Technologies such as cloud computing, service virtualization and unified automation are all affecting application life-cycle management. Here, Shridhar Mittal, general manager of service virtualization at CA Technologies, shares five best practices for agile and DevOps teams to follow to keep their application development and delivery process running smoothly.

1. Embrace the cloud: Wide use of the cloud from internal and external providers improves agility and cost efficiency.

2. Shift quality left: Technologies like service virtualization allow you to “mock and stub” dev and test environments, with enough realism and context to push development forward and shift testing left in the life cycle. Testing and adjusting for quality earlier in the process allows teams to deliver higher-quality applications with less risk.

3. Automation is your friend: Unified automation helps IT move beyond just optimizing infrastructure to also optimizing the applications and services that run on the infrastructure. Add intelligence in order to make prescriptive recommendations for automating when and why changes occur, not just how.

4. Break down your team’s walls: The DevOps approach is all about delivering new IT services at the speed of business, without compromising security, compliance and performance. Break down the silos between development and operations that slow down service-delivery processes, and work together as one collaborative team.

5. Embrace transparency for agile development: Transparency is fundamental because agile development depends on the ability to handle changes in workflow, testing, reporting and analysis in as close to real time as possible. Today’s teams must have a window into their applications to be able to proactively track application performance in order to fix trouble spots before they escalate into wider performance issues.