Management debates about IT’s future often invite more heat than consensus - with one striking exception: more enterprises than ever are transforming their internal software delivery processes to better compete in the era of the app economy.

Specifically, they are deploying a combination of DevOps, agile software development and the cloud into their business routines. The shift, which began a few years ago, is already paying dividends in big ways. Consider the following:

  • High-performing IT organizations have 24 times faster recovery times and three times lower change failure rates.
  • DevOps organizations have been found to deploy code 200 times more frequently than practitioners of more traditional development techniques.
  • They spend 50 percent less time remediating security issues and 22 percent less time on unplanned work and rework.
  • Employees in high-performing teams were 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organizations as a great place to work.

Even in an industry where hype is widespread, these results stand out. They also testify to a major break with past practices. The new enterprise development landscape is increasingly defined by shorter IT work cycles, greater delivery frequency and far more experimentation.

You've heard it before: Software is eating the world

The changes also suggest a future with a stepped-up code creation cadence, one that will be characterized by closer collaboration between corporate developers and users. One obvious benefit is that internal customers won’t need anymore to wait for long release cycles. At the same time, they’ll receive higher quality software thanks to an improved feedback loop, where code gets deployed continuously.

With its ability to scale up or down depending on changes in workload, the cloud obviously assumes a central part in this scenario. As cloud columnist David Linthicom notes, the payoff is a fully automated process with self-and auto-provisioning target platform resources that are available in the cloud. At the same time, major and minor changes to applications - everything from development to operations, will “typically occur in less than one day” while the deployment platform “should support almost unlimited provisioning of resources via the cloud.”

This pivot to the future holds ripe opportunity for managed service providers who can provide needed expertise to help guide that transformation. Savvy MSPs have already evolved to provide more value in the era of cloud computing and the move to DevOps is a natural extension of that trend. While these client conversations may still be in their early phases, the signposts point in the same direction.

Clearly, change on this scale is not going to happen overnight and will need the support of business and IT stakeholders. Some organizations might be initially reluctant to shake up the status quo and move away from the familiar waterfall model of software design that has been in place for years. But replacing the old sequential (non-iterative) design approach with a superior process that incorporates 21st century technologies isn’t a hard sell.

In fact, it’s the closest to an open and shut argument about IT’s future that you can find.

This content is underwritten by VMware -- and is editorially independent. It is produced in accordance with conventional standards of business journalism.

Charles Cooper is an award-winning freelance author who writes about business and technology. During his 30-plus year career, he has worked as an executive editor at several leading tech publications including CNET, ZDNet, PC Week and Computer Shopper.