Digital is redefining the way people work every day. At Accenture, this includes the way the internal IT organization develops software, performs continuous integration and deploys new releases with speed and agility.
For an organization the size of Accenture, this task is huge. It entails managing the application lifecycle management (ALM) process across approximately 550 project teams working around the globe. To orchestrate that entire process, internal IT used Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS).
The release of Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), however, presented the opportunity for internal IT to advance Accenture’s digital agenda and pivot to the New. VSTS aligned with Accenture’s cloud-first strategy by being hosted in the cloud; the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model would keep the product current and on the leading edge for developers; and VSTS would better position the internal IT organization for DevOps.
To use VSTS, Accenture needed to migrate its on-premise TFS instance—which included 3.5 TB of TFS data—from a data center in India to a US-based Microsoft cloud environment.
The first step the internal IT project team took was to upgrade Accenture’s existing TFS version to TFS 2017. The next step was migrating Accenture’s data to VSTS, a major effort that involved addressing several complex issues. In the end, the entire environment was successfully migrated with no disruption to the ongoing development cycles.
Today, Accenture’s IT teams are using the robust toolset of VSTS for managing application lifecycle information—laying the foundation for enabling DevOps processes. Its features are needed for DevOps, including expanded functionality with a host of product extensions.
A common platform is bringing greater consistency across IT initiatives. Users can transition from team to team and continue to use the same, familiar tool suite, and the processes stay the same. Additionally, a common platform enables internal IT to use many of the same patterns in how teams deploy internally developed solutions to cloud technologies.
Accenture is also using an early preview of Microsoft Analytics Services for VSTS to create its own warehouse to generate reporting on application teams to measure the maturity of their ALM process.
Accenture’s migration marks the largest VSTS adoption in the Microsoft ecosphere as measured by engaged users, which for Accenture is 5,500.
VSTS provides Accenture with one common tool for development and delivery, offering robust features while also providing extensibility and flexibility through a range of extensions.
Speed is gained in moving to the PaaS offering of VSTS. PaaS provides regularly released features and a future-proof capability, eliminating the need for Accenture to maintain infrastructure and go through upgrade cycles.
The cost of the project was self-funded as internal IT could reduce costs by retiring servers and moving to a PaaS-based offering. In addition, total cost of ownership for Accenture will decline by allowing internal IT to work more efficiently.
VSTS is a critical component in internal IT’s move to DevOps, and overall, key to Accenture’s progress in expanding its enterprise digital capabilities.