Trailblazers provide greater development agility

Posted on: March 14, 2018 by Michael Kollar

Recent CIO Magazine research commissioned by Atos uncovers four characteristics or best practices shared by IT organizations that fall into a trailblazers category. This blog series goes into each of the four traits of trailblazers described in the findings:

  1. They embrace the cloud and are cloud secure
  2. They use service management best practices
  3. They automate IT services
  4. They provide greater development agility

Everything points to DevOps

The first three characteristics of IT trailblazers — secure hybrid cloud, service management and automation — lead directly to the need for the fourth characteristic: agile development or DevOps. IT leaders are nearly 6 times more likely to have DevOps residing in business units with supportive management and governance.

The problem with some of the non-trailblazers’ development models and frameworks? They’re based on monolithic approaches to how we build, deploy and manage applications, infrastructure and other supporting components.

Manual, people-intensive models

In some instances, in order to deploy a piece of code, the entire development lifecycle from develop to release is still very manual and people-intensive. There are many checkpoints, many approvers and lots of change control boards to get through. The technology frameworks that support these development models have also been based on this very manual process.

Up until about 5 years ago there wasn’t a significant, verging on maniacal, focus on service management or keeping CMDBs up to date. Related to the CMDB, there wasn’t even a drive to have an all-encompassing CMDB to keep track of all the applications, infrastructure and security. It was more for inventory than a true view of what the enterprise and its supporting services really looked like.

The legacy frameworks and processes lacked key information for decision making. So, the developers had to figure out, by tribal knowledge, what applications were connected to what. And if this change is made, what would it impact? That’s why they needed the checkpoints and approvers. A lot of times, it came down to these giant change activity boards (CABs) getting on a call Friday afternoon to review every change coming into production to see its impact.

That’s still a problem with some of the current dev models and frameworks, but a lot of organizations have begun to make huge strides forward in this area.

Getting to DevOps

One perspective says the appropriate development model is one that can evolve to leverage a microservices architecture based on individual discrete components. Development moves through the process using a preapproved set of changes/workflows that are typically acceptable. Technology automates the process with policy engines that look at the risk of the change based on the known state of the environment and the CMDB information.

So now, developers can go and register a change they’d like to make. There are policies and rules in place for how they’re going to make that change. And an engine can look at the CMDB and validate that the proposed change:

  • Doesn’t put production at risk
  • Is aligned with standard policies on how changes are made
  • Presents no issues with other applications that are dependent on those services going forward

If you automate that model, it’ll facilitate your deployments and deliver on the vision of a DevOps-centric world: better quality of code, fewer issues, fewer production outages and quicker time to value.

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About Michael Kollar
SVP, Chief Digital Officer and Global Head of Cloud Engineering
Michael Kollar is SVP, Chief Digital Officer and Global Head of Cloud Engineering, responsible for the development and implementation of the Atos global strategy for Cloud, Automation, and other emerging technologies and translating them into tangible deliverable services that create short and long term business benefits to Atos and its customers. Throughout his career, Mr. Kollar has helped numerous Fortune 500 organizations achieve market leadership and growth in their respective segments, through the aggressive use of existing and emerging technologies. Prior to joining Atos, Mr. Kollar was Executive Director of Shared Services for Waste Management, Inc. the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America with $13.5 billion dollars in revenue, 47,000 employees, and $20 billion dollars in assets. Prior to Waste Management, Mr. Kollar was the Vice President, Products and Chief Technology Officer at TenFold Corporation a leading applications and infrastructure company focused on ERP and SOA based platforms. Mr. Kollar has held senior management positions in his past at several of today’s largest global technology companies: Siemens, Oracle, CSC, and IBM. Mr. Kollar regularly speaks at industry events sponsored by ServiceNow, Gartner, Intel, and VMWare on his views on technology subjects ranging from Cloud Computing, Automation & Orchestration, Virtualization, Dynamic Data-Centers and the greening of IT, as well as being interviewed and quoted for various industry publications.


Oracle Technology and Innovation Award, CSC Big Gun Award, CSC Global Technical Excellence Award - Finalist

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