Plutora Blog - Release Management, Test Environment Management
Release Management and Outsourced ServicesReading time 3 minutes
It is clear that the IT landscape within large enterprise is becoming increasingly complex, resulting in more complex releases. I define complex releases as having a lot of moving parts, which are typically a large number of dependencies on the system where the changes are being applied, or a bundle of dependent changes on a number of systems that are made at the same time. In both cases, significant coordination is required to ensure all the changes continue to be aligned with the release runway so that their delay or exclusion doesn’t cause cost release delays or failure.
In this post, we explore the impact of 2 common sourcing options on the way Releases are managed and how Plutora helps.
Release Management for Outsourced IT Portfolio
The most common scenario we have experienced on client engagements is where particular teams or segments within the solution delivery lifecycle have been outsourced to common to particular suppliers. A typical situation would be where Business Analysts remain in-house, the development team is outsourced to one supplier, test management remains in house and test execution is outsourced to another supplier. To make matters more interesting, the mix of insourced and outsourced teams varies between portfolio teams within organizations.
In these scenarios, Release Managers are responsible for orchestrating the flow of change through multiple phases of the release. Coordinating a release across geographically dispersed teams often on different networks becomes difficult. Spreadsheets and email becomes the default coordination tool, but they lack the rigor and scale of a purpose built tool, and tend to break down as the number of moving parts in the release increases beyond a small number of systems. Important items simply get missed along the way.
Plutora bridges the information gap between your business stakeholders, IT delivery teams, IT operations teams and outsourced IT suppliers through a consistent end-to-end view of Releases from initial request, release planning, release execution to production deployment. Disparate teams all operate from the same schedule within the same system.
Release Management for Sourced Software as a Service
The second pattern we experience frequently is where organization enter into sourcing relationships with cloud service providers to provide business applications. These applications can be relatively simple such as online timesheet applications or more complex such as online financial planning applications. These applications will still require changes to be made to them, and those changes will typically be bundled together as this make them more efficient to define, approve and test.
The primary difference between traditional release management and SaaS release management is that under a SaaS model, the application is common for all clients and is often changed directly by Suppliers without impacting the client’s business service. Typically, the client is only responsible for managing changes to the configuration or customization of their services. In most cases, pushing services into the cloud doesn’t eliminate the need to manage the flow of changes to those services. Organizations must still define, approve, develop, test and then deploy those changes to their production service.
Release Management and Outsourced Services
Plutora helps organizations manage this flow of change from inception to final destination, regardless of whether the final destination is an internally operated legacy system or a cloud based application.