Collaboration – it’s all about the tooling

With the right tools in place, collaboration can be supported, sustained and made part of a company’s culture, says Ed Airey from Micro Focus

By Guest on 11 August 2017
Collaboration – it’s all about the tooling

This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of The Record.

This magazine is full of tributes to collaboration. This article is another. So, if we all agree that collaboration is a good thing, why isn’t everyone doing it? 

For many, enabling enterprise-sized collaboration isn’t easy. There are no magic bullet points to follow. Scaling up through duplication doesn’t work. Having multiple teams using different tools, for example, or developers with alternative skillsets, is a picture of fragmentation – not collaboration. 

Some organisations only make the odd tweak, such as ‘going agile’. But this will not deliver the lasting improvements in software delivery speed and efficiency the business needs to be competitive. 

The challenge of enabling collaboration will resonate with organisations attempting to implement ‘DevOps’. Collaboration is the central tenet of DevOps and those looking to implement a culture of continuous improvement will understand the problems of getting fractured teams in sync. 

But collaboration and enterprise DevOps are within reach. The key is to realise the value of modern integrated development environments (IDE). They facilitate connectivity. Smart tools support sustainable collaboration that quickly becomes part of the culture of the company. I’m going to focus on Visual COBOL for Visual Studio.

Smarter, better tools – supported by Visual Studio – enable collaboration. These silo-busting technologies can help the most distributed teams become better connected, leaner and more agile. 

When collaboration is front and centre, developers see the workflow from left to right, and feedback loops from right to left. With a world-class IDE, team members can turn this ‘new thinking’ into an achievable way of working. These tools underpin a culture of continuous improvement. 

Not looking at enterprise DevOps yet? Then how about the more immediate business imperative of achieving faster time to market? Or meshing decades-old application logic and data with the new technology that supports innovation? Suddenly, collaboration is the common denominator behind so many strategic ambitions.  

Micro Focus and Microsoft have shared a mutual, 15-year commitment to Visual Studio users. Micro Focus Visual COBOL for Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 reflects this commitment, delivering an integrated tool set for software developers as they look to build better business applications, improve quality and collaborate across the enterprise.

Responding faster to new business requirements, from long-established assets, development teams must deliver innovation faster than ever before. That demands smarter collaboration. And if you want better collaboration, then Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2017 is a pretty good way for today’s .NET and COBOL developer to do just that. 

Ed Airey is director of solutions marketing at Micro Focus


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