Three ways to drive customer value and remove infrastructure burdens

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Building cloud-native applications can become a huge challenge with the vast and growing array of choices. As organizations wrestle with becoming more agile and adopting DevOps practices, how can they maintain their existing investment and start on a path towards a cloud-native future?

Take a quick look at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation interactive map and it’s easy to see that these choices aren’t easy to make. Many of the categories listed offer multiple solutions, making selection a time-consuming process. The challenge for any organization is how to choose the right infrastructure option for their business.

Once a particular set of technologies is chosen, the first task is to integrate them into a coherent solution for delivering new business value. This is a time cost that is not directly contributing to customer value. Though necessary, customers aren’t paying for  infrastructure choices.

While architects are debating fundamental infrastructure choices, developers have their own set of decisions to worry about. Finding the right tools and frameworks that help during development and are integrated into the development process, can be a significant undertaking.

Three focus areas can fundamentally change the productivity of a team and drive customer value.

1. Accelerate development teams

Development teams need to focus on building customer value into products instead of spending weeks or months deciding on how to configure the build process or integrating the components of a continuous integration and delivery pipeline.

Efficient organizations depend upon strong collaboration between different disciplines. For example, architects and developers need to be able to define their preferred runtime and framework choices and have a mechanism for capturing these decisions so they are easily shared through the wider development team.

Similarly, architects and operations teams need to be confident that the application updates reaching production comply with company policy and standards as well as possible industry regulations. By providing a consistent integration and delivery process for all languages and runtimes, teams can be confident that the same level of rigor, which could include testing, audit, security and other processes, has been applied to every update, right from the start.

2. Move beyond technology decisions to focus on solutions

To remain competitively relevant, enterprises must consistently update their software applications to meet the demands of their customers and users. While making these technology decision, it is important to have the end in mind. Infrastructure decisions cannot be limited to technology upgrades.

Decisions like these drive up the cognitive load on development teams and architects, slowing their progress of developing the real customer value of the new app. They also have to consider that a wrong decision could make it difficult to manage and monitor the app in production. All of this decision-making takes time and effort.

The goal should be to deliver new business applications with speed and security, so that the customers derive value from it.

To meet this demand, enterprises need a comprehensive solution that allows the flexibility to modernize some of the existing application while maintaining existing applications and systems. And, this must all be done without having to renegotiate contract terms and conditions or make new investments.

3. Simplify the cloud-native experience

Architects and operations teams get overloaded with choices, standards and compliance. Using standardized application stacks and tightly integrated tooling that works in harmony with open source, organizations can make the task of architecting, developing, deploying and managing cloud-native apps effortless, without overloading teams with too many decisions.

The best strategy is to adopt an end-to-end environment to speed development of applications and access cloud services to enhance innovation, reduce costs and simplify operations — all while meeting defined company technology standards and policies.

How IBM is helping companies focus on customer value

IBM Cloud Pak for Applications helps increase the rate at which new business applications can be delivered. The solution makes it easy for teams to quickly gain the benefits of building cloud-native applications without having to first go through a steep learning curve.

In addition, IBM Cloud Pak for Applications helps organizations focus on their business problems by removing uncertainty over technology choices. It brings together existing investments, such as WebSphere, with the capabilities necessary for multi-channel (web and mobile) and back-end application development supported by the premier Kubernetes platform of Red Hat OpenShift.

Crucially, we have focused on simplifying the collaboration between architects, developers and operational roles through the introduction of the Kabanero open source project. Through Kabanero, organizations will find a simplified path for developing cloud-native applications that are automatically built in containers and easily deployed onto the Red Hat OpenShift container platform built on Kubernetes.

The Kabanero project is a central component of IBM Cloud Pak for Applications that raises the bar on ease of development while preserving the critical enterprise needs of maintaining a strong security, governance and compliance posture.

With IBM Cloud Pak for Applications, we are focused on reducing the burden of infrastructure choice, improving the consistency of the development process, and ultimately helping teams to become more agile as they innovate and deliver value to customers, faster.

Learn more about IBM Cloud Pak for Applications and register to join us for two upcoming events.

  • IBM Application Modernization Technical Conference 2019, Chicago, United States on 24-25 September 2019. Experience two days of in-depth technical sessions for developers, administrators and architects at the inaugural IBM Application Modernization Technical Conference 2019 and hear from top experts from our labs, IBM Business Partners and customers.
  • European Application, Platform & Modernization Hursley Summit, Hursley, England on 9-10 September 2019. Build skills at a two-day event tailored for IT architects and executives. Connect with IBM experts through sessions, demos, discussions and 1-1 meetings.

Offering Manager - WebSphere App-Platform Foundation - IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software

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