Go zero gravity with automated release management

Find out how to get your continuous delivery journey off the ground and soaring

Automating your release management processes will not cause you to decouple from the Earth’s gravitational force and float into the sky. Rather, it’s more of a metaphorical weightlessness you can feel when a process is working seamlessly, effortlessly, flawlessly. It’s the opposite feeling for many IT teams today as they struggle to release applications at the cadence and quality their customers demand—and the competitive threats require.

Ground Delay: Manual and scripted app releases can hold you back

Are your release management processes creating unnecessary delay? Are you spending nights and weekends releasing apps and often recovering from a release that went wrong due to scripting errors, infrastructure errors or tools that don’t work together?

Take one company that executed releases manually using a lengthy 60 page runbook of instructions plus some Oracle WebLogic deployment scripts. On top of that, configurations were handled manually and application artifacts were typically packaged and delivered to at least 18 different environments manually from development through production.

Unsurprisingly, this release process was too long, had limited validation or logging, and was ripe for human error. To increase the number of production deployments per year—and ultimately support their customers better—this company needed to transform.

If this situation sounds familiar, then it’s time to assess where you are on the continuous delivery journey—and visualize where that journey could take you. Envision moving from being perceived as a bottleneck in your organization to being a valued partner for app releases. And think of your organization as moving from being a market “me too” to being a market leader.

Lift Off: Continuous delivery through application release automation

The continuous delivery journey will be different for every company; however, application release automation is a consistent inflection point that can ignite the journey. When CA asked customers what drove them to automate their application releases, 86 percent of respondents said it was the need to reduce release failures and improve deployment quality. The second most popular answer at 63 percent was to get better control over the release process and pipeline.

As teams begin to automate their release cycles, they quickly gain valuable visibility and stability of the end-to-end release pipeline. As an added bonus, they see dramatic improvement in deployment lead times. For example, Belgium-based financial services company Euroclear was able to reduce deployment errors to less than one percent while improving deployment time by 95 percent through its use of CA Release Automation.

As teams start to make full use of release automation and see the tangible benefits, they often find that success breeds success. More teams start to adopt continuous delivery practices (and relevant tooling) so that they can achieve similar results—and you get the multiplier effect on the pipeline. Even more application updates and new, innovative features are released to production. And teams start to look for ways to be even more efficient and productive, such as by using containers and microservice architectures.

This leads to a new inflection point in the journey, where more intricate planning and management of the release pipeline is needed.

Zero Gravity: Continuous feedback and optimization

When will you reach the height of your continuous delivery journey? Having a release automation solution that integrates with application development tools is critical to get the continual cycle of feedback and optimization flowing. For example, app owners get intelligence to help them prioritize the work and developers get looped in to how their code is moving through the pipeline.

At some point, you will be able to focus on continuously improving processes, apps and teams and application releases will become risk-free events. Yes, you’ll actually feel weightless.

To learn more about how to fast-track your continuous delivery journey, join InformationWeek, CA Technologies and a team of industry experts on Wednesday, June 15 from 11 a.m. ET to 1 p.m. ET for the live virtual event: “Automation, Speed and Quality: The Keys to Your Continuous Delivery Journey.”

Where is your organization along the continuous delivery journey and what are your next steps?

Patricia Johnson is a product marketing manager. She has been in the high-tech industry for…


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