Improving Collaboration: Planning and Automation in a Managed Service Provider

One of the challenges to improving collaboration in a managed service provider is to get the most out of the CI (Continuous Integration) pipelines but to maintain reliable IT infrastructure still.


A Continuous Delivery process has been introduced as part of the IT strategy, enabling service providers to deliver software features and fix bugs promptly. It also helps in changing the operational culture of the service provider as it involves high-level security controls, increased time to complete critical tasks, and agility for providing solutions to the business. Several different processes form part of a CI pipeline, but three main areas should be addressed. These include Developing, Defining, and Maintaining an automated code-level reporting infrastructure. All the team members should be able to contribute to all the different phases of CI, with the project pipeline being the central point of reference. I think the first thing we need to do is define what CI stands for and how it works.


For those who are new to this term, CI stands for Continuous Integration and deployment - this is a methodology of continuous deployment of associated applications into the service provider's environment. It entails using CI pipelines as a mechanism to identify problems early, and making the appropriate changes to a pipeline is paramount. The second point that needs to be addressed is how these pipelines may be combined with the DevOps assembly lines. The third issue is about the difference between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration. Most often, CI pipelines are used to deliver applications with regular deployments to check whether any bugs have been fixed and which parts of the code still need to be reviewed and tested.


When developing services as part of a CI pipeline, many service providers choose to build the pipeline within the DevOps assembly lines. What this means is that CI pipelines may be used to distribute applications into the system's infrastructure by exposing their requirements to the CI pipelines and then validating and adjusting to enable efficient deployment to all systems. The option of developing services with the DevOps assembly lines requires taking several different approaches to ensure that the pipeline can make use of all the advanced features of the CI pipeline and to ensure that it is aligned with the architecture and operations of the CI pipeline itself. To make sure that the pipeline is delivering services to all systems as well as meeting all the requirements, we need to make sure that we take the time to integrate the pipeline with the CI pipelines properly.


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