A reliable application in a solid and secure infrastructure is of vital importance for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). After all, your customers want to innovate ever faster in order to tap into new business sectors with a shorter speed to market.
Life becomes a lot easier for ISVs if you know how to make full use of the advantages of the cloud. How? By striving for operational excellence in your two most important processes: software development and infrastructure management.
Operational excellence is a strategy to keep your software application and deployment running at its best and improve it wherever you can. Although it has been adopted for on-premise deployments for years, the cloud offers even more opportunities to achieve operational excellence. No wonder operational excellence is an essential part of leading cloud adoption and architecture frameworks, such as the Well-Architected Frameworks for Azure, AWS or Google, offering valuable guidance, tools and best practices to achieve operational excellence and profitable, long-lasting success. Let’s look at some of these new opportunities that ISVs can seize.
One of the most interesting opportunities for ISVs to drive operational excellence is with DevOps, a modern development practice that is typical for the cloud. DevOps allows you to build and improve smarter and smoother applications, achieving faster development and deployment cycles than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. With lower costs and higher customer satisfaction as a bonus.
Legacy monolithic applications are usually quite rigid in terms of changes or failures. If one service goes down, the entire application is down. The smart alternative in the cloud is to design and build single services as different containerization services (e.g. Kubernetes). If one service drops now, the others continue to work. This is a huge improvement in operational excellence from both a development and management perspective.
With time-to-market becoming ever shorter, continuous delivery is a hot topic within DevOps as a way to build, test, and release software faster and more reliably. Microservices offer the ideal architecture for this. Each microservice runs separately and can be modified without the risk of disturbing another application. In a web shop, for example, think of the different services for ordering, invoicing and returns. Designing with this in mind, you have the least impact on the other services.
The core activity of an ISV is to develop and sell software through one or more (cloud) computing platforms, applications such as virtual desktops, CRM, fleet management, workforce planning, etc. Customers want to 'consume' the application like a Netflix series: they don't care at all about the infrastructure or what is under the bonnet; they just expect the software to work. Leveraging the monitoring and analytics capabilities of the cloud offers ISVs the operational insights you need to optimize continuously and deliver a great user experience to your customers.
On the road to operational excellence, automation is undoubtedly an ISV’s best friend to help reduce process risks and avoid (human) errors. All major vendors such as Microsoft, AWS, VMware, Citrix offer truckloads of automation opportunities and management tools. Don’t get overwhelmed by the magnitude of automation options; start simple, for example, by automating operational tasks, infrastructure deployment and infra configuration identified in your monitoring analyses. You will gain confidence in the health and performance of your workloads with less effort, whether in development and testing processes or infrastructure management.
Operational Excellence is a valuable approach to making cloud services easier. We at Insight have been working with partners like you across Europe for many years, providing valuable time, knowledge and support in many (hybrid) cloud scenarios. We help ISVs in their cloud journey to implement a DevOps methodology into their daily processes and address their challenges.
Contact one of our cloud specialists to find out how we can support you in your cloud journey and achieve operational excellence in line with your business goals, whether you are designing your first workloads in the cloud or work entirely cloud-based.
This article is part of a series based on Microsoft’s WAF (Well-Architected Framework), where you find much more helpful guidance. WAF improves the quality of workloads operating in the cloud by focusing on a set of common architecture principles, including cost optimisation, operational excellence, performance efficiency, reliability and security.
As a multi-vendor software licensing, workload and platform specialist, we can guide you through all stages of your strategic cloud journey with a series of workshops, assessments, services and best practices, from the first exploration of cloud or hybrid opportunities and benefits to support and optimisation after migration. So no matter where you are in your journey, we help you find new ways forward and accelerate your business.