Leading DevOps – Inspiring and Influencing Enterprise Agility

Introduction

Every enterprise today is under tremendous pressure to respond to changing business conditions more quickly. The common term for this responsiveness is agility, and this agility requires building flexible infrastructure and advanced processes to help bring innovative modern applications to the customers more quickly. As the long awaited shift to more sophisticated infrastructure and processes requires significant changes at many levels at enterprise organizations. In most cases it takes completely rethinking the ways companies develop, deliver, deploy, and operate applications throughout their entire lifecycle. The shift to agility also makes cross-functional collaboration more important than ever. The need to develop an integrated execution strategy addressing both technology and organizational changes has given rise to a new standard commonly referred to as DevOps.

Inspire confidence as you move to DevOps: 

DevOps is the process of automation that condense the path from code development to running in production. This includes development processes, testing frameworks, continuous integration. The industry has always had methodologies, tools, scripts and frameworks to control the quality of software. Automating this process requires a significant investment in the culture of testing, automation, monitoring and scaling. Continuing this process with software can enable companies to quickly react to changes in technology. It has significant implications for IT operations, architects and the developers looking to deliver efficient infrastructure and improve innovation. A standardized development methodology, clear communication to improve application development, and management cycles all look good on paper, but, unfortunately, many organizations are struggling with the reality.

DevOps at Enterprise level

Many large enterprise companies introduce  small DevOps within the departments, but later on  the  scaling DevOps across the organization faces a number of challenges that must be overcome.

Lack of Sponsorship

In order for DevOps to succeed throughout an organization, buy-in is needed from senior leadership. The value of DevOps needs to be demonstrated and shown how it can be applied across the organization for profitable change.

Inflexible command and control structures

A fundamental principle of DevOps is  rapid progress and improvement. DevOps process automation and integration reduces the time and effort spent on manual tasks such as application testing, build, and deployment. The culture of command and control within many large enterprises, slow and complex approval processes stand in the way of DevOps even getting off the ground.

Over-dependence on static outsourcing models

The pace of technology has left many companies struggling to keep up. Knowledge gaps have emerged and project managers have relied too heavily on outsourcing to counterbalance in-house skills shortages. In certain circumstances, organizations find themselves simply unequipped to suddenly change direction or try something new, but unable to respond to new customer demands.

Reinforced change-resistant culture

Success with DevOps will influence change on nearly every aspect of IT and other parts of the business. But that change for the long-serving staff  creates a culture of resistance. And some will learn new approaches and technologies, and want to further their careers. If the organization cannot provide such opportunities, then they will be attracted elsewhere which can support the change-resistant culture in the company they leave behind.

Fear of the ‘fail fast’ principle

Failure is of course not a desirable outcome, but certain mistakes or failures are bound to creep in when building software – it’s just the nature of the practice. “Fail fast” tends to raise eyebrows amongst those not familiar with the discipline. Organizations should detect the failures and fix the problem, and learn from it.

DevOps for the Enterprise

The shift in moving to a DevOps-oriented view of systems development and management requires team alignment, and manage according to the quality of the product. Shift managing processes might seem complicated, but when implementing this type of strategy, there is a strong opportunity to consolidate a standard set of tools (such as automation toolsets, task/issue management, and test frameworks) that can serve as the base process that teams start with when designing their specific processes.

Conclusion

In the Digital World, the DevOps organization can make the difference between corporate success and failure. The success factors of DevOps are agility, operational efficiencies, and the ability to reduce business risks that may prevent the corporation from achieving the desirable business outcomes. Whereas, automation and implementation of agile principles by DevOps helped improve the speed and efficiency of Continuous Delivery, the production environment has become the new constraint in flow of the value stream to customers.

Marina CH

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