If I had to make a prediction about the future of software delivery, I would say that it will look a lot like it does now—but closer to perfection. Over the next five years or so, I expect the process of software development and delivery to be much smarter, faster and better because enterprises will continue to learn from their mistakes and refine the ways they do things. Increasingly, enterprises will need to smoothly align their business objectives and operations with their software objectives and operations.

Ultimately, all enterprises will practice some variation of Continuous Delivery (CD) if they want to compete against nimble and aggressive rivals with little or no legacy baggage weighing on their software. Nowadays, CD is being embraced piecemeal and judiciously by savvy enterprises seeking to deliver software with minimum lag between the creation of ideas and the creation of production-ready software.

(Related: The five habits of highly effective enterprise app developers)

I don’t think it takes much of a crystal ball to claim that the average enterprise will be very strongly defined by its software strategy. The writing is on the wall in big capital letters. Most businesses, whether they want to admit it or not, are now effectively IT companies.

It doesn’t matter whether a company is really an IT business, such as Google or LinkedIn, or is providing IT services in the cloud, or other services such as banking. This is the reality: IT services are no longer something you have in your back office that just keep the lights on. IT services have become an essential part of your customer-facing image or your customer-facing service offering.

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