From reactive to proactive, optimizing across the entire ecosystem
Disruption for the government, however, often means temporarily suspending vital services to its citizens. This makes any modernization or new technology initiative incredibly more nuanced, as the government needs to be able to harness all the positive attributes of disruptive technologies, but cannot afford to stop the flow of services (even momentarily) to do so. This problem compounds exponentially as user bases scale dramatically.
CMS needed a solution capable of delivering the comprehensive view required to put a permanent end to the fire drills. This called for performance visibility all the way from the backend of the system on to the consumer’s view, all through a single, unified portal. They deployed a software analytics platform—one that offered everything from dashboards and alerting, to transaction traces and thread profilers—to establish an environment where they were proactively able to identify problems in the code base and prioritize fixes.
As part of its shift to a more scalable and agile technology stack, CMS migrated its applications to public and hybrid clouds, switched from expensive proprietary compute and storage hardware, and started using automation tools. This transition provided CMS with increased scalability and availability, while software analytics ensured that all of the agency’s end-users were using a common, intuitive interface, even for non-developers who needed to understand the performance information in front of them.
Accelerating release cycles and mean time to resolution
A shift to an agile approach provided significant results. In the past four years, the workload for the web and new media group has more than doubled in terms of the number of websites, programs, and active users being supported. At the same time, Booth’s team has only needed to grow moderately, expanding by roughly 25%. The group has also been able to reduce the number of tools it uses, which in turn, lowers costs and frees up resources. In addition, CMS has:
- Decreased response times to performance issues, including improving mean time to resolution by at least 75%
- Improved from a quarterly to biweekly update release cycle
- Increased development speed by 80%
- Significantly advanced the end-user experience for citizens
The insight CMS gets from software analytics is enabling the agency to be far more agile as they are more confident about performance before moving to production. “When we look in the rearview mirror, it’s amazing how far we’ve come,” Booth said. “All the sites we run and the systems we manage—they all make a difference in people’s lives. And that’s really meaningful for everybody on the team here. It’s what motivates us every day and will continue to moving forward.”