A Software Chain of Custody that truly covers the enterprise-scale software delivery process starts with the strategic goals that you want to achieve. Most organizations execute a pipeline of business activities similar to the one below when determining which software assets to invest in and how to measure their return on investment.
A Typical Pipeline of Business Activities
The inputs and outputs of this process are usually scattered in many places. Organizational leaders have ideas in mind and sketch out vision statements and goals on whiteboards; product managers build roadmaps in PowerPoint; release managers create plans and schedules in Excel; and product owners add work items to a backlog in Jira.
A Software Chain of Custody can transform this disconnected set of inputs and outputs into a structured, connected, traceable chain of decisions, activities, and outcomes.
Note: Tools such as Digital.ai Agility and Release are rich sources of data for the activities from business to technical-oriented processes. Capturing the data and building it into your Software Chain of Custody gives you a complete picture of your true end-to-end process so you can:
Track compliance tasks that happen inside and outside the technical pipeline
Better visualize and understand your development and operational value streams
Use data to align the backlog of technical work with strategic goals
Measure DevOps teams’ performance against strategic goals
Understanding the Complex Landscape of DevOps Tools
DevOps teams manage and execute the activities that move software assets through the development and delivery process: writing new code, integrating it with the codebase, testing it, packaging it into applications, deploying those applications to both pre-production and production environments, releasing to users, and monitoring each application’s availability, stability, and performance. These activities require a variety of tools that support source code management, continuous integration, build capabilities, environment provisioning, application release and deployment, log aggregation (observability), and performance monitoring.
This landscape of varied, often disconnected tools makes it inherently challenging to create a Software Chain of Custody that reliably tracks the work that is being done, and that captures and documents which person or process triggered the work.
DevOps teams are often required to manually collect, compile, and correlate data across tools to satisfy audit reporting requirements—a process that is time-consuming, prone to human error, and distracts developers from the work of building value-adding business applications.
Automation is Key for a Scalable, Repeatable Software Chain of Custody
To establish a Software Chain of Custody for technical software delivery processes, you must automate the process of capturing and correlating evidence for delivery activities across all tools in the DevOps landscape. According to DevOps Automated Governance Reference Architecture:
As more and more DevOps practices are automated, it becomes harder to capture the data required to ensure all security and compliance concerns are met. Organizations need an automated way to track governance throughout the entire software delivery process so they can attest to the integrity of all assets and to the security of all running applications.
Implementing this type of automation and then optimizing it for enterprise-scale use requires tools and mechanisms that are built for repetition and scale. A Software Chain of Custody process that is highly repeatable ensures that audit evidence is captured for every release. This process must scale to capture evidence automatically for every change made to every software asset—no matter how many tools are involved or how complex the technical delivery pipeline is.
Highlighting Customer Outcomes
“If you’re looking to improve, accelerate, and streamline your end-to-end software delivery, and enforce compliance requirements in a repeatable, auditable process, you want Digital.ai.”
Vito Iannuzzelli – Assistant VP of IT, NJM Insurance Group
Collect. Visualize. Report. Prove.
Digital.ai’s comprehensive Software Chain of Custody capabilities are the foundation for fast, secure, compliant software delivery. And you’ll be able to prove it.
Only the Digital.ai DevOps Platform offers end-to-end release orchestration that provides a complete picture of your software delivery pipeline, both as it runs and after the fact. We help you get the most value out of your DevOps tools.
Traditional reporting tools can’t access and unify your DevOps data, so they can’t provide the necessary context for software development and delivery activities. Digital.ai offers a single pane of glass to view, control, and report on the entire DevOps value stream. Scalable, secure, and built for the enterprise.
Product and Portfolio Managers can ensure traceability in every step, from ideation to application delivery, including value to businesses.
Release managers & application teams can automate the entire data collection process and create on-demand, real-time reports with the push of a button. They are also able to meet audit and compliance requirements that are not easy using the Digital.ai Release.
Compliance, security, and audit groups have all the data they need to trace what happened in each release, readily available and in a convenient format, giving them total control.
DevOps leaders have full visibility across your entire software factory that guarantees stress-free compliance.
White paper: Building a Software Chain of Custody: A Guide for CTOs, CIOs, and Enterprise DevOps Teams
Through NBI’s approach to be the best open-access operator in telecom, they have been supported by key technology partners, with automation capabilities provided by Digital.ai Release and Deploy underpinning integral aspects.
Regardless of where you are on your digital transformation journey, we can help you achieve your strategic outcomes and accelerate value delivery with the right combination of technology, services, and training.