The Value of True CI/CD – And How to Achieve It

BrandPost By Milan Shetti, CEO, Rocket Software
May 17, 2022
DevopsIT LeadershipSoftware Development

Transitioning to any new process can present challenges, but armed with these key considerations, forward-thinking organizations are successfully transitioning to CI/CD.

Credit: Rocket Software

By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software

Agile development has served its purpose over the years, but many forward-thinking companies believe its value in their businesses is lessening.

Why? It stresses speed, which can be a downfall when it comes to quality. As an alternative, many organizations are adopting continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), which entails near-constant cycles of iterative development, testing, and deployment.

With CI/CD, IT teams can accelerate the code release process and help with deployment of new applications to improve value delivery for customers. In a recent Rocket Software survey, 44% of respondents say their organization already uses multiple tools for DevOps functionality on mainframe applications while just under a quarter of respondents have a comprehensive platform for mainframe DevOps.

In addition, the software’s modern user experience delivers an intangible benefit that solves for one of the biggest challenges in development – attracting and retaining talent.

CI/CD drives hiring and retention

CI/CD enables organizations to better attract and retain developer talent amid the ongoing and widespread skills shortages. With the updated software, organizations can offer talented developers the chance to work on mission-critical applications with CI/CD — which is not only appealing to developers but also good for business.

Implemented well, CI/CD has the potential to instill greater levels of innovation, resilience, and competitiveness in today’s uncertain markets. Leading DevOps platforms even provide a standardized suite of productivity and collaboration tools, out-of-the-box automation workflows for testing and deployment, and the ability to integrate a large variety of third-party applications.

Considerations for businesses making the shift to CI/CD

To maximize the value of CI/CD, organizations need to shift left in their thinking. When teams are shifted left, testing is conducted in the early stages of the software development life cycle, and involves seamless collaboration between developers, testers, and QA teams, resulting in quality applications with less stability or security issues.

For organizations to effectively shift, consider the following:

  • Clarify test requirements during the planning phase. Testers and QA teams get involved early in the planning to clarify the types of tests required, tools to be used, and agreed-upon testing requirements.
  • Adopt a collaboration-friendly DevOps platform. Enable seamless collaboration and testing between developers and testers with an end-to-end DevOps platform featuring multiple code repositories and test environments.
  • Ensure your chosen testing tool is code-agnostic. The DevOps platform or testing tool should be code-agnostic, with the ability to integrate with multi-code applications on popular systems in order to reduce the variety of code-centric test tools needed.
  • Determine the required types of tests needed. Whether it’s unit testing, integration testing or regression testing, businesses need to ensure they can provision the right environment on their chosen DevOps platform.
  • Establish consistent reporting and communication lines. By keeping stakeholders and managers in the loop to provide continuous feedback or define scope changes, businesses can preserve the velocity and veracity of tests, while ensuring added features or functions pass both technical and usability tests before entering production.
  • Retain consistently high testing standards with automation. Building repositories of tests that are automatically triggered when new code is introduced improves testing productivity and reduces delay, allowing agile development and CI/CD to continue undisrupted.
  • Enforce clear separation of duties for testing. Ensuring a DevOps test platform has strong access controls and permissions built in to enforce compliance enables testers to perform their jobs with confidence.
  • Ensure scalability of test environments and capabilities. An integrated DevOps platform with high levels of visibility across multiple teams allows for more efficient coordination and communication between development, testing, and QA stages.

Like any other significant change in process, transitioning to CI/CD can have its challenges, but organizations can ensure success by following these key steps. In doing so, they’ll bring a new level of excitement to the development roles in their organization and better position themselves to retain and attract the best developers. Doing so is not only a boon for your workforce but for your business, which will benefit from the flexibility, scalability, and adherence to quality that CI/CD provides.

To learn more, visit Rocket Software.