Making “DevOps” a core competency in your company’s digital transformation

In the era of digital transformation, the need to bring software development and technology operations together – in what is often called DevOps –is more important than ever, as IT is now more than an enabler of the business. IT is the business.

The collaboration and communication between software developers and other IT professionals has become extremely crucial when automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes, and it can impact business to a large extent.

In the era of digital transformation, the need to bring software development and technology operations together – in what is often called DevOps –is more important than ever, as IT is now more than an enabler of the business. IT is the business.

Today, the very existence of a company might be at stake beyond a project or someone’s position. According to Gartner, 25 percent of companies will lose business due to digital incompetence by 2017 while IDC predicts that 75 percent of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027.To avoid the fate of becoming extinct, today’s market leaders need to adopt technology that will help them to compete withother agile organizations and respond faster to a rapidly changing marketplace.

Below are the two key steps that will help organizations to transform their businesses:
Automate Everything

According to Enterprise Management Associates, companies with workload automation solutions can reduce application outage time by about 70 hours annually, raise service level agreement standards, free 41 percent more IT staff for strategic projects, and defer or eliminate an average of 50 percent of IT staffing requirements.

Due to the fast moving pace of thedigital economy, companies are requiredto roll out new services faster than ever before, and businesses are challenged to monetize ideas as soon as possible. This need for speed leads to the requirement for agile applications.

Today’s enterprises have to stop assuming that a successful future depends solely on a traditional strategy of product innovation, using data analytics to better understand and serve their customers, or building a higher quality, more profitable product portfolio. Instead, their survival may well depend on a complete rebirth around making the practices of agile application delivery and DevOps a core competency.  

DevOps teams need the ability to efficiently develop, test, and deploy new releases faster, with high quality and stability. Using automation technologies to design-inthis speed, quality and scalability within the development lifecycle is critical. The continuous integration and delivery processes at the core of DevOps and agile practices are enabled by many new automation tools and capabilities. Each of these tools typically targets discrete elements or steps in the entire process and DevOps teams use them to findthe right tool for the job. In addition to faster and higher quality development throughput, building automation into the code of the application ensures better application services deliveryin the production environment.

The good news is that 60 to 70 percent of these enterprise application services or jobs within most organizations are micro-batch, batch or event driven – and can be managed with a comprehensive job scheduling solution. By automating jobs as part of the application code and subjecting the job artifact to all the other automation processes, companies can substantially reduce time and effort during and after the application delivery process.

Balancing Traditional and Innovative IT

Many companies, intent on being agile and innovative, believe that a successful DevOps organization must be free of the trappings of rigorous change management. Business innovation and increased employee productivity, however, can’t exist without a stable IT foundation. The goal is to have a balance of both strategies in an organization. Gartner refers to this as Bimodal IT, which has two modes: “Mode 1 is a traditional, plan-driven approach that emphasizes safety and accuracy in the pursuit of reliability. Mode 2 is iterative, being largely outcome-focused and emphasizing agility and "just enough" with respect to areas such as planning and process.”

By balancing the two strategies, organizations can increase agility without sacrificing stability.  Moreover, companies can significantly increase employee satisfaction by different teams successfully doing their assigned jobs, whether it’s to drive innovation or keep the lights on. It’s worth noting that Gartner believes many elements in DevOps apply to both modes and that by 2020, at least 80 percent of practices identified today with DevOps and Mode 2 will be adopted by traditional Mode 1 groups.

While considering a company’s rebirth may be essential for survival, the benefits of successfully deploying DevOps go way beyond that. With this transformation even well-established companies can becomeyouthful and vibrant, capable of soaring to new heights with digital capabilities that bring agility and optimization to any enterprise. This is a strategic goal worth investing in!

The writer is Country Manager - India, BMC Software

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