Moving To DevOps? Five Key Considerations
DevOps — the combination of IT development and operations teams — is quickly going mainstream as companies look to eliminate “siloing” and increase IT throughput as part of their larger business strategy. In fact, 2016 may see up to 25 percent of Global 2000 organizations adopting DevOps to boost their bottom line. However, making the switch means more than giving Devs and Ops teams shared office space and asking them to “work it out.” Here are five key considerations to improve your DevOps deployment.
Get on the Same Page
While adopting DevOps means your company may undergo a large technological shift, the corresponding cultural change is far more significant. Because you're bringing together two disparate groups of IT professionals — which have differing priorities and therefore different strategies for completing critical tasks — your first key consideration must be developing a unified team environment. As noted by DevOps.com, this means first reviewing all team and individual goals and determining where overlap exists. Next, create a common goal that all team members can agree on; if anyone can't get on board, they may not be the right fit for your organization. Simply put? Effective DevOps is always a team effort.
Collaborate to Innovate
According to DevOps Digest, one key benefit of adopting a unified development/operations model is speeding deployment of new applications while still maintaining high levels of both quality and security. To accomplish this aim, collaboration is key — and not just between Dev and Ops. As noted by John Rakowski, Director of Technology Strategy for AppDynamics, effective DevOps “requires collaboration between business, IT development and operations professionals.” In other words, your C-suite must be on board to make any DevOps transition workable; without their support, any DevOps effort is little more than an IT room shift.
Integrate the Cloud
If you're moving to a DevOps environment, it only makes sense to empower this new team with on-demand cloud resources, in turn increasing team members’ ability to deliver agile app and service development. As InfoWorld points out, however, simply making cloud services accessible isn't enough to empower DevOps teams — many end up working too hard for the same results as other, similarly structured development shops. Why? Effective planning. Start by drawing a list of the skills and resources you have, those you need, and detailing how cloud will bridge the gap. Next, sub in cloud offerings wherever possible to drive long-lasting cultural change. The InfoWorld piece recommends laying out these changes and implementing them swiftly — like pulling off a Band-Aid — to lower the chance of regression.
No DevOps migration goes perfectly. Often, the biggest worry for companies is failure — what happens if continual misses eliminate any chance of success in combining these two IT teams? Eliminating this worry requires a counter-intuitive approach: Failure isn't always a bad thing. By creating a safe environment where failures can be tracked, evaluated and quickly fixed, you can get both development and operations pros working on the same wavelength. What's more, you're able to discover ways to streamline specific processes and provide continuous delivery of IT service.
Automate and Observe
The last key consideration for making a DevOps move? Invest in automation and observation. Both development and operations teams come with a host of processes that could benefit from automation — rather than putting this task on the plate of your new DevOps team, find a reputable provider to help automate specific tasks and let IT innovate. Combine these tools with high-visibility observation and metrics to determine where your DevOps effort is making headway and where you need to put in more work.
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