Forrester analysts find big ROI for CA Release Automation, Service Virtualization, TDM

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It’s one thing to have the seller of enterprise technology extoll the benefits of its product. It’s quite another to read the results of an independent analysis.

That’s the case with a just-released study of CA Release Automation by the analysts at Forrester. CA Technologies commissioned Forrester to calculate the total economic impact (TEI) of Release Automation and determine ROI.

The analysts came up with some empirical results, as well as anecdotal testimony that product offers big bang for the IT buck in terms of enabling faster, more reliable deployments and improved productivity.

“We were able to address the need of the development team to deploy more quickly without increasing our resource base,” said the head of production integration, test and release management at a large financial services firm. “We’ve also added quality and have more stable releases.”

Costs and benefits

Forrester interviewed five organizations (all large corporations) currently using CA Release Automation to collect data on costs, benefits and risks. Then they came up with a “composite organization” based on the characteristics of those interviewed.

According to the study, the composite organization paid an initial $200,000 in software licenses before expanding deployment to another $250,000 in Year 2 and again in Year 3. Maintenance fees totaled just over $100,000 for the three-year period analyzed. Add to that costs for release and administration (just over $1 million over three years), implementation (about $317,000) and professional services fees for the initial implementation ($121,000). 

That might seem like a lot, but check out these benefits:

  • Headcount savings: Time and effort saved on deployment allowed the composite organization to save six FTEs, or about $1.22 million over three years.
  • Cost avoidance of additional IT operations headcount: The composite organization saved $1.69 million over three years because it could avoid hiring additional IT personnel even as deployments increased.
  • Productivity savings: A reduction in wait times for developers and testers meant in increase in productivity up to 20 percent. Over three years, this increase was valued at over $7 million.
  • Fewer errors, faster time to recovery: The costs savings from more error-free deployments was valued at $662,000.
  • Reduction in downtime: CA Release Automation was credited for a huge decrease in downtime for the organizations interviewed. Forrester valued that benefit at over $32 million.

Forrester also found value in improved quality and accuracy of deployments, deployment up to 20 times faster, increased compliance and security and faster time-to-market. To me, these less-tangible benefits are even more valuable, as they go directly to customer satisfaction and brand value.

The bottom line, according to the study, was that the composite organization realized ROI of 389 percent on its investment. Payback came in just 2.8 months. Now, companies can deploy 20 times more releases with a 98 percent reduction in errors.

“With our product, it’s a huge chain to get something out to the customers,” said the lead member of a core application team at a major telecommunications company. “I do not want my team to be a roadblock in this chain. With CA, whatever we get from the developers and from UI, it’s really getting done, we are getting it to the market extremely fast. Now they are not even able to deliver as fast as we can deploy.”

In addition, Forrester conducted similar analyses of CA Service Virtualization and CA Test Data Manager Solution.

For SV, Forrester found an ROI of 292 percent and a payback of three months.

The studies put some hard data behind what we’re always hearing about. Better, faster, cheaper isn’t a pipe dream. For the organizations interviewed by Forrester, it’s the reality.

The reports, which are free to download, are full of good anecdotal stuff, all the data I’ve listed, and more. I urge you to check them out.

For the report on Release Automation, click here.

For the report on Service Virtualization, click here.

For the report on Test Data Manager, click here.