DevOps has been widely adopted in the software business, but does it have a place in the wider IT environment?
DevOps has proved to accelerate project times, reduce reworking and support innovation by breaking down barriers between team members, increasing collaboration and introducing higher levels of automation.
Those benefits can be important for IT teams struggling with bottlenecks, slow infrastructure deployment times and inefficient manual processes. DevOps can also help teams meet demands from the business for faster service delivery and increased innovation.
Quality improves too when teams follow the DevOps cycle of continuous short-term development, testing and delivery. And, that can help ensure a satisfactory user experience.
DevOps – Different Things to Different People
One reason for slow adoption in other sectors is a lack of understanding of what DevOps really is. As one software consultant explained, “DevOps means different things to different people.”
“The word is made up of development and operations. Some people think it’s a process, a job description or a methodology. In reality, it is a set of principles that define a better way of delivering a project or service from initial concept to release.”
All Together Now
DevOps aims to break down internal barriers so that team members can collaborate more effectively, understand each other’s roles and challenges, and focus on shared objectives.
That can mean a big change in culture for organizations that have created silos of expertise and product or business unit focus. In that environment, getting people to change and work together can be difficult.
Specialists generally have different goals. Developers may be focused on speed of delivery and new features. Operations teams look for quality and stability.
Organizations that implement DevOps find that cross-functional teams start to emerge when individual members recognize the benefits of shared responsibility. They can resolve issues together quickly, early in a project cycle, rather than facing setbacks and delays when problems emerge late in a project.
Automation and Agility
DevOps and agile project techniques go together. In major infrastructure or migration projects, that can reduce risk, eliminate bottlenecks and speed up delivery.
In software development, DevOps teams use agile techniques and frequent iterations at every stage of the cycle. They might aim for weekly or daily releases of updated products, with testing and quality control at the same frequency.
By breaking infrastructure and migration projects into similar, smaller phases, IT teams can apply the same agile principles of continuous delivery. That means faster delivery and lower risk of major problems because changes are smaller. Change management is now an easier process.
Automation adds further benefits. Projects based on manual processes are prone to errors and inefficiency, even if the team adopts basic DevOps principles. Automation tools to support infrastructure assessment and migration can eliminate those risks and help to ensure consistency, quality and productivity.
Innovation and Faster Delivery
With the current focus on digital transformation, organizations recognize the strategic role that IT plays in the business. DevOps can enhance that role further by streamlining day-to-day processes and freeing more time for innovation and new service development.