How XL Impact Accelerates Your DevOps Transformation

| January 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

It’s a no brainer how important initiatives such as DevOps and Continuous Delivery have become to enterprises seeking to accelerate their digital transformations. A typical DevOps process relies on a loosely coupled toolchain for product/portfolio management, provisioning and configuration management, source code control, build and test execution, artifact management, and deployments.

XL Impact is the first goal-based DevOps Intelligence solution that optimizes DevOps performance and measures the business impact of DevOps initiatives

XL Impact is the first goal-based DevOps Intelligence solution that optimizes DevOps performance and measures the business impact of DevOps initiatives

This toolchain-based approach allows for the automation of application delivery processes, but it quickly becomes complex, making it difficult for stakeholders to get accurate insight into application delivery, bottlenecks, and required improvements.

For large and distributed enterprises with thousands of developers and dozens of applications spread across multiple geographies, the challenge is even harder. As a result of poor visibility into application delivery, stakeholders from business and IT cannot:

  • Manage the velocity of feature delivery. They cannot detect and fix slowdowns or bottlenecks in the process or allocate and prioritize resources to improve them.
  • Make objective decisions on quality. They risk releasing error-ridden software, slowing down response times, introducing security vulnerabilities, oversaturating infrastructure, damaging their reputation, and adding unnecessary costs.
  • Properly collaborate on detection, diagnosis, and remediation of production problems. Often, stakeholders find themselves struggling to understand the impact of their DevOps initiatives, even making business-critical process decisions based on subjective or incomplete data. They also cannot share an understanding of the impact of code changes on business KPI’s, making the possibility of demonstrating the ROI of these changes a distant dream.

To overcome these obstacles, enterprises need objective metrics mined from across their toolchain to gain insight into the end-to-end delivery cycle all the way from idea to release. Using data from across the pipeline to solve problems like those outlined above is central to the idea of “DevOps Intelligence,” and is precisely the purpose of XL Impact. Using XL Impact, enterprises can do deep data analysis and prediction to generate actionable insights that allow them to continuously improve their software delivery process.

For accurate insight into application delivery, enterprises need objective metrics mined from across their toolchain to gain insight into the end-to-end delivery cycle all the way from idea to release.

Who is XL Impact for and Why?

XL Impact is for CIO’s, DevOps managers, and even individual Development and Operations team members. It collects, correlates, and analyzes toolchain data from multiple sources to give CIO’s continuous, organization-wide insight into how well the delivery process is working, help DevOps teams better understand the velocity, quality, and business impact of application delivery, and enable managers to make the best decisions by recommending actions based on real-world data.

XL Impact offers several features that make it different from any business intelligence of DevOps dashboard tools on the market.

XL Impact offers several features that make it different from any other solution on the market

Before and After XL Impact

Organizations are spending millions introducing initiatives like DevOps and Continuous Delivery, hiring coaches, bringing in experts, implementing many different kinds of tools, and so on. Some important questions remain unanswered, however: How are these organizations measuring the effectiveness of their initiatives in the context of their digital transformation goals? How are they driving cultural change to their teams?  How are they ensuring they’re making decisions in an objective, data-driven way, based on DevOps or Continuous Delivery best practices? How are they identifying risks or potential problems before they become a major issue? At present, most of these organizations are basing their decisions on guesses or gut feelings.

Unlike other tools, XL Impact generates intelligence by looking at the relationships between the data in your different tools, giving you access to unexpected insights you won’t see anywhere else.

This is where XL Impact offers a completely different experience. By using data directly from your DevOps tools, XL Impact gives you insight into the end-to-end delivery cycle, all the way from idea to release. Using XL Impact, you can now demonstrate the ROI of your DevOps transformation with complete confidence.

Benefits of XL Impact

Some of the key benefits of a data-driven DevOps approach using XL Impact include the ability to:

Measure and increase the speed of application delivery. Your DevOps toolchain generates a wealth of information about all phases of the development cycle. XL Impact collects data from sources across your pipeline so you can easily see what’s in development, close to release, in backlog, or slowing you down. XL impact also lets you see which stages in the process are failing, where bottlenecks are occurring, and which teams are the most effective by visualizing velocity-related measures such as commit rates, sprint times, release frequency, release duration, and release anomalies, to name a few. Unlike other tools, XL Impact generates this intelligence by looking at the relationships between the data in your different tools, giving you access to unexpected insights you won’t see anywhere else.

Measure and increase the quality of your delivery. It is not only important to reduce time-to-market, but also to improve quality for your customers. Quality can be measured through various metrics, such as number of issues reported, average time to resolution, and percent of issues with high severity. XL Impact aggregates data for all these benchmarks and presents them in an easy-to-use interface that your teams can understand. It suggests which areas of your codebase may be contributing to lower than expected quality, giving clues as to where your teams can focus to improve. They can then see the results of their improvements right away via the goal-oriented dashboard.

Measure and manage product delivery activities. Product delivery spans through various processes, through different tools in the pipeline. While all these tools provide insight into parts of your process, XL Impact breaks through the silos of data to deliver an integrated view of your product delivery. Through predictive analytics, it identifies and highlights risk in your delivery process, analyzing and correlating data from multiple sources to give you a complete picture, unlike what you’ll get from any single tool.

Foster a culture of collaboration. More than just a set of practices, tools, and policies that lead to improved quality and automated delivery, DevOps is a culture change first. Data is central to driving this change as it breaks down silos and unlocks a common language that fosters collaboration, which is critical to success. Using data extracted from systems across your development process, XL Impact tracks the performance of new releases from pre-production to quality assurance to production.

This information gives developers insight into operational aspects and helps them better appreciate the pain points associated with the release, deployment, and support of their software. With a comprehensive view of the pipeline based on hard data, both Development and Operations gain a sense of a shared responsibility for the success or failure of the entire delivery process.

No More Guesses or Gut Feelings

For large enterprises, their digital transformation depends on adopting DevOps and Continuous Delivery. A toolchain approach, is not the answer as it siloes data, and therefore, does not provide the end-to-end insight organizations need to continually improve their software delivery process.

XL Impact moves beyond features like “dumb dashboards,” which offer only isolated data about discrete parts of the pipeline to offer true DevOps Intelligence. It not only integrates data across the entire pipeline, but relates it according to your goals, in a way that’s meaningful within your specific delivery environment. XL Impact replaces guesses and gut feelings with hard data, so you can make the best decisions that drive business results—exactly what’s needed for a successful digital transformation.

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Ashutosh Sahu

About the Author ()

Ashutosh Sahu is XebiaLabs’ Product Manager for XL Impact. Passionate about technology, he is an experienced CI/CD specialist and DevOps evangelist. Ashutosh believes in creating unique service and product offerings to enable NextGen DevOps at enterprise scale. Prior to XebiaLabs, Ashutosh worked as a Product Owner with ING, where he was responsible for enabling Agile/DevOps transformations for application teams within ING globally.