Modernization vs. replatforming

Charts!
Modernizers reported better outcomes across the board compared to migrators, according to IDC’s paper.
Modernizers reported better outcomes across the board compared to migrators, according to IDC’s paper.

The most popular digital transformation initiatives for IBM i shops, according to IDC’s survey.
The most popular digital transformation initiatives for IBM i shops, according to IDC’s survey.

IDC questioned all four cohorts (IBM i shops that modernized, IBM i shops that migrated, System z shops that modernized, and System z shops that migrated) about their satisfaction across a range of metrics before and after their move, including: customer experience; overall performance; security, availability, and disaster recovery capabilities; agility, microservices, and DevOps; ease of finding talent; ability to incorporate AI and IoT; and API, mobile, and Web enablement.

Across all seven metrics, the IBM i and System z shops that modernized their “legacy” systems scored higher than their IBM i and System z colleagues who chose to migrate off their systems. What’s more, organizations that modernized instead of migrated reported paying less on hardware, software, and staffing, and reported higher revenues to boot.

Making software better rather than just lifting and shifting it usually works out better.

Source: Modernization Trumps Migration for IBM i and Mainframe, IDC Says e

Spring Survey 2020 – Highlights

Survey highlights:

  • Download the report after some light leadgen.
  • “The research effort included a total of 1,024 individuals, all of whom have a role that involves daily use of Spring.”
  • 77% of the respondents have been using Spring Boot for 3 years or more. So, these are people very familiar with Spring and Java.
  • Industries: technology companies (30%) and financial services companies (20%). All major sectors are represented, including retail (8%), services (6%), and healthcare (5%).
  • 37% work at organizations of 5,000 to 10,000+ staff. Of that, 28% from 10,000+ orgs.
  • So, a bit heavy on tech companies, but good enough on both industries and diverse spread of organization size.
  • “52% of developers surveyed use Spring boot as their only or primary development platform.”
  • No slow-down in use: “75% of respondents expect Spring Boot usage to grow over the next 2 years.”
  • Uses, lots of API use, interesting: 
Types of Spring Boot apps.
  • Lots of public cloud only use: “When asked where they deploy their Spring Boot apps, 57% of respondents were either deploying exclusively to public cloud (21%) or in a hybrid mode with both on-prem/private and public cloud deployments.” 
  • – Most running in containers – 65% containerize their apps, 30% planning to.
  • …to run in kubernetes: 44% already running in kubernetes, 31% plan to in the next 12 months.
  • [This should make us ask the question: how does Spring Boot support kubernetes? Cf. Spring docs entry, another write-up.]
  • So, what do people use in Spring. If APIs are one of the top problems to solve with Spring, it is as you’d expect:
    • 83% are using a microservices “development style.”
    • 56% use Spring Cloud.
    • 34% Spring Cloud Gateway (77% interested – big spread).
    • 22% using Spring Cloud Data Flow (big spread again with 69% interested).
  • See also Dormain’s coverage.

If you’re interested in more, we’ll be talking about this next week, September 21st at 5pm Amsterdam time over on Tanzu TV.

The stagnation of continuous integration and continuous delivery

I like to track CI/CD* surveys as an indication of far along organizations are doing at getting better at software: “digital transformation” where the main focus is using software to improve how you do business.

If you’re not doing CI, you’ll have a hard time getting better at doing software, or, really, doing good software at all. I

f you’re not doing CD, you won’t be able to deliver weekly so that you can get the feedback cycle in place to do hypothesis-driven development. You’ll be doing waterfall, etc.

Anyhow, here’s one chart I put together based on the State of Agile surveys:

Source: State of Agile Surveys, 3rd through 14th, VersionOne/CollabNet/digital.ai. CI/CD not tracked in 5th/2009. Over the years, definitions change, “delivery” and “deployment” are added; but, these numbers are close enough to other surveys to be useful. See more CI/CD surveys: Forrester survey (2019), DZone CD reports (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019).

The data isn’t perfect, scientific, or whatever. But it’s a good rhetorical device. Also, it matches up with other surveys on this topic (from the likes of Gartner and Forrester).

The general take is: CI has plateaued, but it’s high; CD has been slow to catch on and still has only minor growth in adoption year over year.

So, if you think you’re doing agile, there’s a good chance you’re not. Go do a walk-about and see what’s actually happening and make putting CI/CD in place a priority if you’re not doing it. Otherwise, all your other efforts to get better at software will fail and be a waste.

(* Delivery vs. deployment – I don’t know man – I don’t care…? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

(Also, as noted by Jon, if you don’t have testing in place, then start there. Also: version control. Yes, it’s worth mentioning that. You’d be shit-your-pants surprised.)

How Kubernetes adds agility in challenging times

New article of mine:

The IT outcomes of Kubernetes are clear: 95% of businesses report clear benefits from adopting Kubernetes, with more efficient resource utilization and shorter software development cycles amongst the top benefits cited. The benefits don’t stop with the IT team, though. In an era where IT mostly determines competition and growth, the more agile the technology at the heart of a business, the greater the agility of the business overall.So, the business case for Kubernetes is clear. To those of us in IT at least.It makes sense that empowering development teams to do more in less time has clear benefits for businesses on paper. But given the inherent complexity of Kubernetes, the way in which these benefits actually manifest may not be so clear for those outside the IT department, particularly in the early stages of implementing the technology.Here, we look at why the tangible outcomes Kubernetes can provide across a business are worth overcoming initial challenges it may present, and what it means in the context of global events many organisations have been faced with in 2020 so far.

Read the rest!

🗂 Link: IT departments spend millions tackling performance issues in complex IT

The vast majority of CIOs expect to deploy new technology stacks in the next 12 months. Most CIOs said they are already using or are planning to deploy microservices (88%), containers (86%), serverless computing (85%), PaaS (89%), SaaS (94%), IaaS (91%) and private cloud (95%) in the next 12 months.

CIO responses captured in the 2019 research indicate that lost revenue (49%) and reputational damage (52%) are among the biggest concerns as businesses transform into software businesses and move to the cloud.

Source: IT departments spend millions tackling performance issues in complex IT

🗂 Link: VMware Modernizes Its Approach to Kubernetes, Increasing Its Appeal to Developers and DevOps

36% of developers cited “resource allocation and management” as their chief impediment to productivity, while 34% cited the “lack of automated collaboration between software developers and IT operations.”

Source: VMware Modernizes Its Approach to Kubernetes, Increasing Its Appeal to Developers and DevOps

Notes on the 2019 DevOps Report

Some quick notes and callouts from this year’s 2019 DevOps Report:

  • Four key metrics: lead time, deployment frequency, mean time to restore (MTTR) and change fail percentage.
    • Med, High, and Elite all have a change fail rate of 0-15%. So, expect 15% change fail as benchmark worst case to shoot for…?
  • Demographics: 30% are devs, 26% “DevOps or SRE” – [so, lots of ICs self-evaluating]. 16% “managers,” and then it goes down from there…
  • Top industries are Technology at 38% and FinServe at 12%. Retail is 9%.
  • Mostly North American (50%)and Europe (29%)
  • Org. size: 100-499 (21%), 500-1,999 (15%), and 10,000+ (26%)
  • “A key goal in digital transformation is optimizing software delivery performance: leveraging technology to deliver value to customers and stakeholders.”
  • [I’m not sure if age of company, and, thus, an indication of governance and tech debt, is tracked. With 38% being tech companies, it’d be good know how young they are. But, most FinServ companies are large and old (unless it was mostly FinServ startups!).
  • Very prescriptive this year, a maturity model to put a strategy in place, etc.
  • A lot on paying down tech debt:
    • Bounded contexts, APIs, SOA and microservices. Using and testing out of team services without having to work with that team (sort of like mocking for runtime).
    • Also: “Teams that manage code maintainability well have systems and tools that make it easy for developers to change code maintained by other teams, find examples in the codebase, reuse other people’s code, as well as add, upgrade, and migrate to new versions of dependencies without breaking their code”
  • Very little prod chaos monkey stuff: less than 10% across the board.
  • CABs still bad: those that have them are 2.6x more likely to be low performers.
    • Instead, do peer reviews and automate governance: “peer review-based approval during the development process. In addition to peer review, automation can be leveraged to detect, prevent, and correct bad changes much earlier in the delivery lifecycle. Techniques such as continuous testing, continuous integration, and comprehensive monitoring and observability provide early and automated detection, visibility, and fast feedback. In this way, errors can be corrected sooner than would be possible if waiting for a formal review.”
    • CABs should instead focus on process and practices change: ” the CAB should focus instead on helping teams with process- improvement work to increase the performance of software delivery. This can take the form of helping teams implement the capabilities that drive performance by providing guidance and resources. CABs can also weigh in on important business decisions that require a trade-off and sign-off at higher levels of the business, such as the decision between time-to- market and business risk.”
    • [I’m pretty sure that was the original point, esp. when you look at RUP and ITIL stuff: setting the process to be used. Tooling to automate governance wasn’t really available. Policing it those prescriptive processes took over as it always does. And I’m not sure there are industry standard frameworks to use there yet either. There must be lots of hand-crafting.]
    • “Survey respondents with a clear change process were 1.8 times more likely to be in elite performers.” – [as ever, garbage in, garbage out.]
    • The people who work on governance are not the ones who can actually do the coding to automate it: “only our technical practitioners have the power to build and automate the change management solutions we design, making them fast, reliable, repeatable, and auditable…. Leaders at every level should move away from a formal approval process where external boards act as gatekeepers approving changes, and instead move to a governance and capability development role. After all, only managers have the power to influence and change certain levels of organizational policy. We have seen exponential improvements in performance— throughput, stability, and availability—in just months as a result of technical practitioners and organizational leaders working together.”
  • This is a different measure of “productivity”: “Productivity is the ability to get complex, time-consuming tasks completed with minimal distractions and interruptions.”
    • It doesn’t track amount of work done, but the environment people are working in…?
  • Tools use is all across the board: DIY stuff, COTs, open source, etc. [This sort of excludes the IaaS and other runtime layers, focusing on just CI/CD and test automation]
  • “Multi-tasking” across roles and projects might be OK: “we cannot conclude that how well teams develop and deliver software affects the number of roles and projects that respondents juggle.”
  • Being able to find things and ask questions [and, presumably, getting answers!], having search, is important.
  • From my read (slide 74), the methods of transforming orgs are all across the board with Big Bang and Training Center as the only low ranked ones. Communities of practice are high, part of the Spotify model.
  • Pg. 75 tries to derive some advice nonetheless: mostly that separate education and training groups don’t work well/widely, that grassroots is used a lot, and that communities of practice are good, as well as PoCs that get cloned.
  • [This is an instance where the high level of individual contributors in the answers might have an effect. They see the positive change in their own team, but don’t have the big picture view to see if the practices scale up to 1,000’s of people. On the other hand, they might follow the “my congressperson is perfect, all the other ones are corrupt and terrible” pattern. Also, those 5,000+ people orgs struggle.]
  • [We still don’t know how to change an engine in flight.]

🗂 Link: IDC Survey Finds Artificial Intelligence to be a Priority for Organizations But Few Have Implemented an Enterprise-Wide Strategy

An IDC “survey of global organizations that are already using artificial intelligence (AI) solutions found only 25% have developed an enterprise-wide AI strategy.”

But:

“More than 60% of organizations reported changes in their business model in association with their AI adoption.”

Source: IDC Survey Finds Artificial Intelligence to be a Priority for Organizations But Few Have Implemented an Enterprise-Wide Strategy

Link: Digital is helping Millennials shop around for auto coverage

That’s according to TransUnion’s “Auto Insurance Shopping Index,” which found that 21.7% of consumers shopped for personal auto insurance in 2018, versus 20% in 2017. With 44% of their cohorts shopping, Millennials and Generation Z consumers shopped for auto insurance than other ages.

The reason? Digital distribution and marketing seem to be huge drivers to increase shopping for Millennials. According to David Drotos, VP of insurance solutions at TransUnion, “Technology is fueling the experimentation and development of new business models for insurance that cater to the Millennial lifestyle.”

Source: Digital is helping Millennials shop around for auto coverage

Link: Big three Dutch banks trail rankings, cost and service and issue

While 94% of the 14,000 people in the survey said they used internet banking and 66% used mobile banking apps, ING customers were unhappy about the decision to phase out the use of ‘tan’ codes for approving payments and require mobile approvals instead.

Read more at DutchNews.nl:

Source: Thousands of rejected migrants unable to return to their home countries
Big three Dutch banks trail rankings, cost and service and issue

Link: The Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of The Integrated Developer Toolchain

And this is where DevOps tool vendors now see opportunity. The mounting tax of maintaining tools has grown so extensive that offering an all-in-one solution may just be the trick to get development teams unstuck and the innovation train rolling even faster.

Source: The Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of The Integrated Developer Toolchain

Link: It’s Time To Transform Insurance Claims

Protecting customers in times of duress is the basic purpose of insurance, and yet only 57% of US online adults feel confident that their insurance company will treat them fairly when they have a claim.[1] Poor claims experiences have immediate business effect. In the UK, 71% of property & casualty insurance customers would consider switching providers if they had a bad claims experience.[2]

Source: It’s Time To Transform Insurance Claims

Link: Ahead of Zoom’s IPO, new report says Microsoft repeatedly tried to acquire video conferencing company

A recent survey of IT pros found that Skype for Business is the most popular workplace collaboration app, beating out competitors like Slack and Google Hangouts.

Source: Ahead of Zoom’s IPO, new report says Microsoft repeatedly tried to acquire video conferencing company

Containers are mostly just for large enterprises

Here, you see a shift in intentions to use containers, a pretty large one: less people are planning to use them. To me, containers are mostly useful for custom written software, not business application workloads.

So, several years ago, containers seemed like a cheaper VMware strategy where you just generically throw your apps in and reduce costs.

But, that doesn’t really work. Apps have to be container friendly, plus, you know, you have to manage your new container orchestration thing – figure out kubernetes. Even that has only been a thing (an option a generic IT team would know about and find viable enough to consider) for about the past year.

(I mean, maybe, if you soften the idea that kubernetes is a platform for building platforms and just think of it as a platform for running apps, that is, a platform. I don’t know what the fuck is going on in that definitional-wrangling space.)

These companies, I’d theorize, then, had the wrong assumptions, investigated container usage, and realized it wasn’t what they were expecting.

Containers are for running custom written software. If you don’t want to do that, they’re probably not useful to you.

As an important side-note, let’s assume use here means penetration, which is to say, respondents use at least one, or as few as, container. That means overall usage could be a tiny percentage of their total workloads – or big. We have no way of know how many containers they use. Not a big deal if you’re interested, as here, in y/y trends, that is, growth. That’s what investors want to see.

Equally important and enlightening here, as always, is to look at the demographics:

I don’t know what the the n is, the total number of respondents. There’s a good chunk that of what I’d fall “enterprise”: 10,000+ employees, and lots from finance. Let’s say around half? Spending wise, education usually doesn’t spend much (or write that much custom software?), and “Technology” typically less. Tech companies usually don’t buy shit and DIY it choosing to spend on their own people instead of vendors – they are, after all, technology companies, they think.

Also, it’s worth weighting this all by how few insurance and retail companies are in the respondent base: they have tons of custom written software, the stuff you’d put in containers.

So, you’ve really got two very different surveys and conclusions going on here, split by two different markets: those who write and run their own software (mostly large organizations) and those who don’t (mostly smaller organizations).

You see the general conclusion in the footnote: 10,000+ people companies (who have a good chance of writing and running their own software) already use containers and plan on using more.

Anyhow, half of respondents are small and mid-sized companies, plus those tech companies that don’t spend. So, spending wise, selling containers is probably mostly a large enterprise play cause that’s where they get used and paid for. They rest of the companies, likely, want SaaS and security.

Check out the rest of the report. It covers much, much more that the container neck of the woods.

Link: Facebook’s local news project frustrated – by lack of local newspapers

The definition of not enough:

The company deems a community unsuitable for Today In if it cannot find a single day in a month with at least five news items available to share.

And:

Some 1,800 newspapers have closed in the US over the last 15 years, according to the University of North Carolina. Newsroom employment has declined by 45% as the industry struggles with a broken business model partly caused by the success of companies on the internet – including Facebook.

Link: Exclusive poll: America sours on social media giants

About 40% of Americans still feel that social media is a net positive for society. Overall, 65% of people say smartphones have made their quality of life better.

And people are concerned about misinformation in THE SOCIAL.
Original source: Exclusive poll: America sours on social media giants

Link: DigitalOcean Survey Results Reveal the State of Open Source

“Nearly three quarter of developers surveyed say that their company expects them to use open source software to do their job. When deciding what projects to use, their companies place a premium on widely adopted technology (63%) with good documentation (48%) and active maintainers (42%).”
Original source: DigitalOcean Survey Results Reveal the State of Open Source