Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 25 - Page 64

CASE STUDY O is a leading mobile network operator and the principal commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited. It has around 6,700 employees in the UK across three main offices and 450 stores. Some of the frequent challenges O 2 faced included having a fragmented and abundant number of test environments; limited visibility of test environments had a potential impact on O 2 ’s customers and the business; and the duplication of time spent collaborating with diverse information sources for non-production environments. 2 The benefits of implementing the Plutora Test Environment and Release Management solution therefore included: centralised management of disparate test environments; live visibility of test environments including live dashboards and reports; new process to manage conflicts and alert key stakeholders to any IT issues or changes in test environment status; and proactive management of non-production environments improved agility and resiliency. The results of the implementation included: 60+ critical test environments now being managed; 50% reduced unplanned outage of non-prod environments; saving admin time through automated scheduling and coordination; reduced delays on test schedules due to misconfigured environments; improved environment agility. 64 INTELLIGENTCIO O 2 centralised its IT test environment management Processes Processes were manual and lacked coordination and collaboration from the different IT teams. It was taking several days to track and rectify unplanned test- environment outages. Conflicts (double- bookings) were common through not having visibility of other bookings on the same environments. Challenges in software delivery Telecommunications is a fast-moving industry. As a leading brand at the forefront of the industry, O 2 has continually innovated new mobile products and has championed customer experience. In order to maintain and extend its leadership position, O 2 maintains the highest standards in its IT application delivery in order to support its massive customer base which comprises over 33 million connections. However, its IT infrastructure experienced a number of challenges which could slow down the planned improvements. The UK IT test environment management group supports a large number of internal teams. They were faced with over 30,000 emails and remedy requests relating to non-production environments. In addition, scheduling environments were not centrally managed, allowing each team to manually add their bookings into spreadsheets with little or no collaboration or arbitration on conflicts. Management of communication and schedules was an unsustainable situation without more effective tools or a lot more people. In the case of unplanned outages (i.e. failures in non-production systems or applications), it could take several days to work through the various architectures to understand where the root cause of a test system outage originated. Furthermore, it drew heavily upon many different support teams which had to be coordinated using manual lists. Ultimately, IT testers were often unable to carry out their testing projects while issues with the test environments were being investigated. Mark Lewis, UAT Test Environment Manager at O 2 , commented: “One solution we sought was visibility of all of our test environments to avoid double-bookings and uncontrolled changes and make sure sufficient management is in place to be effective.” The UK IT test team – in conjunction with its quality test partner, NTT DATA – decided to undertake a review of IT test environment management tools to provide a solution to address these issues. “We are rolling out a dynamic, company- wide IT test environment view in the UK