Application Release Orchestration (ARO) is a newer term in the IT industry that has emerged from the evolution of Release Management, specifically in response to the complex and specialized heterogeneity typical of modern cloud environments. The goal of ARO is to enable DevOps teams to automate application deployments, manage continuous integration/continuous delivery pipelines, and orchestrate release workflows. It is important for I&O leaders to assess the capabilities of these tools to improve application delivery cadence and support digital business initiatives.
Release Management is the process by which software applications and updates are planned and deployed through a tiered series of environments, from development, through test and staging to production. In traditional release management, release managers schedule tasks, assign resources, and monitor each phase of development. However, as an enterprise grows, so does the complexity involved in ensuring various value streams are prioritized, and that low-value tasks don’t sap resources. This is where sophisticated release management tools come into play, assisting managers by giving top-down monitoring capabilities of the entire system and automating much of the process.
Application Release Automation (ARA) is an umbrella term that provides an engine for workload automation and integrates with various release management tools. Key aspects include automated deployment, environment management, modeling, and release scheduling. ARA systems will also incorporate some form of version control and versioning, as well as an isolated testing environment. ARA manages each of the environments a product passes through, packaging the code and its dependencies, as well as taking care of configuration and validation requirements prior to automatically deploying to the next environment.
While ARA may be successfully implemented at a large enterprise, complex multi-language and multi-platform operations often suffer from a balkanization of methods, metrics, and interfaces. Application Release Orchestration (ARO) takes organization-wide ARA processes and synthesizes them under a single platform. ARO brings major advantages for organizations whose codebase is supported by a combination of both legacy and open-source languages, or who implement a hybrid or multi-cloud platform. Orchestration can become exceedingly complex, requiring a single point of control and governance. ARO provides a heightened level of coherence to operations managers and allows for greater communication across various teams via unified reporting and tracking methodologies.
The stakeholders that benefit most from ARO are release managers, the primary users of an ARO system, as well as DevOps teams and IT managers. ARO frees release managers from tasks that can be automated and allows them to focus on monitoring the system for issues or bottlenecks. Development groups also gain from having visibility to their various product life cycles in real time, freeing them from the constraints of rigid, static release schedules, and letting them flex with changing priorities. IT managers can also use ARO for a better understanding of their value streams, the ability to access team performance, and monitor workflow.
ARO is becoming an increasingly important part of DevSecOps and broader Value Stream Management (VSM), which aims to optimize and streamline the end-to-end software delivery process. With the trend towards DevSecOps, ARO is likely to become part of DevSecOps or for those practice point solution, release management solution. The agile philosophies of Release Management, CI/CD, and DevOps are themselves relatively new to the IT industry, and still evolving to meet the needs of changing technologies and increased market demands.
ARO has several benefits for organizations, including:
- Improved Release Management: ARO provides a centralized, automated approach to release management that enables organizations to streamline their release processes and reduce the risk of deployment incidents. It helps organizations ensure that all necessary stakeholders are involved in the release process and that releases are fully tested and validated before being deployed.
- Greater Agility and Flexibility: ARO provides greater agility and flexibility to organizations by allowing them to easily change their release schedules and priorities in response to changing business needs. This enables organizations to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands, and to rapidly deliver new features and functionality to customers.
- Enhanced Collaboration and Communication: ARO promotes greater collaboration and communication across teams by providing a single, unified platform for managing the entire release process. It enables teams to share information and insights more easily, and to identify and resolve issues more quickly.
- Reduced Costs and Improved Efficiency: ARO helps organizations reduce costs and improve efficiency by automating many of the manual processes involved in release management. This frees up resources that can be redirected to more strategic activities, such as product development and innovation.
- Improved Compliance and Security: ARO provides greater visibility and control over the release process, enabling organizations to ensure that releases are fully compliant with regulatory and security requirements. It helps organizations identify and address potential security issues early in the release process, reducing the risk of security incidents.
- Increased Customer Satisfaction: ARO helps organizations improve customer satisfaction by enabling them to deliver new features and functionality more quickly and reliably. It helps organizations respond more quickly to customer feedback and market demands, and to deliver products that meet customer needs more effectively.
Overall, Application Release Orchestration (ARO) is a key component of modern Release Management, providing a centralized platform for automating application deployments, managing continuous integration/continuous delivery pipelines, and orchestrating release workflows. It allows for organization-wide processes to be synthesized under a single platform, providing greater coherence and communication across various teams.
ARO provides major advantages for organizations that use a combination of legacy and open-source languages or implement a hybrid or multi-cloud platform. ARO is particularly beneficial for release managers, DevOps teams, and IT managers. It frees up release managers from manual tasks, allowing them to focus on monitoring the system for issues or bottlenecks. Development teams gain greater visibility into their product life cycles, while IT managers can access team performance metrics and monitor workflows.
As the industry continues to evolve, the trend is towards broader Value Stream Management (VSM), which encompasses Release Management, CI/CD, DevOps, and other related disciplines. ARO is likely to be absorbed into broader DevSecOps solutions or become part of release management solutions. Regardless of the direction, it is clear that ARO will continue to play a vital role in improving application delivery cadence and supporting digital business initiatives.
E-SPIN Group is a renowned company that specializes in DevSecOps and value stream management (VSM) solutions. We offer a range of project delivery services to enterprise customers that encompass various disciplines, such as release management, continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), and application security testing.
As a trusted partner, we understand that each customer has unique business requirements and project needs. Therefore, we provide personalized solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each customer. Our team of experts is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to deliver the right solution, whether it’s an integrated or point solution, depending on the customer’s requirements.
At E-SPIN, we believe in a collaborative approach and work closely with our customers to ensure the success of their transformation journey. We help our customers to improve their application delivery cadence, optimize their value streams, and support their digital business initiatives. Our aim is to assist our customers in achieving their goals and drive business growth.
If you are looking for a reliable partner to help you in your transformation journey, E-SPIN is here to help. Contact us today and let us work together to create a better future for your business.
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