There are few things more valuable to any business than direct customer feedback. It’s how we test ideas – old and new. It’s how we decide to change. So we asked TechValidate to help us understand what customers and potential customers are thinking. They’re a trusted neutral party and have helped us validate our own thinking – and sometimes prove us wrong. Recently, TechValidate compiled two sets of survey responses from targeted recipients across a range of industries. One survey targeted existing Actifio customers, and the other focused specifically on application developers who are not current clients. The returns provide some fascinating results that will help to verify and quantify Actifio’s part in helping customers to gain financial benefits. Results also make clear the opportunity developers have to gain time and performance advantages as they come into the fold.
Looking at current clients, the results closely followed expectations. Before implementation they faced challenges in missed SLAs, long backup recoveries that were difficult to test and growing storage expenses against shrinking budgets. And it was taking too long to provision data for application development and testing.
After implementation, pretty much the reverse situation prevailed. Recovery times dropped from days, to hours and minutes. Multiple backup and recovery tools have been replaced and application development is accelerated. Storage expenses have decreased. Nearly half say they spend less time working nights and weekends. So there’s even a positive leisure impact.
Our survey interest was to better understand priorities for businesses looking to enhance and accelerate application development / DevOps. This survey covered non-Actifio businesses. And the first thing that jumps out is the long list of challenges that must be overcome to meet target dates for application release cycles. Finding bugs late in the QA cycle, lack of automation, poor capabilities to mask sensitive data were all noted as obstructions. And nearly 80% faced difficulties with slow data provisioning and lack of test systems integration.
Most respondents provision test data by making additional copies for development. Some create copies of production data from backups. Some clone production data and copy it to test environments. Some create snapshots of production data for testing. Some do all of the above!
Then there are the time delays. Creating and masking data are slow-downs. But the greatest delay for 42% of the respondents is the time it takes to refresh copies from production data. Inability to recover test data quickly also slows development times for 38%.
Perhaps most interesting of all our DevOps results were the priorities placed on improvement initiatives. More than 85% said they need to accelerate release cycles. Backup modernization is in the plan for 83% and only 5% said they had little interest in reducing their storage costs. (Maybe the CFO should weigh in on that one.)
What we learned here is that there are lots of application development teams have yet to change, that they’re still doing it the way they’ve always done it. Even those who know there are better ways continue to wrestle with the common issues of time delays, multiple production data copies, lack of automation and poor performance. All of that combines to hold back application development and refresh. To hold back business. We know that there are better ways. We know that Actifio and data virtualization can solve these problems. It remains for us to make certain that word gets out.
Planning a DevOps Strategy?
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