If delivering on application releases and meeting project delivery dates is important to your team, you need to make Test Environment Management a priority at your company.
Professionals in the IT and software field are very used to working in ever-changing, dynamic IT environments. As technology evolves and matures, those responsible for it are always focused on balancing the triangle of cost, quality and time.
Ideally, if we have sufficient budget and time, it is unlikely that the quality of the product will suffer. But most often software development teams receive far from ideal budgets and deadlines for work. Therefore, finding ways to keep them within budget and meet software delivery deadlines when launching new products is key. A greater focus is now being placed on the concept of Test Environment Management to assist with these tasks and keep teams on track.
Environment management can be complicated
However, managing software environments is rarely simple. The majority of today’s companies often make the costly mistake of storing the information relevant to effective IT environment management in multiple documents and platforms. This separation makes it much more difficult for organizations to test team effectiveness or Test Environment Management. Plus, as companies mature, they typically need more environments to account for more applications, making a test environment management strategy even more important.
The results are significant. Companies have been shown to waste $61B a year on inefficient routines when they could be instead focusing on innovation. To solve this challenge, it all comes down to making changes and tweaks that will provide you with more transparency and therefore control.
Many leading Test Environment Management tools, or TEM tools, are at your disposal to use now. They offer you a cohesive way to digest all of your environment intel for test environment optimization to become a reality. If you can move away from decentralized tracking and promote better access management, you’ll be able to prevent configuration gaps, which can result in serious delays in software delivery.
Accounting for today’s TEM challenges
When TEM users were polled by the Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) they cited common challenges. First, implementing automated test environments. Second, lack of clarity into test environment inventory and availability. Lastly, configuration drift.
At Hystax, we’re also seeing how distributed teams often struggle when sharing environment usage. Complicated flow of negotiations, unclear intel about VMs or cluster availability and lost details of the last deployment are common challenges that are faced by many. Test Environment Management can really come in to help here.
Breaking down the costs of inefficiency
It’s also worth noting that this same EMA study demonstrated that inefficient environment management for the average enterprise can result in costs of a whopping $1.4 million dollars per year for medium-sized companies.
These challenges showcase that centralizing information is critical to your bottom line. When centralized, TEM users are also much more likely to be able to stop test cycles from being delayed by weeks, which typically comes as a result of production environments which are not properly fitted.
With Test Environment Management best practices in place, companies can instead save up to $10,000 per release in staff overheads and enhance their application quality. Enhanced quality means needing a less robust help desk, which can also translate to savings of $2,500 per app released.
How effective TEM should work
Relying on Slack messages and multiple Google spreadsheets won’t give your team members one source of truth. Moving away from methods of hoping someone saw your message or document and understands what’s available to them is essential.
Efficient Test Environment Management helps companies deliver on their software releases more quickly due to close daily collaboration between all team members. How? These conversations help you to capture environment demands and establish transparent environment utilization. Working together to plan and schedule resources is key to controlling your life cycles.
TEM helps to speed up delivery by providing a validated, stable and available environment to execute test scenarios or replicate bugs in order to fix them. A working management system will help your teams reduce operational overhead, enhance the R&D process by avoiding any production stage downtime, make optimizations and deliver software on time.
How shared resource usage can help to optimize costs
It’s clear that companies must put together a test environment management strategy document and craft a plan to create more centralized IT environments. As your company flourishes, it will only need more IT environments. Dividing up test environment management roles and responsibilities effectively will help your business to grow and scale its efforts with greater ease.
Start by measuring your current environment management efforts and seeing where consolidations can be made in terms of information collection. Then, take the load off of your shoulders by enlisting test environment management services or a partner you can trust to assist you. Partners like Hystax can provide you with one pane of glass for more transparency, which will lead to a better identity and access management. Hystax’s solution is helpful for both TEM and FinOps, helping them to optimize their test environment usage, engage team members more closely and drive down IT expenses.
In terms of TEM functionality, Hystax is designed to help teams craft a cohesive schedule where planning and booking can be done within R&D teams to avoid conflicts via Slack. Our TEM solution can also help you by providing real-time notifications about your environment availability, as well as ping you when expired TTLs are encountered or cloud budget exceeds what’s desired. Users can also assign environments to any task using Jira, export or update environment and deployment information from Jenkins pipelines. Leaning on Hystax can help you to optimize your IT infrastructure costs as well.
If you need help accessing how to start improving your test environment management process, reach out to us. We’re happy to walk you through some strategies as well as our test environment management services which can greatly help you operate more efficiently and scale. Hystax and its solutions are designed to help with cloud cost management and hybrid cloud needs for AWS, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud and Digital Ocean alike.
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