There’s no doubt that these are unprecedented times; households on lockdown, food shortages, huge supermarket queues and social distancing. At the same time, a huge change is happening in the way people, businesses and countries operate: relying heavily on the technology to support us during the crisis. From Terra drones delivering medical supplies, DeepMind being used to understand proteins that might make up the virus through to AI systems helping healthcare workers detect and monitor the disease more efficiently. Technology has never taken such a forefront in society in a more positive way, to try and globally unify a common cause and protect the vulnerable.
It isn’t just technology innovation hubs or large enterprises who lead in these fields, but everyday businesses that are appreciating how much of an enabler technology can be to their workforce and how relevant it is to their business continuity. Being able to scale services to meet demand either through a change in consumer behaviours or through internal user demand on core business services, adjusting at pace to accommodate new situations is critical for business survival.
At Appvia; being a new startup, modern remote ways of working are more of the rule rather than the exception; so collaboration tools such as Slack and Google G Suite are used daily as are developer and infrastructure tools like Cloud Providers and Github. There is obviously no substitute for being in a room together physically to flesh out ideas or engineering challenges on a whiteboard, however, we can adapt and use the technology to help us out.
So what is our advice for businesses who may not be leveraging all the technology they should to help them through these hard times?
If your teams work more regularly in specific products such as Slack, then integrating other third-party products into it can really help a team's efficiency. Examples of this would be integrating your code repositories to report changes i.e. new Pull Requests or Reviews requested by team members before those changes can be merged in. Additionally, you can write your own custom integrations to existing products like cloud, to improve visibility of changes, costs or general activity you find useful as a team or organisation. This can also extend to more critical forms of communication such as production issues or security warnings that require a more rapid response from team members, increasing the likelihood of action to be taken at a quicker rate than through email alerts.
Although Cloud gets a lot of air time in the industry, a lot of application services still run on invested infrastructure, either in office buildings or co-located. Depending on the design of the service, the infrastructure and technologies surrounding it can often be a bottleneck and cause scalability challenges. Looking at porting services that drastically need to scale with demand to the cloud is a good way of removing that bottleneck.
When development teams are committing features, it’s critical that there is visibility on the testing outcome of those features centrally. Having a CI system that shows what is failing where will help speed up remediation or developers tripping over one another. Preventing any features being able to be merged on CI failures will also keep the hygiene of the code up. Integrating CI into collaboration tools like Slack gives teams instant feedback in a central place and helps improve that transparency on what is going on.
The current situation is forcing many of us to evaluate our current technology choices and setups, some of which will accelerate cloud adoption beyond the speed they are comfortable with. The move to new technologies, especially cloud, is complex, and with teams working remotely it becomes even harder. We want to support businesses in those difficult times by providing a 30 minutes FREE consultation with one of our Solutions Architects.