Do You Need to Upgrade Your DevOps Solution? Here's What to Look for in a New One
April 07, 2022

Chris Wey
Rocket Software

With employees and customers demanding higher quality digital experiences, organizations must ensure their DevOps processes are modern and able to keep up with the complexity of today's businesses. Between lack of flexibility, difficult compliance reporting and outdated features, there are many reasons an organization's current DevOps solution might not be up to snuff.

So how can teams identify when it's time to upgrade their DevOps solution, and what should they look for if they decide it's time to switch?

Here are a few questions to consider in evaluating your current solution.

Can you automate deployment and reporting processes?

Deploying multi-platform applications can be complicated and prone to errors, involving multiple developers across disciplines and managers who must approve their work. If organizations resort to writing and executing complex scripts, they end up hoping all activities are accounted for. Others opt for manual deployments, which creates a high risk of human error. Either way, if your DevOps solution requires development teams to complete these processes without automation, it is creating unnecessary and taxing work.

An effective DevOps solution should enable employees to automate the deployment process from managing deliverables to requesting approvals. With automated processes, there is significantly lower risk of introducing errors at multiple points during the process, and developers can focus on more value-added work. This increases productivity, protects service-level agreements (SLAs), and improves usability.

Is your solution flexible enough to adapt to the demands of the IT team?

Every organization is different, and a DevOps solution that forces your company to comply with predefined development and deployment processes will hurt your team's productivity and effectiveness. Instead, DevOps software should be flexible enough to adapt to the demands of your team, the applications they are creating and the processes in place. If your solution is too rigid and complicated to customize, it's time to switch.

As technology and approaches evolve, DevOps solutions need to meet those changing needs. If your current vendor seems unable to embrace new industry trends, doesn't respond to customer input, and rarely releases new features, it's a clear sign that they aren't committed to their product's future. No one can predict what the future holds for their business or for the technology landscape, especially in our constantly evolving environments. That's why it's critical to choose a software partner who responds and adapts to changing markets and the associated requirements.

Is your solution easy to implement, configure and use?

Time saved versus time spent is an important metric for any DevOps administrator. A useful DevOps solution should be easy to implement, easy to configure, and easy to use. If your solution requires a significant time investment, the time it might save in application delivery may be offset by resources necessary to ensure implementation.

A comprehensive DevOps solution also accounts for asynchronous schedules to ensure that every team member knows their responsibilities and deadlines before code is promoted. Web and mobile developers typically follow agile practices, and some teams are evolving past agile and into continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD).

On the other hand, IBM i developers often use a waterfall approach, prioritizing completeness over faster iteration.

A DevOps solution should support multiple ways of working for optimal ease of use. If your solution doesn't have this capacity, you run the risk of having to back out changes — assuming your solution has the ability to do this — and spend more resources fixing the problem. This leads to wasted time and money, so aligning web and IBM i development teams is critical.

Does your solution provide comprehensive compliance reporting?

If you are part of a development team, you understand the frustration caused by time and money spent on compliance reporting and audit preparation. That is time lost to work that doesn't specifically drive revenue or improve user experiences. If teams are still writing their own reports, mining data, keeping months of email history and archiving paper copies, the current system is costing much more than you realize.

A modern DevOps solution provides automation and reporting of your software development and change processes, helping you to track, view and monitor everything necessary to satisfy ITIL, COBIT, SEI/CMMI, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, PCI, Basel II and other regulations. Best practices are enforced without having to think about it, ensuring separation of duties at a granular level.

Comprehensive DevOps solutions also include special report templates to give auditors exactly what they need. Rather than scrambling to pull reports together at the last minute, your team can stay focused on building quality software.

Deploy your applications with confidence

Your DevOps solution should adapt to the way you do business — not the other way around. Evaluating and modernizing your solution can ensure your development teams are focused on project deliverables and can avoid unnecessary disruptions so that your organization can deploy applications with confidence.

Chris Wey is President, Data Modernization Business Unit, at Rocket Software
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