The Biggest Reason Your Release Risk is Going Up, and What to do About it

Rising costs. Delays. Failed deployments. Outages.

Your risk is increasing and you’re scrambling to figure out why.

The trigger is a lack of visibility. And it is the single biggest reason your release risk is going up for dev, for ops, and for the business.

Why this is a big problem

Businesses are under mounting pressure to differentiate their product and customer experience from competition. This requires them to deliver new value-added releases more frequently.

According to a survey* conducted by voke in 2014, 53% of participants said that major releases occur every one to five years, with annual releases being the most common.

Plutora-Major-Release-Frequency-2016

In 2016, participants reported just 10% of major releases occur annually or longer. And more than half, 52%, of major releases are more frequent and span monthly to quarterly release cycles.

With the need to release more frequently, product quality cannot be compromised. Easy-to-use, bug-free software is a business differentiator. Frequent releases with poor quality will adversely impact customer experience and the business.

As product releases accelerate, visibility becomes even more critical.

What to do about it

You need complete visibility into dependencies between teams and processes.

In order to be more effective at mitigating risk, you need reporting and stage gates. These allow you to plan ahead and manage risk.

According to the same survey, almost 60% of the research participants reported that automation enables faster deployment, and 55% said it helps eliminate errors from manual processes.

“Organizations moving from manual processes and activities to an automated release pipeline will discover a quick and measurable quality impact as well as improved frequency of reliable releases from the use of release management solutions,” the report states.

Release management is critical to the success of understanding the characteristics of any software deployed. Organizations using release management experience a reduction in failed deployments, fewer production errors, and increased pre-production deployments.”

It also stresses that release management solutions are essential for movements that emphasize speed or collaboration such as Agile, DevOps, and anything positioned as “continuous”.

Conclusion

As pace, complexity, and scope of business software increase, you need visibility to be more aware of what’s going on and prevent delays and failures from the outset. That allows you to plan ahead and release predictably to drive measurable business results from successful releases.

To learn more about how to set up a functional release management process that allows visibility, check out How to Set up an Effective Enterprise Release Management Function.

*From May 2016 through September 2016, voke conducted an independent survey of 368 participants from both technology and non-technology companies of varying sizes. voke explored their use of release management solutions and the results they experienced. The resulting Market Snapshot report identifies the data voke gathered and provides voke’s analysis of the participants’ responses about how release management solutions are used, why the technology is adopted, as well as its general perceptions, challenges, and benefits.

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