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Published August 30, 2021

DevOps’ Problem with Speed-to-Market Explained: IBM MQ, Multi-Middleware Role in Deploying New Applications & Updates

76% Of Enterprises Prioritize AI & Machine Learning In 2021 IT Budgets

If your organization is frustrated with how long it takes to roll out new applications and updates, they are not alone. Speed-to-market is an obsession at many companies today (see call-out box below), so anything that restricts or slows it down is a problem.

If IBM MQ (and/or a combination of the big 5 message queue products) are in the middle of the problem that is restricting speed-to-market for applications, then your company is one of the hundreds of modern enterprises with the same legacy problem.

Figure 1: Enterprise-class organizations rely on these 5 products in their Integration Infrastructure (i2)
Figure 1: Enterprise-class organizations rely on these 5 products in their Integration Infrastructure (i2)

Depending on where you reside in the company the problem feels different, but it’s a problem if DevOps deadlines are missed, CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) pipelines are backed up, the business’s Go-to-market (GTM) plan is at risk, and/or the Shared Services or Messaging Middleware teams are under fire.

Understanding a problem is the best way to address it, so let’s briefly consider how so many Fortune 1000 companies got here in the first place.

Integration: 25-40% of IT spend is now allocated to “integration” based on recent surveys and other research data. “40% is a conservative estimate.” said a long-time F1000 leader we recently spoke with about it. “Making the older stuff work with the newer stuff while meeting SLA and SRE targets, all while staying compliant and reasonably cyber-secure is the endless integration challenge.” There is a huge integration challenge going forward for any company not founded in the past 3 years.

Integration Infrastructure (i2): “Integration Infrastructure” refers to the systems used to integrate an enterprise’s application stack. For enterprises, the i2 layer features IBM MQ, and often Kafka, TIBCO EMS, and other messaging middleware as well. As new applications, application changes, containerized applications, and other edge computing and new customer-facing technologies are rapidly rolled out, complexity increases, and the integration infrastructure growth and management challenges grow. 

DevOps and Agile Development (and the IBM MQ-related expectations that come with it): With heretofore unheard-of expectations to quickly deliver new applications and changes to the market, development teams are resourced with new approaches and processes (Agile, DevOps, etc.) and as many developers and QA staff as requested. No more excuses for not achieving speed-to-market goals and gaining competitive advantage via these well-equipped development teams. Everyone else, including the IBM MQ and other messaging middleware teams, are expected to keep up, and just do their simple jobs within the Agile Development and/or DevOps framework at the company. Your small messaging middleware team has everything it needs, right? Not exactly.

Integration Infrastructure Management (i2M) Tooling and Automation: IBM MQ and the others come with minimal management and automation tooling to support today’s Development/DevOps teams and automation is non-existent. The required balance of quality vs. time, and the limitations that your provided tooling creates through a lack of standardized automation, security, and privacy is out-of-whack for today’s enterprises.  

It’s a bottleneck akin to a 1990s Wal-Mart with only 2 checkout lanes open at Christmas. The business is losing forecasted revenue and everyone in the store is frustrated, including the hard-working professionals processing the transactions as fast as they can.

That just scratches the surface of the problem, but you get the idea. Whether you’re one of the hundreds or even thousands of Developer shoppers waiting to check out or you’re in the impossible situation of fixing the MQ bottleneck, you know this problem needs to be addressed, fast, or heads will roll.

Continue the Conversation

If your organization runs IBM, TIBCO, and/or Kafka and has this problem you need to join us for a frank, interactive discussion of the problem. We’ll also outline what approaches your peers are looking at now to address the problem at their organization. Register now to secure your spot and a copy of the slides and webinar recording:

About the Author: A B2B innovator and products executive with 20 years of progressive experience, Steven is an industry author and speaker on enterprise computing, integration infrastructure management (i2M), data analytics, managed service providers (MSPs), IT Security, regulatory compliance, and buyer’s journey-based engagement. Steven is also an Adjunct Instructor and Capstone/Thesis advisor at the NYU MS in Management and Systems (STEM) and MS in Integrated Marketing programs and is the co-developer of the B2B Marketing Maturity Model. Mr. Menges drives product efforts at Nastel Technologies and leads its Advisory Board.