Why your business needs a ‘wrapper’ to transform itself

February 21 2019

To connect every team in your organization, you need a 'wrapper' that ties the entire organization together, including the lines of business.

How do you treat your most precious items? Chances are you wrap them up nicely to protect  them for longevity. Since your applications are the most precious items to your business, consider wrapping them with a solution that protects them for the long haul.

Modern applications are changing the way we conduct our day-to-day lives. Disruptive companies like Uber and Lyft are capitalizing on the consumer need for better, faster access to in-demand products and services. Could they have done this with a poor performing application? Most likely, no. This transformation is causing a ripple effect, as companies change their internal processes to develop projects faster. But despite the critical need to fully understand the complete software lifecycle—from planning and design to rollout and business impact—companies are using lackluster monitoring tools that provide only a siloed glimpse of their total environment, not a comprehensive view.

Business leaders increasingly are keen to see how their software impacts the bottom line. But problems arise when independent factions actively involved in the software development lifecycle are unable to see how their actions impact other teams. This shows the critical need for a cultural shift inside corporations, one that tightly aligns multiple teams throughout the entire development lifecycle. By changing the culture to enable cohesive team interaction and full lifecycle visibility, companies will find it far easier to verify if development changes are positively impacting the business. Conversely, when changes are not beneficial, firms will be able to quickly course-correct to reduce or eliminate negative trends.

Your Team Affects My Team

In recent years, companies have made tremendous strides in improving processes to enable faster software development, releases and MTTR. And yet many groups within these organizations remain unaware of how their actions, changes and implementations affect other teams. Say, for example, an automobile insurance provider releases a new application, a crucial component of its digital transformation. This application proves wildly successful, and many groups within the company develop an interest in its performance. For example:

  • The development team leverages the newest container technology to ensure proper scalability.
  • The infrastructure and network teams enable additional capacity and cloud capabilities.
  • The security team keeps a close eye on fraud and hacking.
  • Multiple teams ensure the best user experience.
  • Lastly, the business, keen on revenue performance, sees the application as a big revenue driver that will lower the cost of customer acquisition.

Ideally this leads to closer scrutiny of each group’s performance, which ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction. This poses a problem, though, when each group operates within its own silo. For instance, when the network team fixes a problem or makes an upgrade or enhancement, it may not be aware which groups along the application flow are being impacted. Conversely, other groups may see an impact to their application without knowing the reason for the change.

Granted, most of us have change management procedures in place. But full visibility enables you to quickly triage and understand how all teams in the organization are being impacted, both positively and negatively. This visibility has become a fundamental requirement of today’s digital transformational efforts, and is essential for every team following the path of the application. Even modifications to marketing campaigns can cause a flurry of team activity if the company doesn’t quickly see the gains it’s after.  We’ve all sat in conference rooms to draw out a lifecycle that resembles the diagram below, where each group is part of the overall flow: A never-ending cycle of dependencies.

As part of this ongoing process, each group enacts changes to enhance its efficiency. The DevOps movement, for example, is a culture shift designed to help companies deploy applications faster and respond more adeptly to customer expectations. But ultimately, connecting every team within an organization requires a “wrapper” of sorts around the entire workflow process—one tying all domains together, including the lines of business.

This is easier said than done in some organizations, however, particularly those that have operated under a tried-and-true process and culture for many years. But with today’s business environments evolving at breakneck speed, companies must adapt much faster to survive. This brings us back to the concept of a wrapper—a comprehensive tool covering multiple domains to help provide full visibility of the application and the user journey throughout your business environment. By delivering these real-time insights, the wrapper ensures your business is moving in the right direction, enabling you to justify budgetary needs for future investment.

This is where AppDynamics comes in. Think about the demand placed on IT and business leaders, and the need to transform the enterprise. The critical element here is the need for the right tools. One of the first steps to consider: how can you gain a full view of your development, testing, implementation, production and business systems? The best solution must provide multiple benefits to ensure success, enabling you to detect both technology and business-related problems. It should help you understand how your end users are impacted by your technology, and even deliver insights to help you determine where to prioritize future  enhancements.

By leveraging AppDynamics, you’ll gain a full view of your critical applications across all stacks, as well as deep insights into how well your business is performing. A successful AIOps strategy with automated root cause analysis will provide the core framework for understanding all the working intricacies in your environment—a major first step toward maintaining a competitive edge.

Gregg is Executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics and a thought leader with over 25 years in tech leadership positions including Research in Motion and Samsung, where he was responsible for enterprise services, developer relations, sales engineering. Having worked across F1000, public sector and partners, Gregg helps companies succeed with digital transformations, mobility application deployments, DevOps strategies, analytics and high-ROI business solutions.

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