Embracing Change on the Road to DevOps Maturity

“Transformation” may be an overused word in IT circles, but when it comes to implementing DevOps, it’s an accurate one. Getting your development and operations teams fully aligned — both internally and externally — requires a full commitment to embracing change and applying new skills in real-time.

 

DevOps isn’t the goal itself, but rather a means to reach your goals. The question remains - how to guide your DevOps strategy along the journey to greater efficiency and accountability without completely disrupting operations? Here are some real-life scenarios to take into consideration when mapping out a plan of action.

 

Slow Down to Speed Up

The first step is understanding where you are on the DevOps maturity cycle. In the earlier stages of implementing DevOps, many companies don’t know the exact points they are missing. Generally, at this point, we find disparate teams working in silos, using different metrics to measure performance.

 

Operations are judged on uptime and stability, whereas development is rewarded primarily for speed and quality. Of course, the executive team wants it all! Unless and until you identify common business objectives, such as meeting the release schedule or minimizing customer complaints, you will waste time and energy trying to improve DevOps.

 

Of course, coming to agreement opens the individual teams up for more scrutiny by their peers. This brings us to the next point:

 

You’re All in this Together

In a true DevOps environment, there is no room for complaining or scapegoating. It no longer remains about us or them, it’s about working together to achieve continuous delivery with a high-quality output. A powerful component of Intelliswift’s DevOps assessment is evaluating how open teams are to change and to putting the customer first. If your team shows any red flag or reluctance to move away from “the way things have always been done,” we are bound to let you know.

 

The Role of Automated Tools

Before DevOps, companies used to follow linear development and testing processes that are largely manual and one directional. Automated tools play a pivotal role in replacing this stop-start approach with a pipeline of continuous implementation, testing, and deployment. However, achieving a cultural shift is essential before adopting the best of the technical tools.

 

Companies who have reached some early DevOps milestones and are using automated testing tools would perform well to examine those tools in a more holistic fashion. Otherwise, they may fall into a few traps:

 

1. Sunk Investment

Companies will stick with an underperforming tool or process simply because of the expense and effort it took to get it up and running. If a tool creates workarounds and inefficiencies, it’s time to broaden your options.

 

2. Full Steam Ahead

Once established, IT leaders rarely go back and evaluate whether those tools are the right ones for the job, often because they’re too busy or already on to the next challenge. They don’t have time to validate emerging technologies or train their team, so they run the risk of falling behind.

 

3. Too Many Tools

Sometimes point solutions also arise in different product teams or departments. A company working in separate JAVA, .NET, and PHP environments may run different tools for each, creating unnecessary complexity and missing out on economies of scale.

 

For entities who have reached a more mature stage of DevOps, ironically the next step may be to outsource it altogether. The effort to achieve incremental improvements may not justify the investment in building a full scale DevOps framework.

 

Outsource to Optimize

Outsourced teams may be better equipped to establish virtual test environments or “dark deployments,” using real-world scenarios. You can also invest more effort on core value-building activities like creating a strong customer feedback loop that incorporates input from service tickets, change requests, informal complaints, and app store ratings.

 

Organizations that align software development and delivery with customer trends and business objectives are able to achieve sustainable DevOps transformations. Intelliswift can help you get there faster with fewer headaches. Contact our DevOps team to learn more about our maturity assessment and roadmap development services.