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IBM Cloud Garage Method on display at Think conference

Playing to its roots in services, IBM plans to demonstrate how its Garage development methodology can help startups and enterprises 'think' through cloud projects.

IBM plans to trot out a handful of blue-chip customers to demonstrate how the company's Cloud Garage Method helps in their enterprise application development processes and overall ability to innovate.

At the IBM Think confab next week, IBM will demonstrate the methodology, which combines Agile techniques, DevOps expertise, architectures and toolchains, to help both startups and enterprise customers launch new clouds and projects that relate to digital transformation.

The methodology goes hand-in-hand with the IBM Cloud Garages, where the company helps clients speed up cloud application development using the Garage Method. Participants include American Airlines; Hertz; Royal Bank of Canada; AirWire, a wireless networking provider; and CEMEX, a global leader in building materials.

How it all started

IBM launched its Garage Method two years ago to support IBM's Bluemix cloud platform with a set of tools and techniques to simplify development. The method, initially based on a programming concept known as social coding, now combines IBM Design Thinking, Lean startup, DevOps and cloud technologies to help developers design and deliver applications on IBM's cloud.

Customers experience the method firsthand at these Garages, but also can access it digitally, along with tutorials to build cloud-native applications, mobile apps, cognitive development with Watson, and internet of things and blockchain apps, said Moe Abdula, vice president of IBM Cloud Garage.

Enterprises are looking to their cloud management platform vendor to ensure not just successful deployment and operation of the platform, but adoption and use by their development teams.
Rhett Dillinghamcloud strategy analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy

Many companies have rich development legacies, but must pivot to more Agile development processes, both as an institution and to help their developers make the transition.

"IBM designed this method around the whole GitHub experience based on version controls and collaboration, supporting CI/CD through automated procurement, collaboration and updates -- with the promise of security and governance," said Charlotte Dunlap, principal analyst at GlobalData.

Moreover, as enterprises work on digital transformation -- and particularly the cloud elements of that -- their goal is to achieve a culture of more rapid experimentation and iteration to innovate and deliver value faster to customers.

This involves adoption of not just cloud infrastructure and cloud management platform tools like Cloud Foundry or Kubernetes, from IBM or others, but the cloud-native development methods of DevOps and CI/CD paired with container-based compute and microservices architecture, said Rhett Dillingham, cloud strategy analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, based in Austin, Texas.

Staff meeting at IBM Garage in Melbourne
Staff meeting at IBM Garage in Melbourne

"Enterprises are looking to their cloud management platform vendor to ensure not just successful deployment and operation of the platform, but adoption and use by their development teams," Dillingham said. "This often requires training and cultural change to employ the cloud-native methods with the platform."

Customers who have witnessed the benefits of the Garage Method have replicated it in their own organizations and white-labeled it as their own company's cloud framework and methodology, IBM's Abdula said.

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