If you don’t like change, IT is a bad place to be. There are those that might argue that, even if you readily embrace change, IT can still be pretty challenging. However, despite the continuous, incremental changes, there are key inflexion points worth calling out.
In the planetary system of application services (load balancing, optimization, availability, security, and others) we’re seeing one right now. It’s being driven by some larger forces—things like digital transformation, agile and DevOps methodologies, and the accelerating rate at which new apps are created and deployed. 57 percent of consumers say it’s critical, or at least very important, for companies they purchase from to be innovative.1
57% OF CONSUMERS SAY IT'S CRITICAL, OR AT LEAST VERY IMPORTANT, FOR COMPANIES THEY PURCHASE FROM TO BE INNOVATIVE.
What’s changing? Fundamentally, really not that much. For all of the new application architectures, deployment methods, and platforms, it turns out that applications still need services provided by the infrastructure to go fast, stay running, and be secure. The need for those crucial app services is constant. Threats are only becoming more sophisticated, attack vectors are multiplying, and we rightly expect applications to be fast and responsive. So, in some ways, nothing is changing. Yet, in other ways, everything is.
For example, everything about how you acquire, deploy, manage, and monitor app services is going to change, if it hasn’t already.
Let’s look at some common pain points for app owners:
If every app is going to get high quality, reliable, application services every time it’s deployed; then there must be some significant changes to the way we run network operations. Using automation as a way to do our tasks more easily and reliably must evolve into also using automation as a way to tie into the other systems our colleagues use to orchestrate the deployment and testing of the app as a whole.
We need to adopt systems thinking—a willingness to set up the systems, templates, and interfaces—and then get out of the way. There won’t be the time, there won’t be the people, and there won’t be the opportunity to pull a ticket from a queue, and then manually make the required configuration changes. It’s just not scalable when you look at the way the rest of the IT stack is moving.
But none of this means we can afford to compromise on application:
Threats are on the rise, but patience is on the decline. Research as far back as 2015 shows that poor app performance has a negative impact on an overall brand for over half of respondents, and your ability to keep your apps safe and available is mission-critical to your business.2 Research from the National Cyber Security Alliance shows that up to 60 percent of small-to-medium sized businesses fail within 6 months after suffering a successful cyberattack.3
Along with this change in mindset toward systems thinking will come a change in toolset.
While most organizations won’t want to compromise on the quality of the application services they offer, if the tools and platforms aren’t ready to be deployed into a self-service, orchestrated, and interconnected delivery pipeline, then tools and platforms that are ready will take their place.
That might be a bold, maybe even foolish, statement from a company that competitors like to paint as a hardware dinosaur. But that doesn’t alter the fact that it’s true. What’s also true is that F5 is already providing new products and operational models. BIG-IP Cloud Edition brings a sea change in operational efficiency, increased flexibility via autoscale, and new insights through role-specific dashboards. F5 provides the same essential services to keep your apps alive, just delivered in new ways.
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Learn more at f5.com/cloudedition.
1 Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report
2 TechBeacon Mobile User Survey: Failing to Meet User Expectations
3 60 Percent of Companies Fail in 6 Months Because of This (It’s Not What You Think)