Monday, April 26, 2010

HP rolls out application modernization tools on heels of Forrester survey showing need for better app lifecycle management

Application lifecycle productivity is proving an escalating challenge in today’s enterprise. Bloated app portfolios and obsolete technologies can stifle business agility and productivity, according to a new Forrester Research IT trends survey.

A full 80 percent of IT decision makers queried cited obsolete and overly complex technology platforms as making "significant" or "critical impact" on application delivery productivity. Another 76 percent cited the negative impact of "cumbersome software development lifecycle processes," while 73 percent said it was "difficult to change legacy applications," said Forrester's consulting division. The study is available. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts].

A sharp focus on overcoming the challenges associated with improving applications quality and productivity is leading to a growing demand for applications modernization. Specifically, agility, cost reduction and innovation are driving modernization efforts, the Forrester survey concludes.

Fifty-one percent of Forrester’s respondents are currently modernizing software development lifecycle tools, including software testing processes. But are enterprises truly realizing the benefits of application modernization efforts?

On Monday, HP rolled out a set of application quality tools that focus on increasing business agility and reducing time to market to help more companies answer "yes" to that question. The new solutions are part of the HP Application Lifecycle Management portfolio, a key component of HP’s Application Transformation solutions to help enterprises manage shifting business demands.

New challenges, new tools

HP Service Test Management (STM) 10.5 and the enhanced HP Functional Testing 10.0 work to advance application modernization efforts in two ways. First, the tools make it easier for enterprises to focus on hindrances to application quality. Second, the tools improve the all-important line of sight between development and quality assurance teams.

“To maintain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic IT environment, it is critical for business applications to rapidly support changes without compromising quality or performance,” says Jonathan Rende, vice president and general manager of HP’s Business Technology Optimization Applications, Software and Solutions division.

HP STM 10.5 works to mitigate risk and improve business ability by setting the stage for more collaboration between development and quality assurance teams. Built on HP Quality Center, enterprises are using HP STM 10.5 to increase testing efficiency and overall throughput of application components and shared services.

Meanwhile, HP Functional Testing 10.0 ensures application quality to address changing business demands. It even offers a new Web 2.0 Feature Pack and Extensibility Accelerator that supports Web 2.0 apps and lets IT admins test any rich Internet apps technology.

“It is critical for us, particularly in the financial industry, to react rapidly to development changes early on in the testing life cycles,” says Mat Gookin, test automation lead at Suntrust Banks. “We look to ... flexible technology that keeps application quality performance high and operations cost low so we can focus on preventing risks and providing value to our end users.”

BriefingsDirect contributor Jennifer LeClaire provided editorial assistance and research on this post. She can be reached at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jleclaire and http://www.jenniferleclaire.com.