Mark Levy Archive

Peter Drucker, the father of modern management said, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” Marketing is required to understand the needs of the customer and innovation is required to build the product or services that fit those customer needs.

Read the full article on the Micro Focus Blog

make.things.betterWe have discussed in previous blog posts the many issues and challenges facing large enterprise IT as it tries to satisfy the demands of the business. The marketplace in this digital economy is rapidly driving business requirements that traditional software practices can’t keep up with.  Today, software is a critical part of business success and the current software practices in most large enterprises cannot react and respond fast enough to add value to the business.

So how do IT executives lead and drive change to deliver the results required to meet business expectations? Gary Gruver provides a great framework on how IT executives can lead this transformation in his latest book, “Leading the Transformation: Applying Agile and DevOps Principles at Scale”.

What is very interesting is that Gary does not recommend to first implement Agile or Continuous Delivery.  He takes a very pragmatic approach by recommending first to quantify your business objectives and establish a culture of continuous improvement to measure and execute on the business objectives.  Gary gave an example that while he was at HP, they focused on monthly “sprints” with the business objectives cascading down to team prioritized work. With clearly defined business objectives and a continuous improvement process, large enterprises will be able to determine what areas need to be improved first and what practices and patterns need to be implement rather than just applying a Agile or DevOps practice and hoping to get the business results.

Gary joins us on the Serena’s DevOps Drive-in on Tuesday, March 29 at 9:00 am PT  “Leading Agile and DevOps Transformation in Enterprise with Gary Gruver” to further discuss how IT executives can lead this transformation.  We will be giving away Gary’s book to the first 300 attendees. Come join us!

Tags: Serena

Large enterprises are under pressure from the marketplace to increase business agility. Failing to do so, could impact market share, competitiveness and financial stability. This translates into delivering higher quality software faster. But the complexity of large enterprise IT produces many challenges. Enterprise IT often supports hundreds of applications across different types of systems that are developed using different methodologies by geographically dispersed teams. There is no single delivery pipeline or release process, there are many, often operating at different speeds from manual to automated, and all operating under a mandate of regulatory compliance.

Gartner recommends that these enterprises take a bimodal IT approach which is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery; one focused on stability (mode1), and the other on agility (mode2).  Bimodal IT and Gartner’s pace-layered application strategy illustrate the challenges and complexities facing application delivery in large enterprises as stability and agility should not be mutually exclusive.  This is where enterprise release management can help. Enterprise release management can provide a mechanism to support bimodal IT across the pace-layered architecture that exists in large enterprise IT. It is a place where Agile, DevOps and ITIL can converge and enable large IT organizations to move faster and not break things.

It is very common for large, highly regulated enterprises (HRLEs) to have formal release management teams that help plan, coordinate, and track application releases from development to production. These teams are the bridge between Dev and Ops and present an opportunity to leverage release management best practices and the DevOps principles of culture, automation, measurement, and sharing that can translate into major reductions in cycle times and better reliability of your application releases. The release managers’ job function is to identify all the items that need to be coordinated, managed, scheduled, and planned across teams and applications for a release. They collaborate with Dev, Test and Ops teams and communicate status and impacts to senior IT executives and the business community. They can be and should be your biggest DevOps advocate.

The release management process is also an important part of any DevOps initiative in these large enterprise IT organizations. It should scale to support small to large and slow to fast delivery pipelines, supporting formalized release trains as well as continuous delivery. The key is to have a process that supports the dynamic nature and variable speeds of enterprise IT. The release management process also provides a unified view of the process and state across all participants with traceability and compliance to support any regulatory mandates.

Improving application delivery in large enterprise IT is a critical requirement to removing IT as a constraint to the business. Enterprise Release Management can be a way to deliver software in a fast, efficient, and reliable manner.

Greg Hughes, Serena Software’s CEO goes into more depth about release management best practices in his CM Crossroads article entitled, “6 Steps to Bridge DevOps with Release Management in the Enterprise”. Also, on January 22nd, join us at the DevOps Drive-in as we discuss “Agile, DevOps and ITIL: Implementing Enterprise Release Management with Agility and Control” .

As enterprise IT begins to adopt DevOps practices, questions and issues emerge about how to best implement the culture, process, and tools to deliver on the promises of faster business innovation at a lower cost. How do you transform the current state? The Enterprise IT landscape is complex, sophisticated, dynamic, and frequently chaotic. Unlike Internet startups, you are dealing with a large, diverse set of heterogeneous infrastructures glued together across many teams and locations that use many different tools and processes to develop and deploy software. Each enterprise has its own unique DNA that has organically evolved through generations of applications and technologies with its own historical set of artifacts and processes that have weathered the storms of innovation. There are many teams, processes, and systems in place. You can’t just burn down the silos.

Gartner recommends that enterprises adopt a bimodal IT approach where CIOs develop a strategy that supports two separate “speeds of IT”: Mode 1 and Mode 2. Mode 1 is the traditional IT-centric model, focused on stability and efficiency. Mode 2 is agile IT, business-centric and focused on time-to-market, providing rapid application delivery. Each mode has its own people, tools, culture, methodologies, governance, metrics, and attitudes towards value and risk.

Mode 1 systems have been in place for many years and we can’t just rip them out, however, we can certainly transform them to be more efficient and resilient. The DevOps principles of Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing (CAMS) are typically implemented in Mode 2 systems, but this tends to create another silo which perpetuates the kinds of silos that DevOps aims to break down. DevOps principles can also be applied to Mode 1 systems. You can have a generative, performance-oriented culture with sharing practices such as blameless post-mortems for Mode 1 as well as Mode 2.

Application Release Automation (ARA) can also be leveraged by both Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems. Automation can increase the reliability of Mode 1 systems while accelerating business innovations for Mode 2 systems. There may be dependencies between Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems that will require you to manage and coordinate these dependencies while providing the visibility and traceability for regulatory compliance. You need the right type of culture, processes and tools to support both systems.

Serena Software is unique in that it provides products and solutions that support both Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems in large enterprises. Highly regulated large enterprises (HRLEs) depend on Serena’s application development and deployment solutions every day to help them move fast without breaking things. Serena supports all enterprise methodologies (Waterfall to Agile to DevOps), all technologies (Open Source to Proprietary), and all platforms (mainframe to mobile).

We are going to be at the Gartner AADI conference from December 1-3, 2015 in Las Vegas. Please stop by booth #104 and we can discuss how how we support Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems as well as show you how to move fast without breaking things. turned five last October, and while five years seems like a long time in terms of the technology adoption lifecycle, DevOps and Continuous Delivery still seem perched on the Enterprise IT chasm. The Pragmatists get it. They are under pressure from the business to deliver business value faster, better and more cheaply and the Visionaries and Early Adopters have proven that Continuous Delivery fits the bill.

The problem is that Enterprise IT can be so diverse in so many areas. It can have many cultures, infrastructures, processes, tools, and ways of doing things, both old and new. It frequently has more than one of everything, and often consists of many companies or organizations that have little or no relationship to one another. It may be loosely or tightly coupled, or anywhere in between. The Pragmatists look out over their cubicles and don’t know where to begin. The hardest part of any journey is taking that first step.

At the April 30th DevOps Drive-in, join Steve LeWarne,  Serena’s Director of Solutions Architects, as he discusses the challenges of Continuous Delivery, best practices and where to start. Don’t miss it!
We are still not there yet are we. The idea that IT is an “always on” utility, or better yet, a competitive advantage for the business.

Every year there are ton of examples illustrating that we still have a lot of work to do.  Whether it’s shutting down the Russian stock market for a couple of hours, deploying a bug that changes all the retail prices to a $0.01 or bursting Microsoft’s Azure cloud, the deployment of software defects into production, and the ability to remediate the problem once it occurs, continues to plague IT.

Come join me as we invite Jez Humble, co-author of Continuous Delivery and Lean Enterprise, and VP at @chef, to the DevOps Drive-in to discuss what is a high performing IT organization, how do you become one, and what are the obstacles in your way to unlock the secrets of high performance IT.

toolchainOnce the developer checks in a change, how long does it take your organization to deliver it to the customer?  The path to production can take many turns, have many dips, and fall short in terms of quality and expectations.  IT organizations struggle with major process and toolchain gaps between develop, build, deploy, and release.  Come join us at the December Serena DevOps Drive-in as Julian Fish, Director of Products, demonstrates how to integrate your DevOps toolchain and automate your deployment pipeline using Serena Deployment Automation.

How do you become a high performance IT organization?  Earlier in the year we had Glenn O’Donnell of Forrester on our Serena DevOps Drive-in webcast to answer this question. Glenn outlined the fact that we are in the beginning of an IT industrial revolution: IT is currently too slow, has poor quality and customers don’t trust IT. This current state has given rise to the DevOps movement, and Forrester has highlighted seven habits that are commonly found in the most dominant technology innovators in the world.

Forrester has now formalized this presentation in a research report by Kurt Bittner and Amy DeMartine.

Tags: DevOps, Serena

Today Serena is announcing ChangeMan ZMF v8, a major update to our flagship mainframe SCCM solution. Why the continued large investment by Serena in the mainframe? Read on…

Continuous Delivery for the Enterprise has been the subject of much focus and discussion in the industry and in my recent blog posts. Enterprises need to deliver new features in a fast, efficient and reliable manner. However, many don’t realize that delivering a new feature involves more than just updating a website or front-end app. There’s a lot happening on the backend, frequently involving software updates to the mainframe. Enterprise apps are like icebergs: there is a lot more ice below the surface…and the big part at the bottom of the enterprise app iceberg is often a mainframe.

Just to give some context, COBOL is still the language behind over 70% of the world’s business transactions, and there are 1.5 million CICS transactions being executed every second, which is nearly 40 times higher than the 40,000 Google searches per sec.

And while the mainframe continues to be so critical, there’s a skills shortage as many mainframe programmers, administrators and business analysts are nearing retirement. Agility and accelerated application delivery is required across all platforms, but frequently companies struggle to deliver mainframe changes at the pace that the business demands.

While there are many mainframe software vendors that are content to maintain the status quo,  Serena continues to invest heavily into supporting the mainframe.  We are doubling down this critical component of our customers’ enterprise environments. With today’s announcement of ChangeMan ZMF v8, Serena is helping mainframe teams accelerate mainframe application delivery for both modern and legacy applications at a significantly lower cost.  Over 400 change requests went into ChangeMan ZMF v8, which you can read more about in this prior blog post by Al Slovacek, VP of Mainframe Products.

ChangeMan ZMF v8 provides innovative release and deployment management, unmatched development support and superior scalability and extendibility. We are honored to be able to deliver this release to the best customers in the world!

How does a developer know when they are done?.  soup.testing.001 How does a business know that their new application or feature does what the customer wants it to do? By testing. Testing is a cross functional activity that involves the whole team and should be done continuously from the beginning of the project. It serves as the gauntlet that a committed change has to run and pass in order to be considered worthy for release.  While testing is a major key ingredient of Continuous Delivery and the deployment pipeline, it seems to get less DevOps airplay than culture, continuous integration and deployment automation.  It’s time to change that.

We have invited our newest partner, Soasta, the leader in continuous testing technology, to talk to this subject on our next live DevOps Drive-in webcast on November 20th. Join us to hear how continuous testing helps accelerate application delivery.