A fair few of the stories in this month's CIO magazine deal with managing the software development process, for some at a time when organisational upheaval is rife. As many IS executives discovering, the pressure to manage people skilfully has never been greater, and the task must be accomplished in tandem with the difficult culture changes underway in the enterprise.
Application software is one of the most critical components to enterprise success. Think back to the early '80s to when word processing and spreadsheets ruled the desktop. The biggest benefit was decreased duplication of effort. One could create templates to use over and over again, reducing the reinvent-the-wheel syndrome that was so prevalent in the business world.
Although the concept of reuse has been around for a while, some companies are beginning to apply the idea to their underlying software code. CIOs have started asking themselves: "Why start from scratch when there's a possibility of reusing software code from other applications?" If your company already is squeezing every ounce of productivity out of its people, it makes sense to look at software code reuse as a viable alternative to building applications from the ground up. As you will read in Louisa Bryan's story, beginning on page 16, the biggest barriers to component-based development are cultural - not technological. But changing minds and processes is what the CIO's job is all about. Working closely with vendors, outsourcing partners and software developers is the key to getting your IS department to embrace new concepts - especially those that will keep your company competitive.
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