McDonald's Moves Application Development to the Cloud

McDonald s saw the cloud as a way to cut costs and enhance flexibility for its development teams, which standardized on the IBM Rational toolset.

When Scott Farnum of McDonald s saw the opportunity to move the fast-food chain s application-development tooling environment to the cloud, he did not hesitate.

Farnum, who is global infrastructure lab manager for McDonald s Corp. and is responsible for the company s application-development strategy, saw the cloud as a way to cut costs and enhance flexibility for his development teams, which have standardized on the IBM Rational toolset.

Like many other companies contemplating moving parts of their business to a cloud-computing environment, Farnum and his team weighed many factors, including the amount of downtime the company s developers have between projects.

The decision to move to the cloud made sense, considering the nature of application development with McDonald s IT department.

"There are several months where we do very little development, and then there are several months where things are very busy," Farnum said. "So the challenge for me is when I'm trying to provide an environment for my application teams to deliver a product and they need XYZ tooling, I have to buy enough tooling to cover everyone in that peak moment, which ends up being really costly.

"Then, outside that peak moment, we are not using those tools, and in some cases we will slow down development accordingly, he continued. So we needed a model that was going to be flexible to any business condition and any development condition. Sometimes, we have big development years, and sometimes we have big deployment years. We needed this model to be flexible enough to handle that and go from there."

Once the decision to move McDonald s application-development needs to the cloud was set, the company tapped IBM partner CloudOne.

This article was originally published on 06-20-2011
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