In today’s digital world, it’s all about moving fast. Take the case of a popular ecommerce business like Amazon which releases a significant number of changes to a service, once every 11.6 seconds on average, equating to 7,500 per day. While this may seem a bit drastic for most traditional businesses, those that are able to overcome the obstacles to progress are those that will succeed.
The reason is simple: if you can’t release software as fast as your business needs to, you are in trouble. When software releases go wrong, it’s usually the Service Management function that’s left to clear up the mess. It’s no surprise then that new software into production is usually met with resistance at every stage.
Typical operations functions are geared up to accept new software every 6-12 months, but businesses today need to release must faster than that. It’s always been a mystery to me that businesses constantly increase their development velocity without addressing the fundamental bottleneck – getting the software they develop safely into production.
With our background in agile software development, we’re adept at helping customers introduce test, build and deploy automation into path to live environments so that they can deliver software faster. We’re also now helping them streamline their acceptance into service models so that they can release software as fast as they need to. Delivering fast and releasing fast opens up vast opportunities for business - we call this Agile Service Management.
Agile Service Management combines the best elements of ITIL, the tools, techniques and velocity of Agile development and the collaboration and mindset of DevOps. Together, these elements allow businesses to streamline and automate their path to live so that the rate limiting factor becomes how fast you want to release, not how fast you can release.
Businesses that don’t implement DevOps will be outgunned and outmanoeuvred by those that do. DevOps isn’t a method – it’s a concept and a movement that’s here to stay. DevOps is about efficiently engineering and deploying software. It’s based on the principle that you can write software as fast as you like, but you will always be limited by the bottleneck that exists in every flow. In most organisations, this bottleneck arises because development teams don’t understand how to build software for production usage and the Operations team has no opportunity to educate them, as they are too busy putting out fires from the last software release in production. DevOps looks to address this by engineering out the problems that cause the fires in production as part of development itself. Many issues are caused by developing on environments that are different to production and by not considering the non-functional qualities the software needs to exhibit.
At Mastek we’ve always serviced the applications we manage, so as a matter of course we engineer our apps for production. By combining our production engineering mindset with our agile expertise, we’re helping clients to remove those bottlenecks and speed up their releases.
It’s easy to forget with all the hype around today that managing a production operation is more than just delivering software faster. Businesses have aging IT estates, hundreds of systems (some over-used, some forgotten, some struggling) and ever-evolving availability and access requirements in today’s anytime, anywhere, any device environment.
It’s a complicated world and you have to have a strategy for how you’re going to deal with it – this means looking at your application portfolio and eliminating waste, increasing the value you get from your apps and infrastructure, reducing your cost and variability of your internal processes through automation and establishing credible virtual support channels to meet the needs of the ‘always on’ user. These aren’t nice to haves – they’re critical to your future.
So, having the big picture is critical, but you have to be able to execute and get return on your investment.
At Mastek our DNA is in delivering insightful solutions for complex, uncertain transformation programmes and we’ve got the battle scars and we’ve bought the t-shirt. We developed our agile method precisely to help clients successfully deliver complex changes in pressure environments, so we can help you see the big picture, but also help you get it done.
We Keep the Lights On When Most are Turned Off
We’ve built some of the largest, most sensitive IT systems in the world and we’ve kept them running 24x7. Building and supporting these systems isn’t easy and you have to have both vision and resilience. To quote from a famous film, “It ain’t about how hard you’re hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” As a company, we can help you see the bigger picture and we’ve got the ability to get you there, regardless of the challenges thrown up along the way. Get in touch to hear about how we can help you.