IBM has beefed up its DevOps portfolio by releasing a cloud-based DevOps service, software and infrastructure toolset which combines Bluemix– its open cloud platform as a service – and other application development tools with SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.
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The launch of DevOps Innovation Services comes at a time when analysts predict that by 2015, 60% of CIOs will use DevOps as their primary tool to address the speed and sprawl of mobile, cloud and open-source applications.
DevOps is an IT practice of merging the tasks performed by a company's application development team and those performed by its systems operations team. It brings the development and operations teams closer together through automation, enabling the business to react to change quickly.
DevOps also tears down the silos and communications gaps that usually exist between software engineers, IT and other parts of the business.
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The practice helps enterprises speed the delivery of software that meets new market requirements. This is especially important when software-driven innovation is becoming a primary approach to how businesses create and deliver new value to customers.
IBM’s own research of 400 IT executives showed that businesses that are more effective at software delivery are also more profitable than their peers nearly 70% of the time.
“Software success is increasingly indistinguishable from business success,” said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager, IBM Software Group.
IBM DevOps Innovation Services will allow enterprises to have the option of combining on-premise, private and public clouds with collaborative DevOps capabilities to deliver apps faster – along with the data security, control and integration they need, according to the company.
The service will enable organisations to assess and benchmark their readiness for DevOps and plan their strategy, then address typical bottlenecks in key phases of software delivery, including development, testing, release and deployment and monitoring, it added.
The true value of DevOps is not just in efficiency. We also need to anticipate and adapt to market changes and demands with speed, incorporating feedback more frequently to improve value to customers
Steve Farley, Nationwide
One Fortune 100 company, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, which applied DevOps strategies found that it could reduce critical software defects by 80%, realising 20% efficiency gains in its maintenance and support operations in just 18 months.
“The true value of DevOps is not just in efficiency. We also need to anticipate and adapt to market changes and demands with speed, incorporating feedback more frequently to improve value to customers,” said Steve Farley, vice-president for application development at Nationwide.
Another business, Pearson VUE, found IT efficiency after using IBM DevOps. Pearson VUE uses software to crunch large volumes of data from millions of administered exams to derive and deliver intelligence to its customers. By collecting data around test-takers’ habits, registrations, patterns and more, Pearson VUE uses this feedback to continually improve the test-taking experience, sharpening the accuracy and predictive value of testing results.
“We’re continually improving the value and quality of the intelligence we offer organisations around the world, which rely on testing for everything from school admissions to medical licensing,” said Guy Speier, senior group manager at Pearson VUE. “A critical component in doing so is building, deploying and continuously improving software with the latest advances in data and analytics.
“Within just two days of using IBM DevOps, our teams were rolling out innovations five times faster,” he said.
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The new DevOps service builds on IBM’s existing DevOps portfolio. Previously, it has acquired UrbanCode and GreenHat, and offered an integrated developer experience on open cloud platforms such as Bluemix as part of its DevOps offerings.