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Finding an Effective IBM Z DevOps Solution

DevOps solutions for traditional z/OS* application delivery in relation to IBM Z* modernization is a common topic that’s been explored in many whitepapers, such as “DevOps for IBM Z: Modernizing IT and Future-Proofing Current Investments” ( But it’s not always easy to determine the best DevOps strategy for your business. In this article, we’ll discuss how we can assist IBM Z clients in finding a DevOps solution that is most effective for their business by applying an IBM IT Economics analysis.

IBM Economics

IBM IT Economics is an approach to quantitative analysis of IT solution costs. The methodology involves analysis of all cost components in an IT solution (or solutions) across production and non-production environments (e.g., development, test, production, DR, etc.). Depending on the scope, it examines software along with hardware and labor costs, accounts for costs associated with anticipated business growth, migration from one solution to another, the impact of running existing and new solutions in parallel until ready for production, and other key factors that affect IT cost.

IBM IT Economics also assesses business values delivered by IT capabilities within one or across multiple solutions. This entails identifying key business metrics and quantifying potential impact of various features of an IT solution on business objectives.

DevOps on IBM Z Analysis

IBM IT Economics developed a detailed approach to DevOps on Z solution analysis that incorporates the following six activities:

1. Discover DevOps challenges and opportunities. We partner with IT and business stakeholders and conduct a DevOps survey to collect information on current application delivery, operations and related business processes.
The survey is structured by enterprise DevOps capabilities and looks at the challenges of DevOps on IBM Z in the context of the following overlapping and interdependent areas: culture (organizational approach); continuous business planning; collaboration (collaborative development and collaboration across IT and business); continuous integration and continuous delivery; automation (across application delivery lifecycle and operations); continuous testing; and continuous monitoring. The survey analysis identifies the challenging areas in the current application delivery processes and determines the areas of improvement for IT and business organizations.
During this activity, we educate clients on available DevOps solutions for IBM Z and articulate business values of DevOps capabilities for business stakeholders. An IT Economics consultant maps DevOps capabilities to business outcomes. Each aspect of a DevOps solution is examined from a capability, outcome and business benefit perspective, and then prioritized and quantified for financial impact.
Define value drivers. After the initial results of the survey analysis are shared with the client’s IT and business sponsors, we discuss alternative DevOps solutions for Z and determine the value drivers and benefits specific to each DevOps solution and customer IT and business organization.

2. Estimate financial impact. We estimate costs and business values of each solution in terms of key performance indicators that are important for the client. The most common financial key performance indicator for DevOps solutions is ROI. We use the value tree created in the previous activity, calculate investments and then estimate ROI.

3. Evaluate non-financial impact. This is an optional activity. The non-financial impact is comprised of the DevOps solution consequences that are difficult to quantify. For example, we know from the surveys of development teams that a collaborative environment makes application developers more satisfied with their work. There’s no simple formula that could estimate tangible results of employees being happier with their work. It’s common to discuss non-financial impacts of DevOps in order to set context for financial analysis. A decision matrix is often used to formalize non-financial impact analysis.

4. Strategy alignment of DevOps for IBM Z with the enterprise DevOps. This is an optional activity. If the organization already has a well-defined enterprise DevOps strategy, we can recommend a solution for IBM Z that complies with the strategic DevOps direction on an enterprise level.

5. Create a business case for DevOps for IBM Z. This brings together the results of the previous activities and summarizes our recommended solution, compares it with alternative solutions or with the current state of DevOps, and shows business benefits, costs and ROI.

Addressing Business and IT Needs

IT Economics analysis of DevOps for IBM Z can assist in selecting the best solution that most effectively addresses your business and IT needs. It enables the IBM Z stakeholders to examine DevOps requirements, identify costs and effort, evaluate ROI, and build a financial case uniquely tailored to customer-specific business and IT objectives.

Learn more about IBM IT Economics at