This IDC Perspective discusses current views about business application and legacy system of record (SoR) mainframe inclusion as part of DevOps and the consequences of a lack of visibility and coordination between legacy systems and "modern" development. The exploding demand and velocity of change resulting from the need for "multimodal" or cross-platform software deployments is becoming business critical to remain competitive for many organizations. As companies seek to evolve and dynamically changing business processes to respond to competitive needs and to enable digital innovation and business-critical mobile application creation, coordination with, and leverage of, existing mainframe, back-end systems of record is a key, necessary focus increasingly. Interactions with IDC clients indicate the vitality of business application strategies and that around 70% of enterprise businesses continue to run organizational and other data on the mainframe. Taking advantage of iterative, agile approaches to deliver applications can add incremental business value quickly and efficiently, speeding delivery while helping cut costs. This applies equally to the context of coordinating with existing SoR business applications and mainframe-based applications, even where release time frames are not as dramatically impacts. IDC defines DevOps as an agile, end-to-end approach from software inception through to deployment (and beyond), which can both enable and sustain digital innovation and transformation. Establishing strong practices and organizational approaches complemented by software quality automation strategies is becoming key increasingly. The intent of this IDC Perspective is to help explain how companies are shifting from the downsides and challenges of unengaged approaches to SoR as part of DevOps and provide additional context through insight into some strategies for implementation to evolve broader, more encompassing agile DevOps strategies for business applications and legacy systems.
"There is increasing demand for DevOps strategies that include systems of record and incorporate successful approaches to include back-end, legacy systems and business applications as part of digital transformation," said Melinda Ballou, research director for IDC's Agile Application Life-Cycle Management, Quality and Portfolio Strategies service. "Bridging the gap between agile, modern development on mobile and other platforms and existing systems is becoming a focus for DevOps strategies increasingly. Too frequently, schisms exist between development groups and a lack of proactive approaches to encompass existing systems as part of DevOps. This can straightjacket organizations that rely on back-end applications and must coordinate them with systems of engagement on the front end, as well as high-quality, dynamically changing business processes. We expect companies to incorporate broader approaches increasingly to flexibly address dynamic, changing competitive needs while leveraging existing software environments that are also evolving and can straightjacket DevOps initiatives if not encompassed as part of a comprehensive strategy."