Some Businesses Transform without their CIOs Knowing About it

Successful implementation of DevOps depends a lot on the CIO, however, there are times when it happens even without his conscious efforts, says A Purushothaman, Country Director, CA Technologies.

It is said that software will be the driving force for businesses. Your thoughts on this.
The world is moving towards an application economy and going forward, software will rule the world. It will not only enrich a corporate’s brand but will move its business from where it is today to where they want it to be tomorrow. Just look at some of the business being driven by software. Uber is the largest taxi owner in the world, and it doesn’t own a single cab. In their Delhi office, there are just two people -- one is the CEO and the other is the application manager. Similarly, Airbnb has a valuation of $13 Bn without owning a single hotel. The two largest hotel companies in the world, Hyatt and Wyndham, have a combined valuation of about $19 Bn. Give Airbnb some more time and it will surpass them. The interesting part is that the company was founded in 2008 and it has just 20 people and one application – Airbnb mobile app.

So what do enterprises need to do for software to become the differentiator?
An enterprise’s applications can be very agile but what about its operations? The infrastructure supporting the application infrastructure is not agile. The routers, servers and virtualization infrastructure is not agile. There is, therefore, a conflict between development and operations. While today’s business demands agility, the current operations are not able to handle development. The key lies in managing these new deployments and the service delivery of the applications over the existing infrastructure in an agile way. There has to be a sharing of common goals. Operations needs to know what is coming. The development team needs to be operations ready. The wall between the two has to break.

But isn’t mindset a bigger issue? How can this gap be bridged?
It is all about people, process and technology.  Technology has to play an important role, which in turn, will drive people. Today, development teams use their testing platforms and work in a silo. However, if you put in a cadence through a solution that enables you to automatically move the release from test to production through a workflow, you don’t need to change people. This would naturally foster collaboration. The adoption of technology was slow some 10-15 years back. With an inflection point in DevOps, people have realize that applications are driving business and in order to survive, they have to invest in software. If an enterprise makes investments separately on the dev and ops side, it will never work.

As a concept, DevOps has been there for 3-5 years. How many Indian enterprise have adopted it?
The sectors that have adopted and thrived their businesses on applications the most include e-commerce and retail. The Indian e-commerce market is the second largest e-commerce market in the world behind the US. The other vertical driving it is BFSI. Banks are looking at many different ways of going to the market. Travel and transportation and entertainment are other verticals aggressive on the DevOps front. Meanwhile, verticals like real estate and manufacturing are laggards. However, they are realizing its importance.

For driving DevOps, CIOs need to understand business. Is this a bottleneck in its adoption?
Some businesses transform even without their CIOs knowing about it. There was an IT/ITeS company which ventured into a business that demanded a cultural change in the organization. The CIO never stood up and said the company had to go the DevOps way. He had unknowingly adopted it. The business forced him to do it.

How agile does an enterprise become through the adoption of agile operations?
To give an example, by using CA Technologies’ solution, the US-based healthcare IT solution and services company, TriZetto, was able to reduce issue resolution time by 76 percent. It had 15 percent faster development cycle. In terms of future proofing the business, it spent 60 percent less time managing the monitors. They also had 66 percent improvement in application quality, which meant faster time to market.


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