Release management (RM) in DevOps – Why is it critical for enterprises?

Micro Focus Contributor
Micro Focus Contributor
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bulb-close-up-innovation-1136465.jpgWe are all aware of the rise in the adoption of DevOps practices and Agile methodologies among enterprises. As DevOps continues to fuel the innovation engine, it is increasingly becoming more critical for organizations to ensure successful release management with minimal or no disruption. Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders embarking on a DevOps journey face some significant release management challenges, such as:

  • Agility constraints in manual release cycles
  • Toolchain complexities, and
  • Delays in time-to-value due to lack of coordination and orchestrated release workflows across multiple DevOps teams

The pressure to GTM fast and reduce the delivery cycle calls for a comprehensive release management (RM) solution that works as a catalyst in the delivery pipeline.

According to Gartner’s recent prediction, “By 2023, 75% of applications will be released by a release orchestration tool to meet customer requirements for speed and risk mitigation.”

Growing focus on automation to uncomplicate release activities

Despite the increase in DevOps adoption, there is still an amount of negligence towards task-focused release automation. The key factors leading to human errors and further impacting release velocity are:

  • Complex and large-volume deployments
  • Repetitive release tasks that require manual labor
  • Lack of organizational learning

An application release entails a lot of planning, coordination, provisioning, and packaging of different components into one unified build. These release activities need end-to-end management before the application is ready for deployment across several environments — cloud, on-prem, or hybrid. I&O leaders should choose a toolchain vendor that facilitates automation, orchestration, and scalable architecture.

Micro Focus Deployment Automation is a good fit for enterprises looking to streamline large-scale deployments and automate complex processes. The solution not only reduces the release timeframe up to 90% but also makes the processes more reliable and repeatable. The automated, drag-and-drop deployments help RM teams accelerate the application delivery and simplify time-consuming tasks.

Automation is not enough! You need orchestration, as well.

Besides release automation, orchestration has become an integral part of the continuous delivery pipeline. Micro Focus Deployment Automation orchestrates environment provisioning, along with managing the entire development-to-deployment pipeline. The open architecture provides an extensible library of plugins for automating deployment processes:

  • Tools for testing
  • Databases and servers for running the application stack
  • Middleware for service provisioning

With application snapshots and artifacts inventory that tells you the whereabouts of your applications, including their deployment state, release management becomes more efficient. Moreover, these snapshots enable one-click deployments to any environment.

Emphasis on release governance to keep up the velocity of delivery

Decentralization of release governance framework across several DevOps teams is essential to mitigate risks during daily releases. Unlike the centralized governance model where the change request goes through multiple manual approvals (from stakeholders to release managers), adaptive release governance practices a collaborative approach between dev and ops teams. I&O leaders must embrace this flexible framework to empower the product teams with:

  • You build it
  • You own it
  • You run it

Gartner also stated that, “By 2023, 90% of organizations will fail to meet required release velocities to deliver full business value to their customers if they use a centralized release management approach in DevOps environments.”

The toolchain selection should be based on its maturity to help you attain compliance and improve release cadence. Poor collaboration and uncoordinated release handoffs result in a high change-failure rate.

Your I&O leaders should look for the following key features and capabilities while evaluating RM solutions:

  • Real-time dashboards that provide granular visibility into your every release cycle — from initiation of the change request, code development, testing to deployment
  • Actionable insights that track down the progress and impact of change promotion to the production environment
  • Detailed reports and logs of all the release activities for making informed decisions
  • A highly scalable platform that helps in handling global releases with a lower deployment failure rate

The capabilities should also include automation of release controls (defined by I&O leaders), security testing, and policy enforcement for effective release governance.

Micro Focus Release Control addresses all the audit and compliance risks by providing complete control over your application release lifecycle. The solution is exceptionally unique, as it helps track releases across mainframes, as well as distributed systems. The customizable templates enable you to plan, schedule, track, and manage all the phases of your release trains. And, the customer-proven integrated reporting capabilities help you comply with audit requirements.

Conclusion

DevOps is a journey. Organizations need to have a mind-shift, as well as transformation, in terms of processes and delivery models to traverse this journey swiftly. I&O leaders rallying behind centralized or manual release management frameworks succumb to long deployment cycles and delayed go-to-market. However, putting automation in place without proper planning can be a nightmare. Therefore, it is ideal to improvise the processes and take an incremental approach to automation. Micro Focus gives you the required flexibility to start small and eventually scale up to maximize the business value. We invite you to learn more about the release management platform.

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