How dev/test in the public cloud is accelerating agile delivery

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Current challenges
  3. Business value
  4. Evaluating dev/test in the public cloud
  5. Things to consider
  6. About Ryan Shriver
  7. About HP

1. Summary

Technology leaders in organizations adopting agile delivery are increasingly turning to the public cloud to solve the challenge of quickly and efficiently provisioning and managing dev/test environments. Early cloud customers tended to focus on operational server consolidation and cost savings. Today, however, customers are focused more and more on leveraging cloud computing for improving business agility and productivity. And they are seeing results for their investments; 80 percent of mature cloud adopters report faster time to market.

“We had a challenge managing our dev/test environments before we introduced agile. Now with agile, we need more of these environments than we needed before with faster turnaround. We have more than 100 agile teams, and we’re still growing. Our existing solutions don’t scale, and we’ve got to find better ones.”

Fortune 500 technology executive interviewed for this report

Today, agile methods are the preferred way software is delivered in organizations ranging from startups to Fortune 1000s. With a focus on delivering value and flexibility, leading organizations see agile as a competitive advantage in helping deliver innovative products and services to their customers more quickly. One recent CHAOS report* finds that agile methods are three times more successful than traditional methods and considered “a universal remedy for software project failure.” It is no wonder agile is the preferred method for innovative products and services development.

A new breed of organization, including those of Web 2.0 brand names Facebook and Netflix, has been leading the shift toward a continuous delivery model. They continually release new features in small batches, often daily, to dev/test as well as to production environments. As GigaOM analyst Paul Duvall describes it, “In these organizations, the entire release pipeline is automated with quality built into every step toward production. Small releases are less risky and become a routine part of business.” The success of these organizations in continually creating and delivering innovative products and services is inspiring others to follow suit.

The 2013 State of the Cloud report confirms that dev/test is the top use for cloud users at all levels of cloud maturity. This same report reveals that, more and more, enterprises are taking a multi-cloud strategy approach to cloud adoption but are often starting with a “public-first” approach.

In response, public cloud vendors are differentiating themselves on their ability to help organizations further accelerate agile development—from Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendors who provide complete integrated development platforms to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) vendors who bundle automation tools, simple user interfaces, and enhanced support.

Together the convergence of agile, devops, and the cloud are enabling progressive organizations to move toward a continuous delivery of products and services to their customers—an advantage that’s increasingly required in today’s fast-paced, consumer-driven market.

*The 2011 CHAOS Report is available from The Standish Group for a fee. See Mike Cohn’s website for the specific reference cited. 

Source: flickr user Cheryl

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