaaS and scrum

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of distributing software applications that are hosted by a service provider and made available to users over the Internet. No installation on personal computers or devices is needed. Customers usually pay a monthly fee or subscription.

Even mobile apps, which require a download, have quick downloads that can be done on the go, over Wi-Fi, or over a mobile network while roaming. Installation discs, manually entered license keys, and hours of installation steps with your device plugged in are a thing of the past. The cloud enables scrum teams to inspect and adapt to real, live data, and redeploy quickly to address that feedback.

SaaS adoption by companies rose from 13 percent in 2011 to a whopping 74 percent in 2014, according to a Gigaom Research and North Bridge Venture Partners survey.

IaaS and scrum

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud-computing model of providing organizations with the outsourced equipment necessary to support IT operations, including hardware, servers, storage, and other networking components. IaaS providers own the equipment and are responsible for sourcing, running, and maintaining it. Clients typically pay per use, based on volume of data or size of equipment. These same products also enable other companies to manage their IT and operate their infrastructure in a more scrum-like way. For example, installing a new database server used to take weeks or even months. The in-house engineer had to procure the equipment and then build, configure, and install it before the database engineers could get started installing the database and migrating data. IaaS solutions now allow for this to be done virtually in a matter of minutes.

PaaS

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud-computing model that provides computing platform and “stack” (set of software subsystems) solutions. Clients typically pay license fees and/or per-use fees.

With IaaS and PaaS services like Amazon and others, IT organizations can spin up a new server in minutes! It’s immediately ready for data and ­installation.

For instance, Oracle reports that IaaS administrative and maintenance automation reduces time and labor up to 68 percent, automated testing and provisioning speeds raise implementation by up to 50 percent, and unplanned downtime is reduced by 30–90 percent due to policy-based monitoring and management.