September 30, 2013
DevOps as a term is one of those IT labels that is spoken about by the cognoscenti, but largely ignored by the real people who matter, enterprise IT. However the ethos that underlies the DevOps term is something that enterprises are slowly starting to notice. Yes it’s still baby steps and the majority of enterprises are still clueless about this stuff, but at least it’s a start For the informed perhaps it’s the fact that every conference they attend features one of the Netflix brains trust talking about how they reinvented IT to deliver amazing agility, while coping with truly insane traffic levels. Or perhaps it’s just that IT realizes that something has to give and that it need to start bringing together the world of application development with the world of IT operations.
Whatever the reason, it’s interesting to see vendors, customers and traditional pundits sit up and take notice – case in point is Plutora, an Australian startup that produces a SaaS-based application to manage their software releases. Plutora is a small company, they’ve only raised a small seed round to date, yet already people are taking notice. 451 research went as far as to talk about exit potential for the company, suggesting that ServiceNow could be a potential short-term acquirer.
The rationale makes sense. Enteprrises are in a constant state of flux, the smart ones are seeing IT as a way to differentiate themselves and are therefore constantly creating applications for both customer facing and back office operations. They believe that software increases efficiency, delivers extra value to customers and helps keep an organization out in front. This being the case, enterprises have the not insignificant job of planning, managing and deploying application releases in a way that reduces friction but still gives them transparency across the organization.
This is where Plutora comes in – the platform delivers this “single pane of glass” that enterprises demand. The latest version, releasing today, includes some interesting new features:
- System Impact Matrix: System impact assessment matrices that show a heat map of the systems impacted by a release, the nature of that impact (direct code impact or downstream regression impact) and the size of that impact based on the number of changes
- Release System Dependencies: When a project or release is running late, customers can quickly identify and manage the downstream impacts and take corrective action to keep the enterprise release on track
- Stage Gate Approvals: Customers can now track stage gate, enabling them to easily define entry criteria, exit criteria and approvers at key stages of the release. Entry and exit criteria can be assigned to internal stakeholders or external suppliers for completion
- Visual Environment Allocation: All teams operate with a consistent up to date view of the environment demand function and the test environments that have been assigned to project phases.
All good stuff and valuable for the enterprises who realize how important rapid innovation is today (and will be into the future). The elephant in the room however is that move to a more innovative, agile and iterative enterprise is far less about technology than it is about culture. Plutora is doing a good job of filling in the technology gaps once the cultural decision to change have been made. In absentia of that change however, Plutora is a solution that traditional enterprises won’t even understand, yet alone implement.