IBM this week announced that it has distilled its cloud application development practices into a "method" that is partially responsible for the company being named a market leader in cloud application development and transformation by an independent technology market research firm.
Big Blue introduced its Bluemix Garage Method, a set of best practices built to help organizations rapidly design, build, deploy and scale cloud applications. Using the method, IBM gained recognition from Technology Business Research (TBR) as a leader in several cloud application development categories including highest scores in customer satisfaction and in enterprise adoption for application transformation services.
With four Bluemix Garage locations around the world—San Francisco, Toronto, London and Nice, France—IBM employs the Bluemix Garage Method to help clients develop better cloud applications faster and more reliably.
The Bluemix Garage Method came out of a programming practice known as social coding at IBM. Not long after releasing Bluemix in 2014, IBM introduced its first Bluemix Garage in San Francisco in April of that year. A Bluemix Garage is a physical location where developers and designers can collaborate with IBM experts to create and deliver new cloud apps deployed onto Bluemix. Last week, IBM opened its newest Bluemix Garage in Nice.
"The Garage Method is how we develop code—like we broke our teams into squads," said Dr. Angel Luis Diaz, IBM's vice president of Cloud Architecture and Technology. "We do pair programming, we have the ability to make pull requests on each other, and we perfected our social coding. The 'how' is very important and it's very important to the history of Bluemix. This method that we call the IBM Bluemix Garage Method has a tagline that says: Act like a startup, deliver at enterprise scale. It combines the best practices of design thinking, lean startup, Agile development, DevOps and cloud to build innovative solutions. And clients love this because they want to know how they can do it. It's great for retention and for attracting talent because everyone wants to work this way."
The Bluemix Garage Method combines IBM's Design Thinking approach with the company's IBM Cloud infrastructure, APIs, open communities and DevOps. The method also helps organizations to identify priorities for features and with application design.
IBM said the method is deliverable as a digital experience and a library of assets and includes tracks for building cloud-native apps, mobile design and development, and designing a strategic API plan.
In addition, IBM said the Bluemix Garage Method soon will feature expanded content with tracks including information on building cognitive features into applications using Watson APIs, as well as information on creating Internet of things (IoT) apps, analytics apps and Blockchain apps as well as on hybrid cloud adoption.
James Gardner, CTO of Spigit, a startup and early Bluemix user, said his shop benefitted from the Bluemix Garage Method, particularly from its focus on DevOps.
Moreover, "We've used elements of the Garage Method to deliver significant mobile transformations to our clients," said Stephanie Trunzo, COO and chief digital officer at PointSource, a mobile strategy company, in a statement. "Design Thinking has been especially effective at helping our clients transform their customer engagement experience—before we start building mobile apps."
The Garage Method also provides developers with resources such as videos, case studies and blogs related to IBM's own transformation with DevOps and Design Thinking, the company said.
Meanwhile, for its recent report, Cloud Customer Research Topical Report: New vs. Legacy Applications, TBR surveyed more than 2,100 enterprises globally. The research firm said IBM won high satisfaction scores for its platform's application portability and flexibility, integration between other applications from the same vendor, and APIs that extend to other vendors.
IBM also received high scores for allowing developers to build hybrid Platform as a Service (PaaS) apps that run in either private or public cloud environments, or both. IBM has several flavors of its Bluemix PaaS including Bluemix Dedicated and Bluemix Local.
"TBR believes that IBM leads other vendors in application transformation because it provides customers a broad portfolio, complete with a dedicated services arm, that allows it to cater to individual enterprise needs," the TBR report said.