Eric D. Schabell: Digital Foundations - Increasing agility in application delivery

Monday, January 16, 2017

Digital Foundations - Increasing agility in application delivery

digital foundation
When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

In the previous article, I talked about how you can reduce the complexity in your current infrastructure by leveraging policies to automate some of the more common tasks operations must face on a daily basis.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this article at what you can do with open technologies to increase your agility in delivering customer solutions to support your digital journey:
The path to increasing agility is found in modernizing development and operations, so let's take a look at how this helps in building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Increasing agility

Many organizations are still stuck with teams functioning in isolated silos, working to deliver on monolithic solutions which are then dumped on the operations teams. They are struggling to understand how to configure, secure and deploy these solutions at scale and still be able to maintain them over time.

digital foundation
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Development teams are looking for ways to make more changes to applications at a higher rate than ever before. They want applications to scale independently and provide the flexibility to share functionality across the entire application landscape.

What will this new organization look like and how can that deliver on the agility that is desired?

Modernize development and operations

The changes needed to modernize an organization are going to be found in collaboration, something that open technologies foster from their very beginnings in the communities that create them. Development and operations will need to embrace this pattern and work in cross functional teams to achieve the agility needed for faster and shorter release cycles.

Operations will facilitate the infrastructure with automated pipelines for development to push in changes that are then automatically tested and configured for each environment leading up to and including production deployments. 

This method of modern development and operations leads to faster feedback cycles, earlier detection of blocking problems and smoother processes for automation from development to production. Development teams will make more progress with less time lost in testing, feedback that can be actioned into new releases pushed back into the build pipelines for eventual deployment into production.

To illustrate this process and how it might look, the following slides show how to increase agility in application delivery with Open Source Cloud technologies.

The story continues... next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I will be a look at providing scalable solutions for hybrid cloud.