Four methods and tools for fast, secure digital service development

17 August 2021 / Article

Build, test, and launch – and do it quickly! Speed is becoming increasingly important when it comes to digital service development, which is why companies and organisations should invest in modern methods such as CI/CD, container technology, and IaC, recommends Johan Christenson, Head of Compliant Cloud at Iver.

Take the newly launched gaming company that goes from 100 users to 2,000,000 users in a couple of months. Or the car company that is in the midst of a digital transformation and constantly needs to polish the apps and services that mean more and more to the clients’ total brand experience.

These are just two examples demonstrating that companies and organisations nowadays both want – and need – to be fast on their feet when it comes to their digital development and the ability to scale up their systems and applications. And that they need to do so quickly, simply, securely, and with full regulatory compliance.

“As with so many things in the IT world, things are moving faster and faster. Quick releases and short time to market have become competitive tools in their own right. Which is why there is considerable interest in automated and scalable solutions for companies who are keen to sharpen up and accelerate their development,” says Johan Christenson.

So, how can organisations speed up the rate at which they build new applications, business models and services? Here are four modern techniques and methods that are key in this context:

CI/CD, Continuous Integration och Continuous Deployment, are flexible methods and tools that bridge the gaps between development and operation. The methodology enables the continuous and high tempo roll out of ongoing changes and improvements to systems and applications. Not only do you gain control over the process and increase the rate at which it happens – you also ensure quality. CI/CD is often associated with DevOps – another widely embraced methodology nowadays that is supported by tools and methods such as CI/CD.

  • Containers act as software repositories and are an excellent tool during a DevOps journey. Combining them with CI/CD gives you the opportunity not only to develop quickly, but also to commission and scale up applications in a controlled way. Scaling up and rolling out applications locally and globally is facilitated through the use of container technology. In older IT environments, the application had to be installed manually in each local data centre, but with a container service, you can disseminate the application to other data centres, or to the cloud, simply and smoothly.

  • IaC, Infrastructure as Code, means that the infrastructure also has a layer of software that allows the hardware to be configured at need for different tasks. Which means that in an automatable infrastructure, a developer can control the entire stack, offering substantial benefits both in the development phase and on the operational side. If the company wants to roll out a test at 10 am on Thursday, for example, the infrastructure can be programmed to use twice as many CPUs and memory during the actual test. IaC is closely related to modern IT service provision formats where you only pay for what the organisation uses. This is often referred to as “pay as you go” or “services on tap”, symbolising cloud services’ business model today. 

  • Customised infrastructure means that the organisation’s IT infrastructure is tailored to use modern methods and technologies, such as CI/CD, container services, and IaC. Many companies choose to procure these services and the expertise required from IT consultancy companies, rather than building them up in-house in their own data centres.  

Iver has noted an ever-increasing interest on the part of companies and organisations in using modern methods to polish and accelerate their digital transformation and service development.

”Once our client no longer needs to worry about putting their own time and resources into scaling up their provision of an application or providing hardware, they can concentrate on their digital core operations and develop their applications or platforms. And as a result, their development work is hugely accelerated. We provide the technology, the services, and the expertise in relation to the new methodologies so that our clients have no need to build up their own.

“Fundamentally, this is about a journey of innovation. Combining new methods and methodologies with programmable infrastructure enables a company to dramatically increase its digital output. In a world where everything is becoming digital, this is the foundation of increased innovativeness throughout the organisation,” concludes Christenson. 

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