First off, Sorry William Gibson for using your famous quote in the title. The quote seemed to fit like a glove in this context. DevOps toolchains are changing. The discrete automation silos of the past are evolving into platforms that orchestrate application delivery as a value stream. Gartner analysts covering DevOps toolchains regularly see clients revisiting their toolchain strategies to adapt to four fundamental changes:
- Cloud adoption and container-native architectures
- Need to simplify building and managing DevOps pipelines – minimize the overhead involved in orchestration, integration and governance
- Need for security and compliance automation as part of the DevOps pipeline
- Provide end to end visibility, traceability, auditability and observability into the flow of work – the core drivers for value stream management.
Earlier this year, Gartner retired the Magic Quadrant for Application Release Orchestration and laid out three ways forward emphasizing the shift to application delivery value streams. In our research titled “The Future of DevOps Toolchains Will Involve Maximizing Flow in IT Value Streams”, we outlined three ways forward as shown in the figure below –
As mentioned in the graphic above, the three scenarios are not mutually exclusive and the tools will co-exist in most cases:
- Niche DevOps tools. Assembled niche and best-of-breed tools to meet the product-specific needs of delivery teams (see How to Build and Evolve Your DevOps Toolchains).
- DevOps value stream delivery platforms (VSDPs). A fully integrated set of capabilities to enable continuous delivery of software. VSDPs provide a unified platform to reduce the complexity of integrating pipeline activities across the application development value stream. (see Market Guide for DevOps Value Stream Delivery Platforms).
- DevOps value stream management platforms (VSMPs). The promise of VSMPs is that they provide a unified dashboard view across multiple DevOps toolchains and VSDPs. This centralized view enables organizations to measure the effectiveness of their product delivery, regardless of scale or which tools they use. (see Market Guide for DevOps Value Stream Management Platforms).
How do VSDPs and VSMPs complement each other?
Value stream delivery platforms enable organizations to simplify building and managing DevOps pipelines. They minimize the overhead involved in orchestration, integration and governance, thus maximizing value by providing visibility, traceability and observability into the flow of work. DevOps VSDPs are pre-integrated platforms that improve the flow of work required to deliver value to the customers throughout the application development value stream (ideate, build, run).
VSDPs serve as the “execution plane” for application delivery.
DevOps value stream management platforms (VSMPs) are platforms that provide end-to-end visibility and insight to product delivery by orchestrating and interconnecting a multitude of independent business, development and operations tools.
VSMPs serve as the “control plane” for application delivery.
DevOps Value Stream Delivery Platforms
DevOps value stream delivery platforms provide a fully integrated set of capabilities to enable continuous delivery of software. These capabilities may include project or product planning, build automation, continuous integration, test automation, continuous deployment and rollback, release orchestration, and automated security policy enforcement, and may provide visibility to key value stream metrics.
VSDPs make product and platform teams more efficient by alleviating constraints in the software delivery pipeline. This results in improved flow of work from initial customer contact to production support. VSDPs are extensible by design and expose APIs for other tools to manage and monitor the software delivery life cycle. The goal is to improve the flow of value rather than automate a sequence of disparate tasks.
The figure below describes the key capabilities of a DevOps Value Stream Delivery Platform.
Refer to the Market Guide for DevOps Value Stream Delivery Platforms for an elaborate explanation of each capability and a list of representative vendors.
DevOps Value Stream Management Platforms
DevOps value stream management platforms enable organizations to optimize end-to-end product delivery lead times. These platforms provide greater visibility and traceability into the flow of all product delivery processes, from ideation to release and operation. DevOps VSMPs apply value stream principles to surface constraints and key flow metrics, enabling DevOps teams to take actions that improve throughput.
The figure below describes the key capabilities of a DevOps Value Stream Management Platform.
Refer to the Market Guide for DevOps Value Stream Management Platforms for an elaborate explanation of each capability and a list of representative vendors.