Top 5 Best Practices for Release Management

I have heard it said that Release Management is a pain in the apps! And, this can be true. So, how do you minimize the pain? How can you get the most out of our application release? I’ve got 5 ideas for you.

I have heard it said that Release Management is a pain in the apps! And, this can be true. So, how do you minimize the pain? How can you get the most out of our application release? I’ve got 5 ideas for you.

According to ITIL, an organization focused on aligning IT services with the needs of the business, Release Management is the process of taking codes/apps that have been verified for installation into live production environments. There is no out-of-the-box thinking here until you actually try to accomplish task of linking your development environment to your production environment in a live manner.

Many organizations have started to adopt DevOps to speed up the link between their development and operation teams. So far, it is working to reduce organizational challenges and to speed up the continuous integration cycle through better communications. The idea behind DevOps is to allow rapid development and feature enhancements in a quick, iterative way. But, the DevOps concept is not without its own set of challenges.

Here are 5 Best Practices to overcome the challenges of release management.

1. Don’t ever forget your customer

IT’s main role is to serve their internal customers which are the lines of business they support. IT managers do this by providing a set of services that meet the goals of the business. Any IT organization that cannot provide a high level of service is in direct conflict with the business that it serves.

2. Get a release management toolset with configurability and manageability

Face it. Today’s IT environments is heterogeneous because it is comprised of virtualized, converged and cloud-based infrastructures. There are multiple versions of operating systems running multiple hardware platforms. There are a variety of open source codes running along propriety set. This creates a paradigm that requires a flexible approach to the release process so that it can be tweaked while remaining uniform in the way it manages the release cycle.

3. Ignore compliance and security at your peril

Not only is compliance mandatory for regulated industries, it is mandatory for release management. IT managers need to ensure that the right team is working with the right levels of permissions when managing the release process. Roles-based Access Control (RBAC) is a must have for these environments. Every step in the release cycle needs to be checked against your internal policy via change control and change management data base (CMDB).

4. Be able to reverse your deployments

When dealing with today’s complex IT environments there will be errors. The question isn’t how to reduce errors, but how to be prepared to handle and recover from them. With release management and code deployment ‘rollback’ is a must-have. You cannot afford to risk releasing code to operations without any recourse.

5. Dump your release management toolset if it can’t help you automate

Managing all the different aspects of the IT operations is a necessity, but it is also complex. Days of scripting and dealing with manually tracking each version of all the codes in your environment are coming to an end. Without automation, you cannot afford ideas like Continuous Integration, DevOps, Agile, and Scrum. Automation brings you the agility and speed required to address your production environment. Anything less is a complete waste of your effort.

Want to learn more? Please join me and Amy DeMartine of Forrester on a webinar on February 12th at 1PM ET / 10 AM PT. We will discuss all this and key findings from a just published Forrester report on Application Release Automation. What’s more, attendees at the live webinar are eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

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