Advantages of starting with a hybrid cloud for application development and test

Reining in Shadow IT

Custom business applications are vital for organisations to take advantage of today's fast-evolving technology trends - from 3D printing to mobile applications, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things.

Because of this, it is increasingly the norm for companies to differentiate based on applications (and other aspect of IT). How quickly they are developed and put into service can mean the difference between success and failure.

This is placing an increasing amount of pressure on developers, who are going straight to public clouds - bypassing IT organisations - and spinning up needed compute resources, paying for it with a credit card.

This practice, which is referred to as "Shadow IT", can introduce security and compliance risks. It can also result in applications that don't interoperate or that can't be easily transitioned into a production environment.

IT organisations can help ward off Shadow IT by deploying a cloud for application development and test (dev/test).

Organisations can deliver a cloud for agile application development and test (dev/test) in two complementary ways: By building cloud-style Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), such as that provided by OpenStack, and by delivering complete development environments as Platform-as-a-Service. Public clouds can also be added as part of a managed, hybrid environment.

This approach is a good answer because it:

  • Improves developer productivity and accelerates application development
  • Can deliver benefits even at relatively modest scale points, offering the opportunity to start small
  • Provides an internal alternative to current public cloud use and thus can streamline and standardise development workflows
  • Can be independent of production systems and processes - although they can be integrated over time whether through adopting DevOps methodologies or other approaches