Armory's Manifesto

Armory's Manifesto

This is a cross post from . If you like this post you might also like my CEO Manifesto and the story behind our $10MM Series A fundraise.

TL;DR: Software is the highest-leverage way to improve humanity, which also makes software the highest-leverage way to unlock enterprise value for companies. As software eats the world, and then models run the world, a company's ability to deliver software with speed at scale will define its ability to innovate & compete. Armory unlocks innovation by accelerating software delivery to enable those winners.

This Manifesto is written for leaders with decision-making authority at Global 2,000 enterprises where:

  1. Software is critical to your company's success
  2. Your company is building complex software, and
  3. Your company is embracing the cloud.

Where is your enterprise in its Digital Transformation journey?

Armory has created a Digital Transformation maturity model that defines the thinking we see across the stages of digital transformation:

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5

What stage is your company in?

  • Stage 1 - Traditional Deployments: You are deploying software to legacy data centers. Deployments are fire drills, with brittle, scripted paths to production (and the teams that built them may have left the company), typically via a mix of Jenkins + Chef/Ansible/Puppet. Low ability to deploy software without breaking customer trust. Many manual steps required to deploy. No standardization across application teams. Very low deployment velocity; typically once per month, or less. Hard or impossible to roll deployments back. Dev vs. Ops culture and no immutability. If this describes your current state, click here.
  • Stage 2 - Evaluating Continuous Delivery: Leadership has hit the panic button and mandated a move to the public cloud (and/or hybrid cloud), but company inertia is firmly rooted in data centers. Some leaders not bought into this shift, creating strategic uncertainty within the org. Some teams starting to lift+shift monolithic workloads into the cloud. Many application teams perceive DevOps as additional work they didn't sign up for. Company has not yet started containerizing workloads; not yet using Kubernetes (some teams possibly evaluating it). Immutable deployments perceived as scary – "you mean we can't SSH into prod boxes to make a fix?!" Deployment velocity slightly improved to 2x-10x per month. If this describes your current state, click here.
  • Stage 3 - Continuous Delivery Adoption: Leadership has realized the company will be out-innovated by competitors if it doesn't embrace a rapid move to hybrid or public cloud  (or sometimes, leadership has been replaced by the CEO or Board with new leaders who realize this). Large initiatives are underway to break monoliths into microservices and move to a service ownership, aka DevOps culture. Still some permafrost from middle managers, who don't yet trust concepts like continuous deployments. Teams actively evaluating containerization, with some teams using Kubernetes in production. Deployment velocity drastically improved and manual steps to deploy greatly reduced; now takes hours to deploy instead of days, weeks or month. If this describes your current state, click here.
  • Stage 4: Continuous Deployment Adoption: Full embrace of DevOps culture; not just in name, but in thinking. Leadership has fully reversed the human anti-pattern seen in Stages 1 - 3 – they realize that it's better to ship smaller diffs continuously and limit blast radius via canary deployments and 1-click roll-backs vs. incurring the innovation killing cost of adding additional QA, integration testing, and manual judgement steps that previously made them feel safer every time they had an outage. Deployment velocity jumps to multiple deployments per day via the removal of all manual steps, enabling continuous delivery of code to production, like running water. If this describes your current state, click here.
  • Stage 5: Full Software Delivery Lifecycle (SDLC) Automation: Leadership has visibility into all steps in software delivery process from "idea" to "feature in production, generating revenue." Data is not siloed in disparate tools across systems of record, but rather is leveraged to remove inefficiencies across SDLC. Company is able to deploy workloads to multiple cloud targets and switch at will via intelligent, automated systems. Canaries are automated and powered by data from other systems of record in the SDLC, such as application performance monitoring (APM) tooling. Rollbacks happen automatically via machine-learning powered anomaly detection. SLAs auto-calculated on a per-microservice basis, and are applied to SLA budgets. Leadership (or even entire company) has transparency into application team performance. Company no longer uses "DevOps" term in titles because it's baked into the culture of entire team. Calculating deployment velocity becomes meaningless because it's immediate and continuous for all teams, all the time. If this describes your current state, click here.

Stage 1 - Traditional Deployments:

You comprise the "Late Majority" of companies, and a good portion of the Global 2,000 are in Stage 1 with you. Your company is blissfully unaware of the competitive tsunami that's headed your way– your fellow leaders don't know what they don't know. They perceive software as a secondary enabler of your core business, and are largely deploying software to legacy data center environments with very low safety and velocity.

Developers at your company are typically extremely unhappy. Code take weeks to months to get into production and every software deployment is a firedrill that often breaks customer trust.

For your company, this Manifesto could also be titled "How to not die in the coming decades." Use the statistics below to help you convince your fellow leaders that your company needs to prioritize a Digital Transformation journey ASAP:

Over the past 60 years, 88% of Fortune 500 companies have fallen off the list, while a new breed of software-first companies has seen a dramatic rise:

Exhibit A in this dramatic juxtaposition is Blockbuster vs. Netflix.

Rewind 15 years, and these companies didn't look all that different. They both offered primarily DVD rentals. But today, the difference couldn't be more stark: At its peak, Blockbuster was an $8 Billion company with 9,000 stores and 60,000 employees. It went went bankrupt as Netflix shifted to become a streaming video company, and it failed to compete (ironically, Blockbuster had an opportunity to acquire Netflix for $50 million in 2000 and declined).

Today, Netflix is one of the most advanced software-first technology companies, with a market cap of $100+ Billion (12x Blockbuster's peak) with wide open growth in front of it.

Netflix is a decade ahead of most other companies when it comes to using software to compete and win, and in fact has open sourced one of the key technologies it created when moving to the cloud, called Spinnaker.

An even starker contrast is how these software-first technology companies aren't just competing with other companies -- they're taking on entire industries, and winning. Here are a few examples:

  • The entire entertainment industry now finds itself competing with Netflix. Its ability to produce award-winning original content -- and deliver it across a variety of screens -- has made it a juggernaut.
  • Retailers of all types find themselves competing against Amazon, a company that's been investing heavily in technology for the past 20 years. Toys R Us, Circuit City, Radio Shack, and Borders have already lost this battle, with many others in Amazon's sights. To get a feel for the level of investment Amazon is making in technology, just read this NY Times article which outlines how consumers increasingly trust only Amazon to ship Christmas gifts on time. The sense of foreboding inevitability around the lead Amazon has built through a relentless focus on technology and automation feels like a slow motion train wreck for any company in its path. Not only is Amazon winning in retail, now comprising 49.1% of all online orders, but Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods creates a new competitive landscape in the grocery vertical.
  • Whole Foods no longer operates by the same rules and razor thin margins the rest of the grocery industry does. Whole Foods is now a distribution channel for Amazon Fresh and a marketing channel for Amazon Prime. How do other grocers compete in this new ecosystem, where Whole Foods' grocery business becomes a loss leader for Amazon's larger software-driven business?
  • And the technology company hit parade continues -- Airbnb is now the largest hospitality company on the planet, and it doesn't own (or have to service) a single hotel room. Hotels haven't had real competition since the dawn of the roadside inn; now they find themselves competing against a software platform that's playing by completely different (read: much higher gross margin) rules, and is now entering the luxury and experiences categories, expanding Airbnb's reach into travel writ-large.
  • Another glaring example is Tesla, which the entire auto industry finds itself competing with after being caught flat-footed milking the internal combustion engine cash cow. Tesla's cars receive over-the-air software updates, making the driving experience improve even after the car's purchase. Those in the know will tell you how Tesla's autopilot is collecting data 100% of the time -- even when the car isn't in autopilot mode -- and algorithms are comparing a human driver's inputs against what the machine would have done, giving Tesla reams of real world driving data to improve its autopilot system even when not in use.
  • Let's shift to an industry that's been decimated by technology over the past decade: the publishing industry. Online advertising dollars that drove the publishing engine have largely shifted to Google & Facebook, which use software to target users in ways that traditional publishers can only dream of doing. Google is also jumping into multiple verticals, driven by its high margin advertising engine, ranging from self-driving cars to wind powered energy.
  • Another easy example is the transportation industry, which has been transformed–  make that decimated–  by Uber and other ride sharing companies, which are now also expanding into automating the trucking industry, which employs 10 million people in the US– for now.
  • Even knowledge-based industries are experiencing software-driven change. For example, traditional financial planning is being disrupted by robo advisors like Wealthfront.

The real kicker here is that these mission-driven software-first technology companies have expansive visions that pull back the covers of what the Fortune 5 might look like in a decade. Tesla isn't a car company; it's an energy company. Google isn't a search engine -- it's just using the high margin advertising business from its search engine to fund Alphabet, which is producing category-killers across a series of verticals. Airbnb isn't a room sharing platform; it's a global enterprise unlocking magical experiences for customers across hospitality and travel.

If you're an executive at a Global 2,000 company and you're not sufficiently convinced that your company must innovate at this level, or die, then consider this: We're likely just now entering the steep part of the curve.

An exponential curve looks very linear at the beginning. And humans are wired to predict the future based on past experiences. Looking in the rearview mirror, the past 60 years of technology have been defined by the messiness that any new industry undergoes: Experimentation; the defining of standards; flameouts & failures. But in the past 20 years, winners have started to emerge, including the companies listed above. The software-driven innovation flywheel is just starting to spin with velocity, and these winners are starting to jump verticals and compete against entire industries of incumbents in a way they've never before experienced.

This excellent WSJ article describes how these software-driven companies are starting to pull away from the pack. It postulates that data-driven models will enable winners to build a defensible moat that will eviscerate competitors who've been left behind.

Looking forward, we see a widening delta in a story started 10,000 years ago with the start of the agricultural age. For tens of thousands of years before that, life was pretty much the same across generations; a hunter-gathering existence. Starting 10,000 years ago, that sameness-of-life delta shrunk to thousands of years as humans began to extend quality of life and lifespans through farming. The dawn of the industrial age shortened that to decades, as humans moved from craftsmanship to standardization via machines, which unlocked automation, like the Model T assembly line. Automation led to economies of scale. This is where most of the Global 2,000 sits today -- most Global 2,000 enterprise don't see themselves as software-first companies, but rather, industrial-age companies that use software.

What the innovators realize is that progress doesn't end with industrial-age automation. Software-first, technology-driven companies are collecting and ingesting data, which is warehoused and synthesized, turning their raw data into valuable patterns and information. This information drives models, which become smarter the more data they're modeled on.

If data is the high octane fuel, then having the right foundational technology infrastructure to leverage that data is the Ferrari that allows your business to pull away from your competitors.

But before you can drive the Ferrari fast, you must have a seat belt on. For companies focused on pulling away from the pack using software, Armory can help. We unlock innovation by accelerating software delivery, and it all starts with a focus on trust and safety.

Our Global 2,000 customers (including Fortune 20 companies), with a combined market capitalization of $1.32 trillion, trust Armory to power their digital transformation initiative. Our software platform is built on Spinnaker, the open-source project from Netflix and Google that puts them a decade ahead of most companies.


Stage 2 - Evaluating Continuous Delivery

You comprise the "Early Majority," in your Global 2,000 peer group. Your executive suite (or sometimes the board) has hit the panic button. Executives are reading the tea leaves and thinking "Houston, we have a problem." Your company now knows what it previously didn't know–  leaders are sounding alarm bells to embark on a digital transformation, but don't have a coherent strategy to execute it. This is often evidenced by conflicting executive messaging around core themes like "Are we a technology company that does [XYZ], or are we an [XYZ] company that uses technology?" (Swap the legacy core business for [XYZ]).

In Stage 2, companies are typically lifting & shifting monolithic workloads into the cloud, but not deploying them in cloud-native ways, thereby incurring the cost of the cloud while negating its value.

Other Stage 2 signals include engineering leadership realizing the duct-tape and bailing wire scripted paths to production their teams built are breaking down as they try to adopt the cloud, which causes friction within company leadership -- "why can't we ship features faster?" "we're being out-innovated & out-competed" and "why can't we deploy our software without breaking customer trust?!" This is often the stage where legacy senior leadership starts to get swapped out by the board or executive suite.

Stage 2 companies start to use terms like "DevOps" but there's usually very little of an underlying cultural shift between dev & ops. Leaders in these companies also still fall into the "Human Nature Safety Anti-pattern" trap, which is a vicious cycle of stifling innovation that we describe in more detail below.

Much of the change required to get from Stage 2 to Stage 3 is cultural -- like the shift to DevOps. Armory can help these companies with limited Professional Services engagements to align executive leadership. More on that below.


Stage 3 - Continuous Delivery Adoption

You comprise the "Early Adopters" in your Global 2,000 peer group. This is the first stage where executives are mostly aligned around topics like "We are indeed a technology company that does [XYZ] and not the other way around." That thinking unlocks new conversations around what the company's core competencies are, or should be. For example, why didn't a grocer create Instacart? Why didn't the Big 3 create Tesla? Why didn't a hotel chain create Airbnb? The answer is that in all those examples, the market leaders hadn't yet reached Stage 3 thinking, and hadn't positioned their companies as technology companies at the core, so all those innovative concepts were out of the realm of the company's core competency.

Stage 3 is also typically the first stage in which the adoption of a multi-cloud open software delivery platform (like Spinnaker) is seen by leadership as a core, foundational requirement for enabling the company to innovate with safety and velocity.

However, even though leadership is fully bought in, there can often be a lingering permafrost in the middle management layer. This is the "conscious competence" stage (Full CD is not yet second-nature), where companies don't yet fully trust their ability to move past the "Human Nature Safety Anti-pattern," and are still relying on legacy crutches like multiple manager approvals, extensive integration and QA testing before releasing software to production.

On the flipside, in Stage 3 companies, we often see forward-thinking, Tier 1 teams empowered to containerize workloads and adopt Kubernetes. Stage 3 companies are the first stage that isn't extremely toxic to developers and the creation of a high-performing software-first culture. There's often a very real DevOps push evidenced by the adoption of true service ownership (who gets paged at 3am when a service fails? The developer who wrote it, or a central team?)

Armory can companies accelerate beyond Stage 3 by adopting either open source Spinnaker, or Armory's Platform, which is powered by a hardened, enterprise distribution of Spinnaker, and we use our Professional Services department to accelerate the onboarding of services onto the Platform. More on that below.


Stage 4: Continuous Deployment Adoption

You comprise the "Innovators" in your Global 2,000 peer group. You have also reached "unconscious competency" -- your best-in-class infrastructures that is enabling you to out-compete your peers is baked into your cultural DNA. The organization is fully bought into being a software-first company at all levels, and unlike Stage 3 companies which have the capability but not the trust to fully automate software delivery, Stage 4 companies are practicing true continuous deployment of software, deploying to production dozens, hundreds or even thousands of times per day.

Stage 4 companies have adopted cloud-native best-practices including immutable deployments to multiple public and/or private clouds, canary deployments which limit the blast radius of production errors, and 1-click rollbacks.

In Stage 4, your company understands why DevOps is easy to say but hard to do: We see many Stage 2 companies using the phrase DevOps without actually committing to the practice. This usually stems from misalignment at the leadership level. Some leaders want the company to become a technology company at the core (these are the ones pushing for DevOps) and others do not. Without full alignment at the leadership level, a company tends to maintain its past inertia, which is often a separation between dev an ops, where developers write code and "throw it over the fence" to ops teams to operationalize and maintain in production.

This leads to a conflict -- developers on application teams want to move fast and code features, while central ops teams would prefer that nothing _ever_ changed in production, since they're the ones whose jobs are on the line when code changes cause failures and break customer trust (and the ones being paged at 3am when there's an issue.)

Application teams are often initially resistant at what's perceived by them as the additional work (and responsibility) of owning the services they write. And central infrastructure / operations teams are often resistant to what they perceive as a danger of automating them out of a job. Without clear and aligned directives from leadership, companies will rarely fully adopt a DevOps culture, and have a hard time moving past Stage 2 in our maturity model. Once a company does fully commit, and transitions to Stages 3 and beyond, the company starts to reap the benefits of a single pane of glass that provides a golden path to production with guardrails instead of gates, as well as the compliance and auditing benefits that come from this standardization.

In Stage 4, your company has also moved past the Human Nature Safety Anti-pattern: Stage 1 and 2 companies suffer from an anti-pattern based on human nature that requires a deep institutional commitment to overcome: When a company deploys a change to production, and it fails, breaking customer trust and damaging the company's brand equity, the natural human reaction is to stop all deployments and put additional safeguards in place to ensure that problem never happens again. Over time, companies build up layers of manager approvals (aka manual judgements), integration testing, automated and manual quality assurance processes to deploy code to production. This cycle slows down release cycles and stifles innovation. Slower release cycles mean each time there is a deployment, more code is deployed to production at once, greatly increasing the risk that there's an error (and greatly reducing the chance the error is caught) in that code change.

The best-practice is exactly the opposite: To ship smaller diffs to production, more often -- ideally continuously. When small code changes are continuously going to production across multiple zones (or even regions) using best-in-class tooling like automated canary deployments, blue/green deployments, and 1-click rollbacks, companies are able to quickly spot and fix problems in production, and with smaller blast radiuses, these aren't perceived as company-ending events.

Automating software delivery also empowers application teams to take more ownership of their code, further perpetuating a positive cycle of DevOps culture.

In Stage 4, your company will have adopted an application-centric vs. infrastructure-centric view: One of the powerful aspects of Spinnaker is its application-centric stance. As the software delivery industry matures, application teams want to think less about the underlying infrastructure and just focus on creating differentiated, proprietary value (the "application") for their companies.

Spinnaker is an abstraction layer to the cloud targets that acts as a single pane of glass, enabling teams to see and manage their application across multiple clouds, without having to learn how to deploy to each cloud provider. Spinnaker enables and enforces a level of standardization that companies need to ensure all teams are following the company's compliance procedures. Armory extends Spinnaker's core functionality with features like Pipelines as Code.

In this way, a company is able to provide a golden path to production, and instead of gating software delivery velocity with limiters like manual judgements, it can provide guardrails that keep application teams on that path while providing them flexibility and ownership over how their artifacts reach production.


Stage 5: Full Software Delivery Lifecycle (SDLC) Automation

You are on the forefront of software delivery. Your company has moved past Continuous Delivery and is automating and compressing your entire software development lifecycle. Leadership, like your CIO, has full visibility into all parts of the SDLC. Data is not siloed in any specific systems of record. These are the companies we believe will dominate the Fortune 5 over the coming decades.

Armory's Platform helps customers automate and compress their entire software development lifecycles, to minutes from months in previous stages. This is how we unlock innovation by accelerating software delivery.

We've found there are three Fundamentals required for a Global 2,000 to successfully digital transform:

1) An institutional curiosity to improve the customer experience: Innovation is a soft term at the heart of what separated Blockbuster from Netflix–   two DVD rental companies with vastly different outcomes.

At the heart of innovation is the concept of "lowering the cost of shots on goal." The more opportunities a company has to score wins in any given period of time, the more likely that company is to compete effectively and survive. For most companies, the state of their software development infrastructure means each shot on goal comes at a high cost, and therefore happens infrequently (it's normal for us to find companies deploying software 7 times per year; about once every other month. In comparison, Netflix deploys software over 6,000 times per day.)

These companies, by definition, cannot have rapid, iterative loops based on learnings from customer feedback. They are stuck innovating orders of magnitude more slowly than the fast-movers.

This slow innovation cycle is toxic to software developers, which creates a negative loop in which the best developers will avoid environments where the code they write sits on the shelf for weeks or months before being released. This means a company can only attract mediocre to average developers, who then magnify the organization's problems delivering software with safety and velocity.

In contrast, environments where organizations can ship software safely & continuously, like running water, enable developers to try new ideas and ship them immediately to production, fostering creative problem solving and promoting fast iterative loops driven by customer feedback.

2) A willingness to disrupt the institution: Successful companies are reluctant to disrupt the cash cows powering their businesses. The most innovative companies understand they must think of themselves as technology-first organizations. For example, Rich Fairbank, the CEO of CapitalOne, has positioned it as a technology company focusing on finance, instead of a bank that uses software. The difference may seem trivial at first, but this software-first focus lens re-frames most strategic decisions and must come from leadership, or culturally it will be impossible to implement.

Technology-first companies re-define their core offerings by focusing on the software elements, and even redefining how they are delivered (an example is Adobe's shift to a Software as a Service offering vs. packaged, installed software.)

Technology-first companies are also willing to stop focusing on just shipping features, instead prioritizing the creation of a strong foundational infrastructure (the "Ferrari") that enables a step-change in feature velocity.

This strong infrastructure foundation often goes hand-in-hand with a move to public or hybrid cloud, unshackling companies from legacy data center deployment challenges (i.e., treating infrastructure as cattle, not pets) and enabling best-in-class software delivery techniques, which are described in detail below. All of this acts as the "seat belt" enabling safe deployments with velocity.

3) Eradicate "Not Invented Here" Syndrome: Historically, Global 2,000 enterprises have had to craft their own custom tooling to ship software, because their data center environment was unique to them. But with a move into the cloud, and the adoption of technologies like Kubernetes in their remaining data centers, companies are now able to leverage an open platform like Netflix & Google's Spinnaker that deploys to industry-standard targets like AWS, GCP and Azure.

This means that, for the first time, enterprises don't need to roll their own home grown software delivery infrastructure platforms. Adopting an open platform like Spinnaker provides numerous benefits, including:

Your company's precious, highly paid technical resources can now be focused on creating proprietary enterprise value and differentiation instead of re-creating the wheel (looking at from a hard cost perspective, that means you're likely saving about $200k per technical headcount -- not to mention the 5x 10x contribution margin now unlocked by those resources focusing on creating differentiated value for your company. Multiply this by teams of 3 to 50+ resources and the impact becomes obvious to both the bottom and top lines.)

Not only can you start getting a better return on your dollars invested in headcount, but additionally, you save the pain associated with having expensive teams building brittle, scripted paths to production, and then leaving the company, taking all the institutional knowledge with them. The people left behind become afraid to touch the deployment tooling for fear of breaking it, which further stifles innovation. We see this happening over and over, and as a part of adopting an open platform like Spinnaker, enterprises are ripping out their legacy "spit, polish and tape" custom tooling in favor of an open platform that has an estimated $75M in investment dollars being spent on it by contributors that include Netflix, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Pivotal, Armory and others.

Speaking of those cloud providers: The fact that all of them are contributing to Spinnaker belies its emergence as a de-facto open standard for cloud-native software delivery, with the best-suited engineers on the planet from the cloud providers themselves building the roads to deploy software into their cloud environments.

Taking advantage of this open, extensible platform and all the underlying innovation driving it requires letting go of "Not Invented Here" syndrome. If a platform like Spinnaker is good enough for Netflix, Google, and hundreds of other Global 2,000 enterprises that are likely ahead of you (possibly _way_ ahead of you) in their software delivery maturity, it's a platform your organization should also seriously consider adopting.

Your engineers become happier and more engaged when participating in -- and contributing back to-- vibrant, open source communities like Kubernetes and Spinnaker. This gives you a shot at hiring, and more importantly retaining, the best-in-class engineering talent that will power your organization's digital transformation. Listen closely to your engineering teams: If they are complaining about your company's adoption of industry best-practices, they will soon move on to other companies that have adopted strong open source stances.

Possibly most significantly, adopting an open platform like Spinnaker instead of rolling your own custom (and soon to be legacy) software delivery platform gives you the ability to participate in the high rate of underlying innovation happening in cloud targets, without your engineers having to learn (and re-learn) how to deploy to each cloud target. AWS has released over 5,000 new features in the past few years. What you want is an abstraction layer like Spinnaker that acts as a single pane of glass across public & private cloud infrastructure, allowing you to create a "golden path" paved road to production, with guardrails instead of gates (more on that below). Participating in this open ecosystem means you get access to projects like Kayenta, which is an automated canary judge that leverages a data set of canary deployment learnings from both Netflix and Google, at scale, over the past five years.

Standardizing your teams' software delivery on this kind of open platform gives you access to best-practices that would otherwise be inaccessible. Standardization enables automation, just like in the industrial age. But additionally, in the information age, automation leads to intelligent systems using machine learning and artificial intelligence. A platform like Spinnaker provides you access to industry best-practices today along with future innovations.

These three Foundational concepts work in concert with each other: An institutional curiosity to improve the customer experience requires a willingness to disrupt the institution, and it's only through that willingness to disrupt that a company can eradicate its 'not invented here' syndrome and adopt open platforms that enable the instituion to act on its employees' curiosity and desire to improve the customer experience.

More about Armory:

We're a trusted partner to Global 2,000 companies with a market capitalization of over $1.32 trillion, including several innovative Fortune 20 customers. Our customers are putting Armory at the core of their digital transformation strategies, enabling them to unlock innovation by accelerating software delivery to public and private cloud environments with safety and velocity.

Armory offers a hardened enterprise-grade Spinnaker distribution as a managed service, which is extended (not forked) from open source. We have a professional services team of experts that offer training, solutions architecture, implementation and customization of Spinnaker (including open source Spinnaker) for enterprise environments (including installing in air-gapped datacenter environments).

Armory offers 24x7 one hour response time for critical issues, along with other enterprise support options. You can find a full rundown of our Platform offering here, and our Professional Services offerings here.

Contact us to qualify what Stage your company is in. If we determine we can help you, we'll schedule a four hour executive alignment session. (We charge a minimal amount for this, but we will only do it for companies we believe we can help.) This executive session is not about any specific technology solution, but rather a deep dive to fully understand the current state of your company's ability to deliver software to production with safety and velocity (and uncover related issues).

If we determine you are a Stage 2 company, we can offer you a Professional Services engagement to set the foundation you'll need to reach Stage 3. We'll often also refer you to a partner to get at least one of your teams deploying workloads into Kubernetes.

If we determine you have at least one team in Stage 3, we'll mutually select one of your application teams to do a free Proof of Concept with Armory's Platform or open source Spinnaker. We'll jointly define success metrics (which often include metrics like: Time to deploy, number of manual steps required to deploy, number of failed deployments, number of rollbacks) and show a before & after comparison for that team, which is usually striking. This process typically takes 1-2 weeks. We can also offer a multi-month paid pilot for longer-term testing.

We'll then plan, prioritize and execute a full rollout of Armory's Platform for all your applications, including solutions architecture and administrator & user training sessions.

By choosing Armory, you're also opting into an opportunity to automate and compress your entire software development lifecycle via our current & future suite of integrations, which unlocks the siloed data living in these disparate mission-critical systems.

Armory is a venture-backed company located in Silicon Valley, Investors include Bain Capital Ventures, Crosslink Venture Capital and Javelin Capital Partners. We were originally funded by YCombinator, the same accelerator that seed funded Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Cruise, Instacart and other software-first high growth companies. Armory is bringing that DNA to Global 2,000 companies, unlocking innovation by accelerating their software delivery.

Closing Thoughts

Getting from Stages 1 or 2 to Stages 4 or 5 requires a multi-year digital transformation that will define the very competitiveness of a company over the coming decades.

Model-driven technology-first companies will use their data and infrastructure-driven innovation flywheels to pull away from the pack, jumping across multiple industries as they grow.

There's a limited window of time in which a Global 2,000 company can successfully transform or risk being disrupted. Armory is enabling that digital transformation in innovative companies via a software platform that will automate and compress a company's entire software development lifecycle from months to minutes, and is powered by Spinnaker, the de-facto open standard in cloud-native software delivery.

If you'd like to take an even deeper dive, we highly recommend this O'Reilly eBook, which you can request a physical copy of.