The IT ecosystem within companies is becoming more and more complex as time goes by. This is especially true for large corporations that employ thousands of people and who have a whole number of IT teams working on various projects for the company.
Due to a variety of needs and reasons, many such companies hire outside partners who help them with certain projects and releases. In essence, these companies outsource certain aspects of releasing new software and, unfortunately, things often get messy.
Just an Example
Let’s imagine a company which features a business analytics department. Their analysts will in the vast majority of cases be in-house. They will work using a certain type of software and since the company does not develop its own business analytics software, they have it developed somewhere else (updates included). The company has its own test managers in-house, but since they do not have the capabilities to run the tests, they outsource this too, to another vendor.
In short, in order for the business analytics department to operate with the latest software and at the fullest capacity, the company employs two outsourced partners. When you consider how many such operations and processes a large company has to handle on a daily basis, the potential issues become very apparent.
For one, there are always potential problems when working with outsourced IT services which can, fortunately, remedied by hiring the services of someone like Globality Consulting who will find you only the best vendors.
However, even when everything goes right, there are simply too many processes and releases to be handled that some kind of release management is simply a necessity.
Release Management 101
Release management was invented for cases like this, where big companies have to deal with a copious amount of various software releases across their operation and where some kind of a unified “headquarters” is a must.
Release management is envisioned as something of an action center where all of the development teams, test managers, their superiors and everyone else involved in development, testing and final release of software can come to find out what is “on the program” and how they should move from there.
Furthermore, with a release management department in place, other important pieces of the company can find out what is happening and voice their opinion. Moreover, they can get better insight into what the different parts of the IT machinery are doing and what is happening with their software.
Of course, the ultimate goal of having a release management team is to streamline all IT processes and ensure software is released in the best possible condition, within the shortest possible timeframe and by using up as little of the company’s resources as possible.
Enabling the Best Release Management
There are a few things that a company needs to have in order to get the best possible release management. For one, they need to find the right people who are, at the moment, still quite rare. These will usually be people with long IT management experience and who have been involved in overseeing a large number of projects at the same time.
In addition to this, the company will also do well to start using some kind of release management software that will help their new team do its job flawlessly. This will involve such subspecialized pieces of software like test management tools, continuous development management and so on.
Finally, the company and all of its most important decision makers will need to understand that release management is there to help them and not simply to add another CC to their internal email correspondence.
Release management is not just a new buzzword. It is a concept that can help large companies save millions in man-hours, test environments, and other company resources.