Based on discussions and interactions with clients, a common theme has emerged - the gap between development and operations groups (people, processes and technologies). This gap diminishes business agility, the ability to respond to market demands quickly with new applications or solutions. It can also lead to quality problems with deployed applications resulting in higher costs, service disruption and service quality issues. Some of the root causes for these challenges are:
- Lack of visibility across the teams hinders collaboration and causes inconsistent manual handoffs as well as configuration and infrastructure mismatches
- Deployment requirements are difficult to validate and it is tough to mimic production in dev and test environments
- Moving applications from development to staging to production is a complex series of steps. Deployment engineers often execute manual steps which are not repeatable, and prone to error
- It is extremely difficult to integrate and automate these processes, as well as standardize maintenance and reuse given the heterogeneous nature of the environment with products from different vendors and open source tools.
Together Rational and Tivoli have been working with customers to address some of these challenges and we have introduced capabilities which include; Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) for Agile development and delivery, Deployment Planning and Automation (DP&A) for constructing deployment topologies and deployment automation and SmartCloud Provisioning for quickcloud deployment and automated provisioning.
By way of example, Danske Bank deployed these capabilities and reduced their average time of development projects from 14 months to 9 months while improving efficiency by 15%. Through automation, Sun Trust improved hand-off times by 98% while cutting deployment related issues by 93 %. And a leading tire manufacturer moved to agile processes and accelerated their development models by 30%
Based on these and other deployment scenarios, we are now working with a few select clients on a more integrated lifecycle management solution for Continuous Delivery, which we plan to make it available to a wider set of customers as part of a managed beta program in April. What does it mean to have continuous delivery? It means that the applications built by our clients are production-ready throughout the lifecycle and can be released to end users at any time, reducing the cycle times significantly. These capabilities are built leveraging open standards, enabling clients to leverage existing investments and the cloud. Some of the capabilities planned for the beta include:
- A customizable common software delivery workflow spanning Dev and Ops teams
- Automated release management for highly scalable, ultra-fast application deployments Continuous integration and testing of software in production-like environments
- Release readiness dashboard provides visibility and enables collaboration between dev and ops throughout the entire delivery lifecycle
We believe that these capabilities will help provide you with end-to-end feedback loop from your customers, from development, to operations, rapid release of new versions, increased velocity of change while reducing risk, leverage real-time planning, enable in-context collaboration, ensure lifecycle traceability and apply development and operational intelligence.
My Rational colleagues and I will be discussing these customer patterns and the solutions in more detail at Pulse. Looking forward to the discussion!