Achieve DevOps Competence to Gain Confidence in Changing Core Applications

3 min read

Delivering both security and the efficiency of automation.

Many enterprises delay modernization and business transformation because they’re concerned about the risk of changing their core business apps, thinking this might endanger something that’s core to their business. They might also see any change as a potential security risk. This needs to be balanced with the new benefits we see from new innovations. Done correctly, new solutions can actually improve security.

Rather than making a shift all at once, an alternative is to move quickly and make small changes. For example, when updating core business apps, automating testing is significant progress; you can even think of it as being “governance as code.” Think about the reasons you put many security features in place. One could be because you’re running in a highly regulated environment — say you’re a bank, an insurance company or a government agency — and you have a set of regulations you’re responsible for upholding. And, often, the way that’s traditionally done is with paper checklists. Are we crazy? Paper checklists in 2021?

Instead, we should be automating what we can — such as regulatory checklists. Writing these as code and running them through an open, transparent process. Automating validations for different regulations. Automating the testing for the many different ways that intrusions can happen — looking for and dealing with different types of vulnerabilities. It’s time to unify development, security and operations. There’s a new opportunity in being able to think about security as part of a complete DevSecOps process that is not just owned by a security person. Security is everyone’s job.

Another aspect of security is the proverbial fire hose of data coming at you from a disparate set of tools. Some of that is coming at you from your heritage systems. You need to maintain security alerting for whatever security tools you have in place. And, for greater efficiency, there’s a chance you’ll be going to a variety of clouds. Ideally, some simplification is needed, but there’s only so much that’s realistic.

In this case, prioritization is key. Taking in all of that data — particularly with all the alerts and events occurring — you need to know which ones to pay attention to. For more intelligent alerting, you need to apply artificial intelligence, insights and machine learning to all that data coming from security (plus the data from management, as well). If it’s done right, you’ll know what is top of the list to respond to — right away.

How distributed cloud supports smart cloud-native development

There are several approaches to integration, but to best plan for cloud-native development, use an agile, data-driven approach. This approach relies on the continuous collection, secure movement and management of data at speed. A distributed cloud solution can provide this end-to-end visibility and adaptability. As the technology around cloud-native work rapidly evolves, distributed cloud — offered as-a-service — helps ensure you always have access to the latest technology and services.

With IBM Cloud Satellite™, teams benefit in two key ways: engaged enterprise innovators continuously advancing open source projects and IBM handling the underlying systems and software updates. This support enables teams to focus on using cloud-native development when and how it’s best for the business and customers.

With IBM Garage™, expert teams can help you identify what parts of applications need modernizing and how best to do it. For example, knowing exactly which applications are calling APIs, where they are running and who is managing them will inform where modernization efforts can be most effective. Instead of moving everything to a centralized hub, IBM Garage teams work with clients using IBM Cloud Satellite to achieve key agile integration by containerizing only the parts of applications calling APIs.

Furthermore, IBM Cloud Satellite gives teams a consistent set of data and AI services to use across all environments. Bringing analytics tools to your data regardless of location addresses latency concerns and enables data-driven decisions regarding cloud-native configurations. It also makes an even stronger case for having many applications run as cloud-aware or cloud-ready.

IBM Cloud Satellite provides a single dashboard for centralized visibility and management, meaning teams can continuously watch, learn and iterate based on the outcomes they want to achieve. This is essential to ensuring that time and money are spent modernizing with cloud-native development, where and when it matters most.

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