Earlier this year three quarters of CIOs named application modernisation as a top priority, but at the same time almost 48% of executives admitted it had been over a year since they have made improvements to their application portfolios. Why is there this perceived conflict between what they want to achieve and what they are actioning?
Too often it’s the risk to business operations, combined with the cost of another in-place patch or upgrade, that is felt to be too high. On top of that, complex architectures and inconsistent approaches to creating, running, managing and protecting applications are holding development back.
Currently, 86% of containerised applications are on Kubernetes
This approach is not sustainable. IDC predicts that, by 2025, nearly two thirds of enterprises will be prolific software producers with code deployed daily, more than 90% of applications will be cloud native, and there will be 1.6 times more developers than today. And it is the developer who has become crucial, as they become more influential in broader IT and infrastructure decisions.
Also, it is containerisation that has been a game-changer for developers to create and deploy applications faster and at unprecedented scale. In fact, this use of containers is only going to grow – according to Gartner, by 2025, more than 80% of software vendors will offer their application software in container format, up from less than 10% today.
By 2025, nearly two thirds of enterprises will be prolific software producers with code deployed daily
Kubernetes, an open-source platform for managing containerised workloads and services, is leading the charge. Currently, 86% of containerised applications are on Kubernetes.
But where are we today? Do enterprises fully understand the opportunity presented by Kubernetes? Where are the hurdles to adoption – and how can partners help enterprises take advantage?
Firstly, let’s start with why enterprises are modernising in this way. Above and beyond everything else, this is about building new revenue-generating customer experiences via applications – as the future of business differentiation and customer-facing services begins and ends with an organisation’s application portfolio.
Then, sitting alongside this, are the pressing needs to manage a growing volume of software vulnerabilities, and to drive competitive advantage from new innovations now being offered by the cloud.
More than 90% of applications will be cloud native, and there will be 1.6 times more developers than today
With these points, however, lie immediate challenges. We are seeing application teams being asked to break down monolithic applications and rebuild as microservices-based applications, development teams under pressure to deliver new features to customers faster, and enterprises facing outsized security risks from compromised containers and applications.
At the heart of all of this is the issue of complexity – that of the modern applications themselves, and how they are often made up of multiple VMs, containers, and services, and run across a variety of heterogeneous architectures. The number one obstacle is that it is difficult to match the needs of applications to the right underlying infrastructure.
The challenge, and opportunity, lies in addressing this at both an application and infrastructure level – solving the developer experience and operator experience across clouds, while addressing the most common scenarios enterprises encounter in their efforts to modernise infrastructure and applications.
And the technology to do this is out there; we can now simplify operations of Kubernetes for multi-cloud, centralising management and governance for many clusters and teams across on-premises, public clouds and edge environments.
It is the developer who has become crucial as they become more influential in IT and infrastructure decisions
This is about democratising infrastructure; extending an enterprise ready Kubernetes operating model across organisations’ data centers and public clouds so they can run and manage modernised workloads alongside existing software – a single platform for running all applications.
Below are three key ways in which Kubernetes platforms can benefit enterprises, and the main consideration points for partners as they enable organisations to use this to futureproof their application delivery and supporting infrastructure.
#1 Aligning stakeholders with a single source of truth
Instead of different stakeholders making decisions based on different data sources, there’s the opportunity to bring everything together into one complete picture of the stack. This is about centralised visibility and management; the ability to ingest all data sources and apply analytics and then route results to the right person.
Kubernetes, an open-source platform for managing containerised workloads and services, is leading the charge
With this, infrastructure leaders can see the health of their environments, and developers can see the behaviour of their applications in production. So, everyone makes better decisions, together.
#2 Ensuring reliable communication across clouds with no application code changes
As their estates of modern applications grows, enterprises will have more endpoints to monitor and more services to maintain. This necessitates central visibility of endpoints across VMs and containers, on-premises and public clouds, and the use of global policies to ensure compliance and audit trails are ever-present.
The goal is improved security and resiliency, as organisations build new, cloud native applications or rearchitect and containerise existing business-critical workloads using curated, validated and always updated images.
#3 Getting more software into production, at speed
The path to production is composed of many pieces, and developers have to navigate many steps to get their code into production. It’s full of friction that slows down development cycles. Platforms can pull everything together into an integrated and automated path, so developers can write five lines of code to push their software into production, including all dependencies and accounting for security.
Improving developer capacity in this way means the organisation can deliver better software, faster. That means more revenue generating features, faster patches and happier customers.
A comparison of elite, those organisations in the highest possible performance category, versus low performing organisations shows the former have 208x more frequent code deploys, a 2,604x faster time to restore service, and 7x better change failure rates1.
Yet too many organisations still suffer from layers of manual processes designed to minimise risk and ensure compliance – making application releases infrequent, high-risk events. In addition, a lack of cloud native experience and expertise exacerbates the challenge.
The opportunity for IT and developers to fuel greater digital transformation lies in keeping it as simple as possible. The reality is that some businesses are more ready for Kubernetes than others.
The opportunity is in addressing at application and infrastructure level, solving the developer experience and operator experience across clouds.