Business, meet DevOps. You’ll get on fine
A familiar criticism of IT is that it’s usually slow to react and come up with the goods at the speeds demanded of it by the business.
IT developers have the ability to create applications and services that are simple to use and are incredibly powerful, and that combination sometimes makes companies think that because an application is easy to use, it must be easy to put together. In that, IT is the author of its own criticism. Furthermore, with a sure and certain knowledge that if things go awry, it’ll be the IT department that takes a large portion of the blame, development teams are very keen to deploy slowly and emphasise long testing phases. That’s how reputations for laggardly behaviour start and stick.
There are plenty of solutions out there that purport to be able to help automate business processes without IT’s help. Some RPA (Robotic Process Automation) providers and business process management solutions produce low-code and even no-code solutions that leverage existing applications & systems, automate data movements and drive efficiencies, all from GUIs that are friendly enough to be used by untrained interns – or so we are told.
And while solutions like RPA and BPMaaS (Business-Process-Management-as-a-Service) platforms like Flowingly can be effective in achieving some aims, the fact remains that for scalable, powerful applications,it’s to skilled developers with deep knowledge of their specialisations that enterprise turns.
Development and deployment methods have changed massively in the last ten years or so as a direct result of pressure to create apps more quickly, in line with the business’s changing requirements. Agile methodologies, DevOps, and CI/CD are all ways that current development teams work to satisfy the demand for complex systems in shorter time frames.
The truth is that there’s no single platform or solution out there that ticks every box for development – which is true for every piece of technology, of course. However, few suppliers can provide the means to achieve that often-quoted phrase ‘digital transformation’, other than very large companies with polymath capabilities.
Here at Tech Wire Asia, we uncover all sorts of different companies that are emerging from the Asia-Pacific region with interesting and, we think, valuable business concepts and ideas.
One such company is Leonardo, an Australian company with clients all over Australasia and throughout Asia. It’s a technology company with a three-pronged approach that increases the strength of the relationships between processes, strategy and systems. Beginning with a Business Process Management overview, automation of key processes in the workflow begins to drive immediate change, with tangible results. Combined with the deep technical knowledge required to address APIs and application services, Leonardo’s integration methodology builds virtual bridges between legacy systems and future growth.
In IT terms, rather than build a monolithic application that offers two dozen features (with accompanying long development time and more extended test and deploy phases), it delivers each benefit as a microservice which can be delivered quickly, separately, and incrementally.
In some sense, this fits in neatly with the ethos behind agile methodology (as opposed to waterfall development), Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), and quality testing. Release quickly,and release often means process automation is delivered effectively (for example) in a microservices architecture.
Leonardo uses Red Hat Process Automation Manager (RHPAM) to deliver its processes-as-microservices as it’s a platform with many advantages in modern demand-driven, auto-scaling environments. RHPAM is lightweight enough to be deployed in containers, yet powerful enough to execute complex business logic in real time. Furthermore, it can be used to orchestrate microservices (Leonardo calls this “processes-as-microservices”) in an increasingly API-first, event-driven world.
You can read more about Leonardo’s use of RHPAM in a forthcoming article where we’ll talk more about some of the technology and the advantages it brings, but for now, what does the Leonardo approach to processes-as-microservices) offer businesses?
– The use of modern application architectures (node.js, containers, microservices, APIs) means faster application delivery.
– Applications can be run on-premise, in public or hybrid clouds;
– It fits in with legacy applications, using programming language-independent methods for communicating with business applications or with other services;
– The CI/CD approach, in conjunction with containerisation, means fewer resources required (e.g. there are no unused virtual machines idling, needlessly consuming compute resources and software licences).
– More applications can be developed with the same resources (Leonardo quotes a 36 percent average improvement in numbers of released features/apps per year).
To learn more about how microservices orchestrated by processes can help your organisation reach its goals, with faster, leaner application development, get in touch with the company today.
*Some of the companies featured are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia