Automation and continuous delivery are shifting from being industry trends to becoming industry standards for fast and effective app deployment. To compete in today’s market, organizations must adopt technologies and applications for more rapid deployment. But with so many tools available, this is incredibly challenging without knowing which specific tools and methodologies are most effective.
Automic, now part of CA Technologies BU, has been a leader in this space and just launched the “Continuous Delivery Map,” inspired by the London Tube. Designed to be interactive and instructive, this subway-like map helps customers easily visualize and assess the best use cases for continuous delivery tools for their own digital transformation and reduce the confusion for IT professionals.
Before I get into the specifics though, I wanted to share a few trends I’ve been following that have ultimately led to development of this map. In recent years, we’ve seen an expansion of freeware and open-source offerings for automated tasks within IT. But organizations must consider and address the long-term sustainability of these software products since the cost of adoption could be risky. It may only be useful for two to three years, until community developers move onto the next new thing—leaving orgs with the costly task of rewriting delivery pipelines or automation mechanics every three to five years. This is compounded by the fact that the term “DevOps’ itself has even become a trend”—it’s catchy and grabs attention, so everyone is branding themselves as a DevOps tool, even if it’s not a core use case of a tool. Now, there is increased confusion on what tools are available, what aspect of DevOps they’re most valuable for, how sustainable they are, and what the market thinks about them.
Over the past few years, I’ve also seen some organizational shifts as well. Starting at the top, I have noticed that CEOs have recognized the competitive advantages of applying DevOps practices, including faster software production, greater revenue gains and better responses to market conditions. Leadership teams are now responding with mandates for DevOps implementations in their own orgs, and C-level hiring and firing decisions are being influenced by their awareness of DevOps. Separately but related, development and operations teams have continued to fundamentally work and solve problems differently, with developers working in a linear fashion, solving problems sequentially and operations working in a circular fashion with frequent interruptions. Automation is the key to making operations agile because it will reduce interrupt-driven processes and practices. An agile operations team will empower true DevOps because Ops members will have time to collaborate and contribute to DevOps practices. Without it DevOps really means DevNoOps.
Enter the Continuous Delivery Map
We developed the Continuous Delivery Map to help our customers and the industry at large understand the hundreds of available DevOps tools across several “lines.” We sought to create a centralized, unbiased way for IT professionals’ research and visualize how DevOps fits into customers’ continuous delivery pipelines. After thinking more about patterns that fit a delivery pipeline, we settled on a metro rail system similar to the London Tube or New York Subway. Now, with this map, customers can easily visualize the ‘tooling’ in their continuous delivery process with an understanding of the tools best use cases. You’ll see we have several “lines” from middleware to continuous integration to toolchain orchestration—all with more information on each product in each line.
As the tool evolves, we hope the map will become a platform that uses data and feedback to rank the tools, capturing a market consensus on best-in-class DevOps tools. Customers will then be able to truly see and choose the best tools in various categories that meet specific continuous delivery needs and strategies.