The Global IT world is going through its largest evolution of recent years. The term DevOps will and probably more to the point IS having a profound impact on CTO’s across…

DevOps – What is it?




The Global IT world is going through its largest evolution of recent years. The term DevOps will and probably more to the point IS having a profound impact on CTO’s across the globe. As the usage of the term “DevOps” has increased in popularity, IT vendors have been providing new products and services under the guise of “DevOps”.

The initial growth in popularity of DevOps has sparked conflict in what DevOps really is, which competing services are most suitable and therefore, often results in confusion when making a complex purchase. Often people are unsure about how to deploy DevOps and get the most out of the solution.

In this article, we aim to answer one key question:

  1. What is DevOps?

By 2016, DevOps will evolve from a niche to a mainstream strategy employed by 25% of Global 2000 organizations

As companies look to leverage technology to build new capabilities, extremely high expectations are being placed on IT departments and their software developers. The speed of application development and change is rapidly increasing and the demand for quality products, quickly has sparked the DevOps movement to enable this demand. The quality of application development has lagged behind the huge leaps technology innovation has taken in recent years. Inefficiency, missing implementation deadlines and spiraling costs have been at the forefront of many IT projects.

DevOps, the new kid on the block, addresses such inefficiencies; connecting development, QA and technical operations personnel in a way that the entire ‘build – release – run – repeat’ process operates as an efficient machine.

The mains aims of DevOps is to:

  • De-risk deployments
  • Eliminate any excuses
    – “It works on my system…”
  • Break down the silos associated with traditional waterfall deployments

The tools developed for DevOps focus on maximizing predictability, visibility and flexibility, whilst always maintaining stability.

The latest developments in DevOps include the objective to automate and connect an entire process, covering infrastructure, application and importantly business change. The main focus is downtime reduction and improvements in quality.

IT organisations who have adopted a DevOps approach have fundamentally changed the way they “get things done”. DevOps adoption has grown rapidly since 2009 and in this short space of time has evolved from a niche concept to a key element of enterprise IT strategy. The pace of this adoption was due mainly to the the value realization that DevOps, done correctly will help a business to build high quality products quicker and with higher reliability.

Cloud adoption has been one of the key catalysts in the DevOps market movement. Coupled with the emergence of concepts like containerization, Platform-as-a-Service, micro-service architecture, the early adopters of DevOps like Amazon, Google, Netflix and Snapchat to name but a few have been able to continuously innovate and improve.

Right now, DevOps is not only focused on technology implementation and management but also focuses on a positive organisational and cultural change across all of its processes. Over the next 5 years, the market for DevOps looks very positive with double digit growth forecast by many sources and a higher adoption rate as larger enterprises begin to understand the benefits DevOps can deliver in terms of agility in the workplace and cost reductions.

Overview

Simply put, DevOps is an overall concept that encompasses:

  • People
  • Process
  • Technology

All required to connect development to execution.

DevOps as a concept, is aiming to address 4 challenges which affect costs of development and impact on run:

  • Complex pre-production / production build and run
  • Inefficient and complex error prevention and diagnosis
  • Siloed setup and narrow thinking
  • Increase in rate of change versus stability

The DevOps solutions to these challenges are:

  • Change culture
  • One Development to Operations Lifecycle
  • Common tooling

DevOps in itself is not a new concept. However, the efforts to harmonize several aspects of the entire Development to Operation process mark the commencement of a new era.

…”(an) IT service delivery approach rooted in agile philosophy with an emphasis on business outcome, not business orthodoxy.” – Gartner reference to DevOps.

To some, DevOps is seen as a cure for all; for others, it is a marketing gimmick; here today, gone tomorrow. However, we believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. DevOps is the currently leading the way when it comes to application development. We do however, understand that we all work within a rapidly evolving market place and like true any truly agile approach; DevOps will eventually evolve into the next best thing.

The DevOps concept has not yet reached full maturity. Gartner has outlined 3 key challenges for businesses planning to adopt DevOps:

  1. The lack of a standard definition for DevOps has created confusion for infrastructure and operations leaders, trying to adopt this philosophy
  2. There is no standard or simple approach regarding the adoption of DevOps by an enterprise leader, causing confusion about how and where to start
  3. Each DevOps implementation is unique and every customer requires a customised approach.

DevOps is proven to increase the frequency and speed of software releases as well as improving software quality. The ability of DevOps methodologies and toolset to handle, not only new software development, but also the deployment and management of COTS and proprietary in-house developed applications that are being migrated to the cloud, helps deliver the cost savings the Cloud promises.

Companies looking to maximize the benefits of DevOps need to drive cultural change from the top and gain a clear understanding of their current competencies and capabilities. Then, prioritise actions that improve DevOps maturity and introduce DevOps projects in incremental steps to ensure the business benefits of Cloud deployments are met fully.

At Percipience, we are specifically set-up to help an enterprise client with every aspect of a DevOps implementation. From cultural and business change through to the execution of DevOps, we can manage the entire process for you. For more information on how Percipience is able to guide you on your DevOps journey, please get in contact.

by Peter BornerPeter is the founder and Managing Partner of Percipience llp. He is an entrepreneur and successful business leader with board level experience and senior leadership roles with global firms including Sony Music, British Telecom, Liquid Audio and Axispoint. He currently holds a non executive position on the advisory board for Rise-To and is active in the third sector with Rotary and The Rotary Foundation. His expertise includes technology diligence for M&A and advising firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies, Agile and DevOps.

 

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  • Mr WordPress

    February 11, 2016 at 10:53 am

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