Infrastructure Is Software Too!

10 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2015

See all articles by Brian Fitzgerald

Brian Fitzgerald

University of Limerick

Nicole Forsgren

GitHub

Klaas-Jan Stol

University of Limerick

Jez Humble

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information

Brian Doody

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise - Hewlett-Packard Company

Date Written: October 23, 2015

Abstract

It is almost 30 years since Osterweil’s controversial but insightful observation that software processes could be considered as software too. In the current era of continuous delivery, DevOps, and the increasing proliferation of cyber-physical social systems in Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) contexts, infrastructure definitions and implementation need to be constantly deployed and maintained. Thus, we argue that it is now beneficial to view infrastructure as software (IaS) too. Very few studies have empirically reported on this topic, and thus our objective in this paper is to investigate the impact of treating infrastructure as software, and the potential benefits that may arise. We adopted a mixed-method approach: beginning with an evaluative industry case study at a global financial organization which had recently transitioned to an IaS approach. We followed this with a large-scale sample survey which investigated the effects of infrastructure as software on an organization’s IT performance We identify the potential benefits of IaS and also identify some of the pitfalls and open questions on which further research is necessary.

Keywords: Continuous delivery, infrastructure as software, DevOps

JEL Classification: C42, D23, L86

Suggested Citation

Fitzgerald, Brian and Forsgren, Nicole and Stol, Klaas-Jan and Humble, Jez and Doody, Brian, Infrastructure Is Software Too! (October 23, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2681904 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2681904

Brian Fitzgerald

University of Limerick ( email )

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

Nicole Forsgren (Contact Author)

GitHub ( email )

560 Haight St #108
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Klaas-Jan Stol

University of Limerick ( email )

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

Jez Humble

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information ( email )

102 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600
United States

Brian Doody

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise - Hewlett-Packard Company ( email )

Galway
Ireland

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