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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: The Glitch Economy

November 8, 2017 No Comments

In today’s ever-increasingly digital world, the effect of a software glitch can be severely detrimental to an organization. For example, in July of this year, a glitch caused the stock prices of well-known Nasdaq companies such as Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, eBay and Microsoft to be inaccurately listed on websites long after that day’s closing bell.

Even though the actual prices of the stocks were unchanged, the sites showed some had plummeted in price and others had nearly doubled. Unsurprisingly, many people were fooled and took to social media to discuss the false listings, dragging company names into a controversy over something that had never happened. Dalibor Siroky, CEO and co-founder at Plutora, answered some questions about the impact of the glitch economy.

  • Q: Are software glitches really a big problem for companies, or is it just talk?

A: They definitely are a big problem, and becoming a bigger problem. We see software glitches happening every day, and some recent research by Tricentis showed us that software failures in the US cost the economy $1.1 trillion in assets in 2016. In total, software failures at 363 companies affected 4.4 billion customers and caused more than three and a half years of lost time. These are numbers that nobody should ignore.

  • Q: What is a major theme or cause you see contributing to these glitches?

A: Software releases are the single biggest factor contributing to downtime (and glitches) across all industries. With organizations being relentlessly forced into a trade off between agility and risk, many of the quality checks and governance balances put in place to prevent glitches are coming under severe pressure.

  • Q: What’s happening during software releases to cause downtime and glitches?

A: With the move to more agile methodologies, long software development lifecycles are becoming a thing of the past. Timelines are frequently measured in weeks or days and projects are often in a perpetual state of release and testing. Frequently, the next version of the code is ready for testing and staging when teams are deploying the last version to production. This increase is release cycle speed is one of the biggest factors causing downtime as mistakes are made and testing is not given the time it needs to catch them.

  • Q: Obviously mobile apps are a large part of software releases and updates. How do they play in this “glitch economy?”

A: Developing for mobile applications is another factor driving relentless development cycles. For example, customer-facing applications may suddenly need to access a new location service or require a location service to connect them to other users. The difference between a mobile app being adopted or ignored can be down to whether it has the ability to rapidly adapt to new features. And with mobile projects targeting multiple mobile platforms simultaneously, it can be very difficult to finalize the point where a mobile app can stop responding to changes in a platform.

  • Q: So what can be done to help prevent so many glitches from happening?

A: Companies can do a few things to help manage and prevent software glitches.

–        First, adopting a streamlined approach utilizing predictable, high-quality, automated enterprise software delivery would help cut down delivery delays and glitches. And by implementing end to end release management, organizations can manage software delivery across the entire enterprise release portfolio and throughout the complete lifecycle of each release, including planning, approval and execution.

–        Secondly, another integral part of the process is testing. Modern enterprise test management tools can support the complete software testing process across all types of development methodologies. They can use a single instance for all projects by consolidating testing design, planning, manual and automated execution, defect tracking and progress reporting.

  • Q: Is there a way to consolidate or harmonize development and delivery?

A: By implementing enterprise release management technology, organizations can enable existing systems to support the adaptive environment that more accelerated methodologies are creating in many Fortune 500 companies. These tools can accelerate delivery and maintain the integrity of the software and stability without compromising the speed of production. With an enterprise release management platform, companies can scale to meet the increasing demands on the software release cycle.

The software development cycle is becoming increasingly agile, but for many organizations the delivery management process is struggling to achieve the continuous delivery approach that is required. Modern enterprise release management technology can also help businesses to better match development to delivery. Unless enterprises take steps to try and align the two more effectively, the risk of software glitches and downtime could well increase.

Dalibor Siroky

Dalibor Siroky, CEO and Co-Founder, Plutora

Dalibor has close to 15 years of leadership, consulting, enterprise product, and operations experience in Australia, Asia, and Europe. Before co-founding Plutora, Dalibor was the founder and managing director of Finotaur, a leading provider of independent management consulting services to Wealth Management, Investment Management, Private Banking, and Payment institutions within the Asia Pacific region. Earlier in his career, Dalibor served as the CIO of financial advisory software at Macquarie Bank, head of solution architecture at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dalibor holds an MS in Software Engineering with distinction from the University of Oxford and an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago. Dalibor is also a graduate of the Royal Military College of Australia and served as a Captain in the Army.


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