We live in a digital world. Digital transformation is happening around us and it’s happening fast. Today, companies have enhanced their software delivery by adopting Agile principles in application development and other tools like continuous testing, continuous deployment, automated testing, etc. Many of our customers ask if it is possible to deliver an application in less than an hour. Today, system integrators expect service providers to provide everything in a “continuous state” of operation, i.e. to provide ongoing resources. face, continuous input, continuous active/inactive/performance analysis, continuous check, and continuous improvement. In the practical world, these concepts are adopted in the application sector and are rare in IT infrastructure. It is important to adopt Agile methods in IT infrastructure operations. Today’s companies must adapt to the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Uncertain) business environment. There are many opportunities to eliminate waste, increase productivity, and reduce cycle time by adopting Agile concepts in IT infrastructure projects. To embrace these Agile concepts/strategies, resource teams need to make significant changes in the way they work.
Agile principles and resources! How is it possible? Many people think that energy and resources are difficult to integrate because they are mutually exclusive. Businesses born in the digital age have significant advantages. They can build IT infrastructure from scratch with no infrastructure costs. Also, the main products of these companies are front-end web services. It is completely dependent on the customers, so they have mastered the art of coming up with new features on their apps on the fly. On the contrary, companies that were born in the early computing era have the responsibility of managing old legacy systems and improving IT so that it does not slow down compared to the competition. Many of these companies have a lot of projects that work on systems of record and applications only for purposes that don’t require DevOps/Agility. These companies are developing two-tier IT infrastructure. The two-tier architecture allows these companies to speed up the release of various commercial applications and keep the lights on from non-commercial applications. As legacy equipment reaches the end of life, workloads shift to new technology stacks.
The Building Blocks of Agile Infrastructure
There are important changes in how the infrastructure is consumed. Originally, legacy applications consisted of large object types and purpose-built infrastructure for the application. There is a lot of effort to deliver these services to customers and they are not always fast. As we grow in application development based on microservices, the tight coupling between application and infra is reduced. Applications and resources This application host is deprecated and those applications consume standard resources in the service catalog. All service delivery is automated from end to end. The self-service feature enables application developers to adopt a DevOps approach where they “continually provision” the infrastructure themselves. In addition, testing, publishing, and deploying applications are also done regularly.
This is leading to fundamental changes in IT services. Now, we are slowly moving forward to integrate, the infra-supporters are working to support end-to-end products; which is very different from having a team that is well organized by their technical skills. These cross-functional teams (aka squads) are responsible for end-to-end service delivery. Most of the processes involved here are automated, unlike all the repetitive tasks that were done manually in the old way of working. End-to-end automation dramatically reduces event escalation times. There is increased collaboration between application development and infra teams, and increased collaboration between development and infra teams.
How to Get an Agile IT Operating Model?
Adopting Agile principles in any IT business is a complex task. It is as complex as any other organizational structure. The first step to Agile is to have an organizational change plan with a senior sponsor. The lead advocate assumes responsibility for obtaining critical buy-in, and communication of goals, plans, and progress to a broad audience. The main requirements for Agile infrastructure are fourfold:
- Advanced technology that helps power
- Product Mindset
- A technical shift to building a product-focused team that eliminates waste as a core principle.
- Change in workflow, i.e. shift to more frequent delivery and increase between applications and infra teams.
Let’s talk about the important things we have to do:
The first step is to ensure that we have a strong supporting technology stack. It is a collection of well-defined tools at all levels and can enable end-to-end workflow management. The composition of the equipment must have a work capacity that can be consumed.
The organization must have a product concept. First, business value streams must be identified. Business value streams are important areas for business. In terms of IT infrastructure, all operational tickets can be considered as a value stream, namely: security/vulnerability (scanning and reconfiguration), disaster recovery, and cybersecurity. For some companies, value streams can be identified in different business sectors. For example, a financial institution may have distinct profit streams such as a retail banking division, a mortgage products division, and an insurance business division. Depending on the value stream, products under the Agile model can be defined.
Technology is becoming better, doing more with less. But that can’t be done without good technical skills. The biggest and most important change that occurs in the Agile model is the change of skill set. Basically, for every specific product – and every product based on the company’s value stream – there must be a Support Squad. A team is a well-functioning, efficient, self-supporting team for end-to-end service delivery for the product. Many members of the same line of business are grouped into tribes. This is done to ensure the relationship between the group and the common forum. To facilitate team development around each technology area, resources around technology are organized into chapters. Generally, the key leader is the line manager for technical improvement and other administrative tasks. Employees only work as a team. There is a guild concept for community members with similar interests.