Business Agility through Cloud in Development and Operations

Many mature organization have become fragile, they have become unable to respond rapidly and dynamically to changes in the business environment. New market entrants apply alternative business models which exploit the capabilities of technology and enter in competition with traditional business. The recent IBM CIO survey showed that CIO’s are aware of the important role technology has; the ability to implement new technology effective and efficient has become the number one criteria to be successful. The number one game changer in technologies is definitely cloud.

Agile business requires Agile IT operations; the adoption of cloud from development up to operations is the way to have an agile IT organization. Agile development is not new, it closes the gap between business users and developers. Instead of writing excessive requirements and then waiting for a year or more for the result uses agile development short and incremental development cycles. Initially the boundaries and the high-level outcome of the development project are defined, then every few weeks a release is given to the business users. Usually a business user is part of the daily project team, and nowadays someone from operations should also join the team. Closing the gap between development and operations becomes key to have end-to-end agile IT operations. Here plays cloud computing a crucial role. The benefits are not limited to those not using the agile development technique; also traditional development cycles will have a major benefit.

Let’s go just through five examples:

(1) Developers could provision the environment they need straight away, no need for lengthy process of ordering, installation, and configuration.

(2) Developers could ask a (partial) copy of a production environment to test interfacing, instead of testing against a dummy interface, which reduces the drastically the number of bugs that would otherwise be found during integration testing. Cloud enables to replicate production images with limited effort.

(3) Developers can use drift analysis of images to determine the differences of the configuration in production compared to the initial released environment.

(4) Operations can manage the production environment easier, reducing operational tasks and focusing on improving the efficiency and effectiveness.

(5) Operations can provide an image of a troubled environment to development, which can then investigate in a representative environment without working in the production environment.

Cloud is not just ‘hype’ on the internet; it has become a key within every organization to respond rapidly and dynamically to changes in the business environment.