I have written quite extensively about automation software and its impact on the offshoring and outsourcing sector. I met up with Nick Mottershead, the CEO at a company called Midvision, today.
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Midvision has software that automates software releases. The company was created in the late 1990’s when an IT professional at Lloyds bank, who was deveping software to automate releases, bought the bank’s software and offered to sell it back to them. The contractor took all the programmes that had been written to automate all new bits of code and offered it to Lloyds as a service.
It still serves Lloyds Bank today with software, support services and resources and has other customers across sectors including other banks, healthcare organisations, retailers and recently won its first UK government customer with a contract with the DWP.
Application release automation reduces time and the risks associated with making updates to applications. Organisations in heavily regulated sectors such as banking, healthcare and the public sector, have to ensure that updates to applications are done properly as mistakes can be very costly financially and can damage reputation.
These organisations also have very complex systems linked together and a single release, if done incorrectly, can cause serious problems. The recent trouble at RBS when a software glitch caused online banking to crash is an example.
Mottershead at Midvision said 5 years ago banks would probably only have done 50 software releases a month but now they do 4000, so automation makes sense from a resources point of view. But it is also critical to ensure that releases, from different parts of the business, are done correctly. The software provides a single point that standardizes releases across departments and regions to ensure that there is consultancy, which is critical in heavily regulated industries.
Because of the complexity of systems at banks massive amounts of software updates banks have to be made which is expensive and risky. It can take months for a release to go from build to being live because it has to be checked at lots of different phases, but the automation software removes the need for this and releases can go from creation to being live in minutes.
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