Release managers, the new heroes of software delivery.
I caught up with Bob Davis, Chief Marketing Officer at Plutora to learn about their Environment Management QuickStart Bundle as well as how they are helping to make release managers the new heroes of software delivery.
Software Development Today
Bob has seen a shift in focus from big picture digital transformation initiatives to day-to-day execution of software development and business plans.
Recent conversations with customers indicate that they are less concerned with realizing their full potential on more broad scale projects, but instead need help figuring out how best to execute certain parts of those strategies which will create value by finding solutions for pain points within individual processes/systems by removing any unnecessary obstacles across the organization.
The key pain points are: 1) release management; 2) environment management to do test automation, manage many environments, and achieve acceptable quality signal in testing; 3) deployment; and 4) deployment in production which is emerging as a new age pain point because right now, no one is able to see if they're getting better. They need and want a dashboard to see what’s going on.
Infrastructure needs like seamless internet access, file sharing, Zoom that is not secure, have all paved the way to the next set of enablement-related problems.
The world has changed. Prior to Covid, no one worked from home in Italy. They did not have the infrastructure or capabilities to work effectively remotely. When Covid hit, they made the transition so their businesses would not come to a halt. They built the infrastructure necessary to support a distributed workforce. Now, they come out of Covid with better infrastructure and greater agility moving forward.
Release Manager as Hero
With the transition from aspiration to execution, there is an acceleration of core infrastructure enabling decisions. This new focus on being pragmatic and delivering solutions has led many companies into a situation where they need help with setting up data-driven decision-making.
Plutora started with release management and focused on the release manager and how their job is changing from a siloed waterfall 6-month release process with managed communications across silos, meetings, weekend release parties.
Now release managers are responsible for acceleration with smaller product teams implementing techniques. Because of the change, release managers are unsure of their role. DevOps doesn’t want them around. They are seen as a necessary evil while the company transforms to DevOps.
Plutora sees release managers as the heroes of software delivery with the skills and talent necessary to manage the ambiguity of how the enterprise is stitched together. They stitch together and manage dependencies, doing what the teams need with regards to checks and balances, governance, communications.
Plutora is making release managers more effective with data so they can focus on what needs to be addressed. The insight dashboard has been enhanced to provide a clear view of releases and components, bringing in all the build data across all the templates of the release. Release managers will help their firms get better at adopting DevOps, execute more quickly, and have metrics to manage releases by exception.
Environment Test Management
What began with release management has moved to environment management. The same logic applies to pre-production test environment managers.
Plutora set out to solve the Achilles heel of DevOps pipelines with core management features for 25 applications, implementation help, and training to reduce defects and production incidents, reduce delays and downtime, reduce time wasted on collaboration, communication, conflicts, and misconfigurations by proving complete visibility into usage, utilization, and configuration.
Test environment management (TEM) includes test resources (applications, tools, physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure) in the dev-test environment, the integration test environment, the acceptance test environment, and the pre-prod test environment across the entire value stream.
It used to take 30 days to conjure an environment. Plutora reduces this to two hours. The goal of DevOps transformation is to achieve a stable quality signal. If you run an automated test 20 times, you should get the same results 20 times, and frequently it doesn't happen due to the instability of the environment. This is a particularly large issue in Europe.
In January, Plutora introduced its Test Environment Quickstart Bundle for environment management to get core environment management features for 25 applications up and running in less than a month for $25,000 versus $100,000 or $200,000. It lets test environment managers get visibility into what they have, be able to schedule automatically, make changes, and visibility into configuration out of the box.
The Cost of Unmanaged Test Environments
According to researchers at Enterprise Management Associates, companies are wasting a lot of money with unmanaged test environments. On average with 76 releases per year, you’re losing: $128,318 per year in provisioning delays; $32,656 in underutilized test environments, $727,928 in delayed production releases; $189,392 in application quality costs; $288,954 in extra labor costs. A total of $1,404,471 every year without TEM.