Top 9 use cases to help turn your company, finally, into a software company

So you say you’re not a software company. Maybe you’re a bank. Or a retailer. Or a government agency. But not a software company, right? Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.

Here’s the thing, though: Today, every company is a software company. If you’re not adding digital components to connect with customers and enrich those connections, then you most likely are on your way out of business.

If your enterprise is on that digital track, maybe you think you’re OK, but ask yourself this question: Are you iterating your digital efforts fast enough to keep up with the competition?

You see, even many of those who understand they are in the software business are on their way out of business because they’re developing customer-facing software too slowly, or because their software is addled by flaws. Other companies think they can overcome slow development by throwing a lot of resources at it. This approach is a losing proposition, too.

Today, an increasing number of companies are coming to the realization that the only way to be a nimble company in an application economy is to remove the constraints – the many dependencies throughout a composite software ecosystem – to development.

That’s what service virtualization is all about – and why this site exists.

Service virtualization is about overcoming constraints (legacy systems, dynamic databases on systems of record, inadequate test time on actual systems, expensive third-party system access, and so on) by replicating any dependent system you might need. Just like that, your development team is independent. It’s like super-charging your software team to speed up delivery, increase quality and drive down costs.

To help you understand how this works, we’ve put together 9 use cases to help you understand how this revolutionary technology can help drive your success. Some of this information is drawn from a free ebook you can get through CA Technologies, but we’ll hit the high points here.

  1. Training: One good example is of a telecom provider that encountered serious constraints within its retail training system. The company’s training app interfaced with many backend systems, causing trainers to spend lots of time manually creating training sessions in different systems. The result, lots of wasted man-hours. By using SV to create a virtual training app environment that behaved exactly the same, the company saved $1 million while improving training dramatically.
  2. ‘Business in a box’: A big financial services company needed to integrate the systems of regional banks it was acquiring while presenting all customers, new and old, with the same, quality experience. Using service virtualization, the bank created a “bank in a box” virtual service that mimicked all its backend systems, allowing all the acquired banks to quickly develop and test new software.
  3. Third-party integration: Companies today are integrating a lot of third-party technology and services with their own. All that software has to play well together. Virtual services allow IT teams to simulate third-party systems and user behaviors for quick, low-cost integration and testing.
  4. New product launches: Let’s say you and a partner company are working on a common retail channel. Tight timeline, huge stakes. Instead of forcing one team to wait on the other, SV allows you to build interface test cases from scratch that both teams can use to develop – in confidence – simultaneously.
  5. Test data management: Down time during development is a huge waste of human resources. While it allows your team plenty of time to check Facebook, wouldn’t it be better if your team had test data environments they could capture and manipulate right away? Service virtualization gives you that.
  6. Performance testing: CA gives the example of a bank that needed a comprehensive test environment to support the requirements of its 13 development, performance and test teams. It had spent two years creating, by hand, mocks and stubs for an expensive test environment that wasn’t even dynamic. But with service virtualization, they created a constraint-free, on-demand, just-like-the-real-thing virtual environment in eight days. That sped up deliveries by 20 percent-plus and saved an estimated $30 million.
  7. Removing time constraints: Many companies are moving to Agile development teams to speed up development. But many small teams confronting the same old constraints doesn’t help you much. The constraint problem actually could get worse as all the teams compete for finite resources. With SV, Agile teams can be more effective because they all get access to virtual environments on-demand. Doesn’t that just make more sense?
  8. Microservices: As Scott Edwards wrote recently, a variety of large companies (Netflix and Amazon are two of the biggies) are using so-called microservices in a kind of modular architecture for apps. Service virtualization becomes a key in assembling this architecture by helping to simulate the dozens – or hundreds – of API dependencies that can come into play with microservices. It’s the ultimately reliable and lifelike sandbox environment.
  9. API virtualization: No responsible company today is ignorant to the many security threats on the web. That’s why many organizations buffer their systems from the outside world with DMZs. The challenge comes in when DMZs block the view to back-end applications and data. Clearly, you can’t start making security exceptions and poking holes in firewalls. That’s asking for trouble. Instead, companies are using service virtualization to deploy API gateways that act as a security proxy for transactions. That allows commerce to continue without putting the enterprise at risk of attack.

As we said above, this is just the barest of summaries. There are many more use cases than we have time to mention here. If some spring to mind, leave us a note in the comments below. And, be sure to check out CA’s ebook for even more, and be sure to check back here for more news and information surrounding SV.

Thanks for reading.