In this multi-part series, we will review what is driving change in IT, the development process and the changing infrastructure that can support these environments.
We hear it all the time in IT, we need to deliver services faster. Virtualization has enabled that but we still aren’t there yet. No matter what your opinion is of cloud or automation it is not going away. If anything the expectation continues to accelerate. What I would like to cover in the next few posts are not only some examples of what is driving these changes but how it is changing, the tools associated and things that you can start to look into to help develop the skills you need for the next wave.
Over the years there seems to have been a widening gap between what is delivered and what can be delivered. IT has taken on this role of what we will provide versa what could be delivered. Yes, it is hard and it takes time. Many years ago I had a development team come to me with an issue around how they would deploy their QA testing environments. It would take six months for them to test the code to get it out for customers. We looked at the issue and they were manually building all of the infrastructure. We broke out the requirements and looked into solutions and ended up building a business case to deploy VMware Lab Manager. This allowed the team to deploy the infrastructure faster which in turn allowed them to test their code faster. They reduced the time it took from a six month schedule to a six day schedule.
Let’s start with the why, because one of the most common things I hear from infrastructure teams is that they can deliver a vm in minutes. Yes, that is true but that is not the issue. From the customer perspective there is no value unless you have the full stack delivered to them when they need it. Look at how we consume information today, everyone is on a mobile device. We shop, read the news, consume massive amounts of data and it has changed our behavior. This has also changed how business is done and companies are trying to change rapidly to adapt to these shifts. There was a business show I recently watched that talked through how an organization was trying to figure out how to get back their customers, strengthen the brand and basically get back on track. The show is called “Follow the Leader” on CNBC and it was about the CEO of Birchbox. It gives you a great perspective of how the company is ran, analyzes data, researches issues and ultimately makes a decision on how to drive change. Because this was related to their web presence and how they interacted with their customers it gives you some insight on the importance of being able to make those changes extremely fast to react to the changing market.
At the end of the day you may be the person creating the vm but how are you going to deliver end to end services that the development team needs. Remember they need to plan, build and run to get those changes out to production. This has become the way businesses have to run and the faster you can adapt to the market the more it can impact the bottom line.
Now that we have some back ground in the next article we can walk through how the development process works as well as some tools that are used.