InspirationPublished May 10, 2024

One Platform - Many Solutions: How Glide became a software multitool for ITV

ITV now has a custom FinOps dashboard, cloud migration tracker, skills matrix app, and even a company-wide sustainability game - all built with Glide

Wren Noble

Wren Noble

Head of Content

One Platform - Many Solutions: How Glide became a software multitool for ITV

Sometimes, you truly do need a full workbench of specific tools and equipment. Other times, having a Leatherman in your pocket gives you all the power you need to solve problems without being weighed down with a bunch of unnecessary gear. No code is to workplace software what a multitool is to a tradesman, giving you the ability to customize your tools and nimbly adapt to your unique work processes.

It started as a way to build a fun gamification app for self-evaluating sustainability practices for ITV’s team. Now, the British media channel is building a sophisticated FinOps tool to manage the entirety of the cloud ecosystem spending for their massive catalog of media and new streaming service. The same platform helped them create both: Glide.

Glide is a no code platform that helps anyone build their own custom apps and software solutions for work, without having to know how to code any of it. 

“I'm a bit of a champion for no code at ITV,” said Marc Walford, Head of FinOps at ITV,“I think there are quite a lot of people across the business who could be citizen developers. I always pitch Glide to colleagues by saying if you can work a spreadsheet properly and you know what a good app looks like you can build with Glide.”

ITV’s first use case was a gamification app that they built in 2020 to get hundreds of people on their team to engage in ITV’s sustainability campaign. Its success planted the seed of an idea across the company. What else could they build? Four years on they have built five apps so far, with many more in development across the company. This is what they built:

The Sustainability App

“The original thing we built was a sustainability gamification app called ITV Home Planet,” said Marc, “which was about getting people thinking about sustainability and what they can do at home. We thought, wouldn't it be great if you had a gamification app for carbon footprint savings? There are quite a few apps like that on the market now, but at the time back in 2020, there was nothing. So I said to my boss, should we just build one then? That’s how we found Glide.”

The app they built allowed users to accumulate “planet points” for each activity, and team members could compete with others to reduce their environmental impact. “We achieved really good engagement - 800 people used the app, generating about 8,000 rows of data, and most importantly, we were able to use that data to work out how much we had changed people’s behavior as part of the campaign.”

The Cloud Migration Tracker

Their next app helped ITV manage a huge cloud migration project as they migrated 2,500 servers from their data centers into the cloud. Seeing how easily their sustainability app managed such a large quantity of data gave Marc the idea to use Glide to give more people access to their cloud migration data. It lived in a configuration management database (CMDB) that was data-heavy and complicated to use.

“The CMDB stores information about our servers, what applications they are running, who owns them, what department, etc.,” said Marc. This is really useful base data, but it's incredibly dense and hard to access. We wanted to provide better visibility on this through the app.” Their Glide app enabled over eighty users across different teams and partners to track each project's status and view essential data without knowing how to use the CMDB.

Using Glide, Marc could iterate on the tool's features as their requirements evolved, sometimes in just minutes. When his team requested new features or abilities, he could quickly respond to their needs.

“One of the things that I really like about Glide is the fact that you can iterate really quickly, and you can just do it almost in your spare time as you go,” said Marc.

Having their migration data in a simple, easy-to-navigate interface made spotting issues and discovering actionable opportunities and insights easier. It also facilitated better data collection and collaboration, ensuring their data was always current. 

This same tool has now been repurposed, with minimal refactoring, to support ITV’s “War on Legacy” program, which aims to upgrade, platform, or retire around 500 legacy Windows 2012 and CentOS 7 workloads to ensure continued support and security compliance.

The Financial Operations App

At the end of the cloud migration project, Marc actually repurposed its data into a FinOps tool that will have a more permanent role in their business processes. “I thought, actually, you know what, a lot of the data is the same data that I need for financial management of the cloud. If we could start surfacing the costs, blending the system data with the billing data that would provide really good visibility to all of our product teams,” said Marc. “So I converted the app into a FinOps tool.”

Marc talks more about how this app supports his FinOps processes in the ITV customer story:

Building a FinOps tool to manage 40 teams and a large, complex monthly cloud spend.

Building a FinOps tool to manage 40 teams and a large, complex monthly cloud spend.

Read the ITV Customer Story

The HR Recruitment App

Anywhere spreadsheets were being used to try to manage workflows or existing software was falling short, Glide apps started to pop up. ITV’s HR department built an app to streamline their applicant tracking and recruitment progress. “Even though we had an HR system, it wasn't giving us good, useful data,” Marc explained. They developed a prototype in Glide to keep track of their hiring pipeline, organize candidates' CVs, and provide the right data at the time their team needs at each stage of the process. Glide helped them refine their requirements and test workflows within their team to help inform future tooling strategy.

The Skills Matrix App

To help with team development, one of ITV’s team leads tasked his summer interns with building a skills matrix app. Managers could define the skills their team valued most, set levels within those skills, and let their workers assess themselves against each of them. This helped them identify their own current strengths and areas for development.

“That app used Glide AI to help pre-populate skills with proficiency targets, like, what does a senior Java engineer look like?” he said. With Glide AI, they could efficiently build out skills across the company and provide their team with essential information that could help them grow in their careers at ITV.

Arming teams with the tools they need to succeed

With Glide, the ITV team has one tool that enables them to build many more. They are fully in control of their own software stack in ways big and small. “I am still a techie at heart,” said Marc. “You know, even though I’m a manager, I do like to keep my hand in. I think Glide is perfect for someone like me. I can just build apps myself with minimal effort and iterate quickly.” 

The cloud migration tracker served its purpose successfully, and the application framework and data have now been repurposed twice to power their newly established FinOps capability and War on Legacy initiative. As the rest of the company gets to know no code, they are able to tailor their tools to the tasks at hand.

“If anybody else wants access to Glide, I can help them understand how to get the best out of the platform,” said Marc. “There are quite a few people using it now, with quite a few new apps in progress across various stages of development at the moment,” he said.

“It’s given us the ability to just build whatever we need to serve the purpose at the time, whether that be a clickable prototype, a project workflow management tool, or a company-wide operational management system.”

Wren Noble

Wren Noble

Leading Glide’s content, including The Column and Video Content, Wren’s expertise lies in no code technology, business tools, and software marketing. She is a writer, artist, and documentary photographer based in NYC.

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