Like it or not, it’s packaged applications that keep businesses running. According to The Business Applications Landscape 2016 To 2020: SaaS Disruption And Vendor Proliferation Report released by Forrester, companies rely on packaged application software to support a range of business needs from customer-focused business technology applications to solutions for managing people, finances, operations, and products. These applications are at the core of business operations, ensuring things like warehouse management, payroll, and email communication work the way they need to.
The world’s global companies rely on packaged applications to achieve business outcomes. In today’s digital economy, large enterprises need to look at ways to extend the principles of DevOps (which has traditionally focused on the deployment of custom applications) to support packaged applications. The DevOps approach may work for custom development, but when it comes to enterprise business applications, it simply doesn’t cut it. Packaged applications are unique and the teams responsible for implementing and managing these apps have drivers and needs that differ from those of development teams. It is not about how quickly an app can be built, but how quickly updates and changes can be deployed without business disruption. Today’s large enterprises must take a new business-driven approach to DevOps that includes agile management of enterprise applications.
As business owners are taking more direct ownership over the applications that support their role, the business needs to become more DevOps savvy. DevOps must support the business and have the capability to address both packaged and custom applications. To the business owner, the same core principle desire is the same: Move changes or improvements into production faster to gain value.
Increased velocity means we’ll solve for the uniformity gap that exists when it comes to Agile management for packaged applications. I think it’s imperative if we want long-term continuity and success of releases similar to what DevOps has achieved on the custom application front. So, what should DevOps look like for packaged applications?
As history suggests and as Forrester predicts, packaged applications will only become more prevalent over time. I see the tandem relationship between Biz and DevOps or DevOps and Biz multiplying as well. While the reality for packaged applications seems to be BizOps with a sprinkle of Dev, IT leaders need to have a comprehensive understanding of the different phases and challenges packaged applications present to ensure they can deliver updates on a rapid pace defined by DevOps. With a uniform approach in the way we release enterprise packaged applications, I believe we can create a universal framework for the different phases and challenges packaged applications present today.