Painkillers and Vitamins: IT Edition
Over the years, IT organizations have acquired considerable pain points in the form of technical debt. This debt is seldom paid off because the organization spends its work cycles maintaining what they currently use (through break-fix work or service tickets, for example). For this reason, organizations are rarely able to dedicate productive cycles to relieve the pain of technical debt or to enact continuous improvement.
How can your organization stop the cycle of maintaining these pain points? It may seem like a logical solution, but technical debt cannot be addressed or resolved by hiring more people. New employees will simply get sucked into the continuance of the problem. The debt can only be addressed by removing some portion of the work that has been invested in maintaining. This will free up resources and allow them to focus on relieving technical debt.
Adopting a “painkiller” strategy is an effective way to shift the focus of available resources to the tasks necessary for improvement. For many organizations, the “painkiller” is delivered in the form of migration to cloud. Solutions such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS will reduce the overhead of managing infrastructure, resulting in instant improvements for many.
Architecting for resiliency on cloud platforms removes additional pain by decreasing the number of incidents caused by infrastructure outages. Removing this arduous work from the organization allows resources to refocus on improvement projects.
Once the “painkillers” are put into place, the organization is ready for a performance increase, also known as “vitamins.” “Vitamins” for IT organizations come in the form of Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.
The CI/CD “vitamin” can revolutionize delivery of IT workloads. Pipelines automate the IT delivery lifecycle and reduce the risk of deploying change into environments. It is through this automation that organizations become confident deploying change rapidly into their IT environments. This new confidence means iterative changes can take place on a daily basis. The iterative changes introduce new possibilities like A/B testing (measuring users reactions to changes in a portion of the integrations) and ramped velocity of feature release.
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