On the surface, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions look like the perfect answer to your enterprise IT troubles. The prepackaged software is typically acquired at a lower cost than a customized build and is implemented by third-party providers with in-depth knowledge and expertise about specific solutions.
While COTS tends to be more reliable and maintainable than custom-made software, there is a secret to maximizing its benefits: proper implementation. With the influx of DevOps organizations in today’s business world, that’s no small task.
DevOps organizations, by nature, operate at high speed. The constant production, testing, and release of software are honed to act as a fine-tuned machine. Therefore, installing a customized solution created to fit the specifics of individual DevOps environments is simple, but due to fixed nature of COTS, implementing a prepackaged solution requires more work.
Why? Most COTS solutions have a preset infrastructure that controls configuration and data accessibility. In typical implementations, this is what the customer is typically looking for. To make the solution work in a DevOps environment, the infrastructure must be realigned to fit the needs and processes of the organization, a demanding project that can slow down continuous delivery.
While implementing a COTS solution into a DevOps environment takes time and resources, the resulting highly responsive, DevOps-oriented organization is worth it. But where to get started?
1. Know your COTS application type
There are three types of COTS applications:
- Open COTS applications, such as Salesforce, allow the most adaptation to suit individual businesses’ needs.
- Closed COTS applications, such as Adobe products, allow the least amount of modification (if any).
- Platform COTS applications, just like dynamics 365 might help the IT team to build their customizations on top of the software platform.
Each category allows varying levels of customization. Aligning your available resources and organizational needs with the appropriate COTS category will help your team create an accurate implementation plan, saving time and money.
2. Schedule ahead of time
Implementing COTS into a DevOps environment is an intensive process. When planning the project, consider your organization’s overall schedule and, if possible, find a quiet time to schedule the project. This guarantees the least amount of disruption possible to projects, employees and customers.
3. Test the integration
Don’t forget to test your system with its newly implemented solution! Consistent with DevOps methodology, build testing into the implementation plan to ensure that the COTS solution meets projected goals and integrates smoothly within the environment.
While the implementation process may not be easy, adding a COTS software solution to your DevOps lineup helps your organizations stay ahead of the competition without wasting time, staff costs, or investment. With the right COTS product, a little patience, and testing, you can merge your DevOps practices with a COTS solution to reinvigorate your business.
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