Creating Order from Chaos - the Current State of Enterprise Apps
October 18, 2018

Julian Dunn
Chef

Enterprises today are committed to delivering the highest quality software experiences to their customers. That's because they need to grow their businesses to compete with digital-first companies and seek to adopt scalable application delivery processes to drive those outcomes. Yet today's enterprise companies face a set of unique challenges – including having multiple application types ranging from monolithic to microservices in environments, including bare metal, virtual machines and containers.

Are applications teams prepared to manage the chaos arising from an ever-growing landscape of heterogeneous deployment types?

A recent survey of 347 application and operations professionals sought to explore this question further to better understand how the industry is shifting and what the future of DevOps might look like. Here is what the survey uncovered:

Growing Chaos

Without a doubt, the survey showed that nearly all IT environments are chaotic. What’s interesting is that the chaos will only increase as participants anticipate growing adoption of serverless and container environments over the next two years while struggling with a legacy application portfolio deployed on virtual machines, bare metal and even mainframes.

The report also reveals a continued migration to public cloud infrastructure, with eight out 10 companies pursuing multi-cloud strategies.

While the research indicates strong adoption of DevOps, it is coupled with poor automation capabilities and misalignment of IT with other teams. To manage this growing chaos, IT professionals are asking for a universal packaging solution that can strengthen their application build, deploy and management and unify cross-functional and cross-platform processes.

The Need for Speed

Companies are eager to deliver new applications to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced market. And by their own admission, speed is essential in staying at the cutting edge of innovation, with 72% of people measuring deployment success using speed as the primary metric.

Yet more than 60% of those surveyed said that it takes days or longer to complete a successful build process, and 57% said it takes days or longer to deploy software.

Likewise, more than half of the respondents required four or more builds before their applications could be deployed to production.

These inherent process issues will not be solved simply by adopting new technologies like containers; more fundamental workflow changes are needed.

Holding on to the Past

Greenfield application development in any enterprise is often overshadowed by the existing portfolio of legacy, or brownfield, applications that continue to support the existing business. Thus, current applications need to be maintained and deployed at the same rate as new ones. Yet enterprises are often constrained by an inability to make these older applications ship as quickly as the ones they are creating today. They turn to the promise of new technologies, like containers and the cloud, with the hope that this will imbue older applications with new speed. But, truthfully, they are not quite there.

Most enterprises recognize that rewriting or replacing applications wholesale is not a practical strategy, particularly across a portfolio of hundreds or even thousands of legacy applications. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 73% of respondents expect to lift, shift and modernize applications to re-platform them onto newer infrastructure.

Bringing Order to Chaos via Continuous Automation Tools

As expected, the survey found that most companies have a massive mix of production infrastructure. Containers and serverless add to the mix of radically different platforms, rather than significantly reducing companies’ technology layers. And yet not only are most respondents planning to increase their adoption of newer technologies, but 81% are adopting multi-cloud strategies.

Furthermore, nearly half of the respondents confessed that they failed to have key DevOps processes automated. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that 93% of the customers surveyed want a universal application packaging solution that can transcend multiple technology generations and allow them to build and package their applications once and choose a deployment environment later.

Julian Dunn is Director of Product Marketing at Chef
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