Presenting to the board of directors is an opportunity for CIOs to shine. Waters Corporation CIO Brook Colangelo shares best practices to help you succeed.
Disrupt or be disrupted: 3 trends enabling next-level IT agility
Agility isn’t a new idea, but three trends are converging to fuel superstar-level agility: Cloud, microservices, and containers
3. Containers come of age
Containers, which serve as a natural partner for microservices, are evolving in ways that enable more flexibility for enterprises. First, containers allow organizations to build in an agile way, while maintaining a security balance: You want to move fast, but not irresponsibly. You don’t want to introduce insecure code into your production environment.
Thus companies are emphasizing DevSecOps, which incorporates security work earlier in the development process. Containers and container orchestration help here as well. The better your view of the whole development pipeline, the better you can inspect dependencies. You’ve also encapsulated what you’ve deployed. So when you discover a vulnerability, the container simply gets replaced and redeployed.
[ See our related article: DevSecOps: 7 habits of strong security organizations. ]
Add a container orchestration tool, like Kubernetes, and the operations team can manage a large number of containers without drowning in manual chores.
In this type of environment, IT can securely assemble services like Lego blocks. A platform, like OpenShift, simplifies the building. The Open Service Broker API lets your developers or software companies deliver services to applications, running within cloud native platforms such as Cloud Foundry, OpenShift, and Kubernetes. Some companies are taking similar steps with AWS and Azure services, as well.
More companies are using containers and container orchestration to run complex application work across multiple environments. That means running across hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments, often globally. Moving forward, more types of apps, from traditional to cloud-native to big data, will run in containers.
"Containers and Kubernetes have made hybrid cloud and application portability a reality,” Brian Gracely, director of Red Hat OpenShift product strategy, says. “Combined with the Open Service Broker, we expect to see an explosion of new applications that combine private and public cloud resources." (See our related article, Containers and Kubernetes: What’s next.)
Keep looking for friction
Seeing cloud, microservices, and container technologies come together is exciting. These synergistic technologies, fueled largely by innovation in the open source world, are helping companies truly accelerate the speed of development – and the speed of business. The most agile companies are capitalizing on all three trends – cloud, microservices and container technologies – at once.
While pushing for agility, however, IT leaders should acknowledge and celebrate the incremental steps necessary to realize improvements. No one can deploy numerous concurrent changes and expect to be more agile overnight.
After taking the initial steps, IT leaders should remain vigilant for friction. Identify and fix the internal processes that are getting in the way of your speed gains and true agility. Revamping internal processes is never easy, because it means culture change. But truly agile companies know they must be continually mindful of finding and addressing cultural roadblocks. Their reward is newfound speed and flexibility.
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