Gartner IT Operations and Solutions Summit Retrospective

Written by: Electric Bee

Release on Business Demand Still a Goal for Many Organizations

Attendees waiting for the opening session.
This week, CloudBees spoke at, and sponsored, this year's Gartner IT Operations and Solutions Summit (ITOSS) in Orlando Florida. ITOSS is an annual gathering of IT Operations, Cloud Operations, and Service and Support executives that highlights the latest trends and best practices in IT. This year, nearly 1000 executives from around the world came to hear sessions on five tracks:

  • Cloud & Automation

  • Optimize IT Operations

  • DevOps & Agile IT Operations

  • Leadership and Strategy

  • Emerging Trends in IT Operations

Our team: Tim, Maggie, Wesley, Alex.
Our own Wesley Pullen, Maggie Del Rio, Alex Macdiarmid, and Tim Johnson staffed our exhibit booth and met with hundreds of attendees over two days. They brought back these observations:

Hot Topics

Release Orchestration Tops the List

It's really no surprise that being able to release software when the business demands is an economic requirement for everyone, no matter the industry, as evidenced by the turnout for our Showcase presentation. Wesley Pullen, our Chief Strategy Officer, spoke on "Making Your DevOps Bet Pay Off: The Five Pillars of Success " and packed the house. Afterward, executives from Fortune 1000 companies immediately came to our booth wanting to know more.

Wesley talks release orchestration to a packed house.
"Eliminate Release Anxiety" isn't just a great catchphrase. When multiple people stop and say, "That's me. I need to solve this problem now," release anxiety is a clear statement about DevOps maturity in large organizations. Most have a long way to go, as our booth survey data shows:

  • 50% are deploying both legacy and cloud apps, 26% are already deploying microservices

  • 75% can not release on business demand

  • 69% do not have secure pipelines

  • 68% do not have visibility into the status of their releases

  • 62% can not safely introduce new tools - 2 people didn't think that was even possible

  • 85% can not provide self-service catalogs

Discipline in an Agile World

Operations discipline - centralized visibility, control, and manageability - still plays an important role in organizations going through digital transformation. A "classically trained" (his words) operations director from a clothing company came by to talk about managing all their pipelines across everything from mainframe to microservices. One of his Agile teams is happily testing and deploying their own applications into Kubernetes, insisting they don't need any orchestration tools. His question to them was, "How's that going to work when you have 50 containers and applications?"

Containers: Still a Challenge

Every single company we talked to had microservices and container initiatives well under way. Every single one was struggling with how to visualize, manage, and track them across their organizations. SmartMap is going to go a long way towards "containing" containers.

Financial Services Hasn't Figured It All Out Yet

Since Financial Services companies have set the standard for innovation in many areas over the last 10 years (think Rocket Mortgage and Zelle), one would think they have digital transformation figured out. That would be wrong. They are still struggling with legacy technology stacks, mixed cultures, cumbersome regulations, and scalability issues. The most telling quote from a FinServ executive: "I can't sleep at night. Help me get some sleep!"

The Importance of the Magic Quadrant

Finally, we've been named the leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Application Release Automation two years in a row. Products included in the MQ must have Release Orchestration, Pipeline and Environment Modeling, and Deployment Automation. Gartner's contention is DevOps success is predicated on being able to do all three - together. We're positioned as the leader because we have the most complete product vision and the ability to deliver on our promises.
Gartner analyst Ronnie Rosenstein gave a talk on the reasons for the MQ and why vendors are positioned where they are. She admonished ALL the people in the room who bought and are trying to execute releases and deployments with Chef, Puppet, Jenkins, CollabNet, Atlassian, or TeamCity! According to her, this is a huge mistake because those tools may be able to manage one or a few applications but did not have the ability to scale across any organization of any size. Music to our ears.

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