Automation's Role with DevOps and Continuous Delivery

Posted 4/29/2016 7:07:05 AM by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

We recently visited with Todd DeLaughter, CEO of Automic, to discusses how application release automation can help simplify the DevOps journey to help enterprises of all shapes, sizes and ages scale in order to adopt digital transformation initiatives 
ADM: Who is Automic? What does the company do?
DeLaughter: Automic is the largest pure-play automation vendor in in the market, focusing solely on business automation for over 20 years. 
Automic provides enterprises with the necessary capabilities such as agility, scalability, reliability and speed to drive competitive advantage, respond to customer needs and ensure customer loyalty in this digital age. With solutions leveraged in areas such as Release Automation/DevOps, Workload Automation and Orchestration/Provisioning, Automic serves more than 2,600 customers worldwide including Netflix, eBay, Vodafone and TASC. 
ADM: What is the goal of DevOps?
DeLaughter: DevOps is not a product, but instead a methodology for helping organizations build collaboration between Developer and Ops teams, while simultaneously delivering software faster and at higher quality. The goal of DevOps is merge dev and ops roles together - and the processes they manage - to achieve business goals. 
It’s all about a common, shared culture and enhanced collaboration; in short DevOps is a framework that when adopted successfully, enables the smooth, error-free delivery of business critical processes to the end-user.
ADM: Could you discuss Continuous Delivery and why it is important.
DeLaughter: Continuous Delivery is an approach to software development in which IT teams constantly implement new changes and features during production with the help of automation tools. Rather than delivering a large package all at once, software engineers deliver smaller, deployable and functional pieces with greater frequency. Continuous Delivery makes it simple to push code to production and provides the reliability and repeatability that businesses require in this digital age.
Continuous Delivery is an essential ingredient for teams tasked with incremental software delivery. It ensures that every change to the system can be released, and that any version can be released at the push of a button. Put another way, Continuous Delivery aims to make releases reliable, so organizations can deliver frequently, at less risk, and enables the ability to get feedback faster from end-users 
ADM: What is the difference between DevOps and Continuous Delivery?
DeLaughter: The title of a February 2015 report by Gartner summed up the distinction between DevOps and Continuous Delivery very neatly: “DevOps is not a market, but a tool-centric philosophy that supports a Continuous Delivery value chain.” 
Continuous Delivery and DevOps share a number of traits. Both methodologies are aimed at agile and Lean Thinking: each delivers small and quick changes, each relies on business and IT collaboration and each share the common goal of faster time to market for new services and applications.
Automation has an essential role to play in both DevOps and Continuous Delivery. Automating DevOps helps your organization manage and secure Continuous Delivery to the business and IT users. The result is a faster, low-risk migration to a new world of composite applications, faster business innovation and better support for rapidly changing business process needs.
ADM: What are key hurdles enterprises are facing while making the digital transformation?
DeLaughter: Many enterprises are weighed down with not only the complex traditional IT systems that have been implemented, built and updated over the last few decades, but also the significant investment they represent. As a result, IT is being pulled apart – digital front-office teams are innovating more quickly with a wide range of modern technologies (causing issues of their own like tool chain sprawl and disparate islands of automation), while back-office applications continue chugging along with slow yet reliable version rollouts. 
The problem? Despite their age and speed differences, the front and backend systems are always connected – as the new digital apps are created or deployed, updates or changes to the core backend business logic and data will be required. 
ADM: How does the Automic Release Automation help solve these issues?
DeLaughter: The latest version of the Automic Release Automation product simplifies the DevOps journey by providing a practical approach that enables enterprises to scale continuous delivery across both back-office applications and modern digital front-office applications. The solution makes the digital transformation to continuous delivery quick and easy for enterprises both young and old.
The newest features and capabilities of Automic Release Automation include a practical blueprint that enterprises can use to determine their roadmap to continuous delivery, pipeline visualization tools, open-source community driven content, Marketplace integration, online maturity assessments and a multi-tenant cloud sandbox for prospects to try before buying.

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About the author: RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

As the Publisher and Editor for App Developer Magazine, Richard has several industry recognitions and endorsements from tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google for accomplishments in the mobile market. He was part of the early Google AFMA program, and also involved in the foundation of Google TV. He has been developing for mobile since 2003 and serves as CEO of Moonbeam Development, a mobile app company with 200 published titles in various markets throughout the world. Richard is also the founder of LunarAds, a mobile cross-promotion and self-serv mediation network for developers. He has been a featured presenter at trade-shows and conferences, and stays active with new projects relating to mobile development.

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