In his CM: the Next Generation series, Joe Farah gives us a glimpse into the trends that CM experts will need to tackle and master based upon industry trends and future technology challenges.
Reliability, Availability and Performance (RAP)
Your solution won't work if you can't show me better levels of availability. Can you? This is a good question, especially if your tools rely on infrastructure in the layer below the CM functionality. As the project scales, will the vendor solution continue to perform well and reliably. Can consistent backups be done without affecting availability, even on very large projects? If there's a need to switch CM/ALM tools once again because of performance issues, the costs have just doubled.
What happens to multiple site operations when networks go down? Is data still available? And what happens when the network is restored? What happens when a disk crashes, or a disaster takes out one of your data centers? Non-availability of data is not an option in some projects, even if users have to cope with a no-update capability for a couple of hours. What about during an upgrade, or an upgrade of the infrastructure layer? Is data still fully available? What if there's a need to switch from a Linux architecture to the next OS or to Windows, or to different hardware? Or what if the vendor software has a problem? What if there's data sabotage from within the project? The easier it is to cope with these changes, the less it will cost down the road.
A related issue is security. Is data availability easily restricted? Can multiple contractors work on the same project without seeing one another's work, while the integration team sees all of it?
Better Processes Mean Higher Quality
Can we continue to evolve our process to improve more and more over time with your solution?