As technology environments evolve and become more complex, the need for automation and speed in service delivery continues to increase. One of the challenges faced by technology organizations is that many, often manual, steps in this process can be a bottleneck to bringing solutions to clients.
Related: Driving Innovation Through Automation with DevSecOps
The Need for Speed
IT service delivery is the way developers and engineers are provided access to environments, storage, and computing capabilities necessary for coding new solutions. Generally, these sometimes-complex processes can be full of manual steps and numerous handoffs behind the scenes. Multiple individuals may be required to review, validate and sign off on their tasks before a service can ultimately be delivered to a user. This can cause long wait times and take away from valuable development time. At DTCC, we had an opportunity to design a system that could streamline and automate service delivery, model and track the delivery of IT services.
Self-Service and Streamlined
The Self-Service Platform (SSP) was developed to empower users with capabilities that accelerate the delivery and consumption of DTCC IT products and services, while supporting service delivery flexibility and reusability. The platform enables internal teams to work together asynchronously, as the system understands upstream and downstream dependencies and removes the reliance on individuals to perform manual hand-offs. SSP is also a centralized system of record for environment configuration that feeds directly into future automation needs.
We have a dedicated internal Business Aligned Delivery team, comprised of infrastructure and delivery experts who are focused on increasing speed, quality and delivery, overseeing the SSP. They are continuously assessing where we can improve and use this knowledge to easily identify and prioritize automation efforts with Platform teams.
Automation In Action
When thinking about how SSP has provided marked improvements in delivery, two specific success stories come to mind.
The first example is network firewall requests for the monitoring and control of incoming and outgoing traffic to a network, based on a set of rules. These requests had a lengthy, siloed delivery process with bottlenecks. Our Network, DevSecOps and Business Aligned Delivery teams collaborated to create use cases within the system that fulfill firewall requests, along with process optimization improvements through the use of automation technology. With these capabilities we were able to speed up lower environment firewall delivery by 90%!
Second, every development effort requires three key components: a developer to write the code for software, a pipeline to deliver it, and an environment to deploy the software. Prior to SSP, we had thousands of unique delivery pipelines, and a team of eight focused on creating and delivering those pipelines. Since we introduced SSP, we were able to rationalize pipeline delivery down to 25 standardized use cases. This effort freed up six resources to focus on higher value priorities and innovation.
By reducing our internal service delivery time and freeing up resources, we are able to ultimately speed up time to market for new and enhanced products and services, and deliver better, faster solutions for our clients.
Related: The Art of Possible in DevSecOps
By recognizing that delivery is complex and unique across teams in the organization, SSP allows for the dynamic configuration of IT service delivery workflows, including both manual and automated tasks. It is truly a living, breathing platform focused on efficiency and automation. By automating the orchestration of delivery workflows, SSP provides transparency to the user (such as statuses, roadblocks, and outstanding tasks), and gives stakeholders ample visibility into all delivery details.
All platform use cases are driven by metadata and can be modified on demand to support continuous improvement. Data is collected on all delivery aspects and is then organized into a rich collection of metrics that provide analytical capabilities; real-time value stream maps are also available for teams to analyze delivery as both an aggregate and at the individual delivery execution-level.
With technology and business needs rapidly evolving, firms may consider developing a SSP as part of their DevSecOps delivery capabilities. This innovation in process and delivery improvement is backed by data-driven insights that guide maturity in execution and speed to market in delivery – critical elements to enable success as many firms continue their unique modernization journeys.