the need for "virtual" information radiators and visibility & status-reporting. An interesting project to keep an eye on in this space is BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) - another Eclipse-based way of extracting and reporting on all the CM data.
Distribution also raises issues of how to either unify (into a datamart) and/or gather data from multiple sites and/or distributed repositories to meet the needs of SOX and other compliance requirements.
The Rise of ITIL (BS15000 and now ISO20000)
In the world of IT Service Management, the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has grown from something created by the UK Government which was rapidly adopted across Europe as the standard for best practice in the provision of IT Service, and has became a British and ISO Standard .
Although the ITIL covers a number of areas, its main focus is on IT Service Management ( ITSM). The major ITIL disciplines are:
- Configuration Management (the CMDB is at the heart of ITIL)
- Problem Management
- Change Management
- Help Desk
- Software Control and Distribution
- Service Level Management
- Capacity Management
- Contingency Planning
- Availability Management
- Cost Management for IT Services
One of the things that ITIL has been doing very well is getting its message across to the business which has bought in in a big way. Business managers can see the resulting benefits. ITIL Certification is ramping up very quickly and becoming a requirement for sub-contractors in many areas. CMM certification has become a marketing weapon and competitive edge, particularly for off-shore development over the past few years, and ITIL is fast achieving a similar status.
The challenge ahead is to integrate ITIL with software development and ALM, particularly in distributed environments.
Microsoft's Team Foundation Server
Microsoft managed to release Visual Studio 2005 in November, although they pushed back the introduction of Team Foundation Server to Q1 of 2006. This is definitely an event that can't be ignored by both other vendors and the rest of the industry. It is part of Visual Studio Team System and includes tools for:
- Class/UML Design
- Unit Test Coverage
- Load Testing
- Performance Testing
- Defect Tracking
- Configuration Management
An interesting year gone by: some new trends appearing but lots of old issues still to be addressed.
All in all, plenty of challenges to keep us busy and on our toes as Agile SCMers going forward - Happy New Year!