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February 19, 2019

Gartner Sees Rapid Shift from “Project” to “Product”-Centric App Delivery Model

More organisations will colocate IT members into business units

By CBR Staff Writer

An overriding majority (85 percent) of organisations have adopted, or plan to adopt, a so-called product-centric application delivery model, according to a survey by global research house Gartner, Inc.

The model entails cultural shifts like colocating IT members into business units, system improvements and a DevOps approach. It is based on constant improvements rather than siloed project metrics.

Just 40 percent used the approach for their work in 2018, but Gartner predicts the figure will reach 80 per cent by 2022.

“The increase in how quickly and broadly organizations are adopting the product-centric application model doesn’t arise randomly. It goes hand-in-hand with the adoption of agile development methodologies and DevOps,” said Bill Swanton, distinguished research vice president at Gartner.

“In addition, an increasing number of applications that IT teams develop are used by external parties, such as clients or partners, and require the increased customer focus that characterises the product-centric model.”

The survey found that over half (54 percent) of respondents expect to fully adopt the product-centric application model over time, while roughly one-third (32 percent) plan partial adoption. Managing everything as a product is unlikely to be justified, as some IT activities, such as initial implementation of a large software package, may well be better managed as projects.

Figure 1: Plans for Adopting a Product-Centric Application Delivery Model

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Note: Due to rounding, numbers may not add up precisely to the totals shown.

Source: Gartner (February 2019)


Swanton added: “Business leaders are generally unhappy with the speed at which they get application improvements and how they work. Given that no IT organisation gets anywhere near enough funding to do everything everyone wants when they want it, product-centric approaches allow faster delivery of the most important capabilities needed. They also force the business to prioritise the work, and to reprioritise it as requirements are better understood or the market changes.”

 Speed to Market and Digital Business Motivate a Product-Centric Application Approach

Thirty-two per cent of the survey respondents identified a need to deliver more quickly as their main driver of adoption of a product-centric application approach. They said that speed to market was the main driver of their transformation process. Digital business came second (31 percent of respondents).

The shift from a project-centric to a product-centric application approach does not come without challenges, however. Concerns about project-based funding and the culture clash between “the business” and “IT” were the top challenges for 55 per cent of the respondents.

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