DevOps Is On The Rise
Given the rapid rate of change in the digital era, IT-enabled innovation is proving to be critical for organizations of all types and sizes. The ability to deliver agile and seamless IT systems – and to run them reliably, consistently and cost-effectively – can provide a competitive advantage in even the most crowded of marketplaces.
The result of this has been the rise of DevOps culture, with IT-based organizations embracing more agile working methods and faster product development and delivery. As a culture, opposed to a specific technique or technology, DevOps aims to strip away the conflicting priorities that have traditionally existed between development and operations teams.
The Way It Used To Be
Previously, an organization’s development and operations teams would work separately, rather than in unison. With each having their own priorities to manage, such as project spend, application performance and functional requirements. And this suited the characteristics of their work – with development enjoying the freedom and flexibility to make real-time changes, and operations thriving from consistency and stability, even if that meant crucial updates being held back to preserve uptime. But by bringing them together, organizations are better able to deliver systems into production quicker – with greater reliability and efficiency – and operate and support them more effectively.
This makes a great deal of sense given the lightning-quick nature of modern technology. A trend that only seems to intensify with each new software innovation and product iteration.
But for organizations looking to adapt and restructure their operations in favor of an agile methodology, adopting DevOps is not straightforward. It’s a transition full of potential pitfalls and is just as likely to fail as succeed. So, with that in mind, what do businesses need to consider before moving forward? And what are the key components for crafting a successful DevOps culture?
While there are a number of prerequisites required when putting together a successful DevOps team – mastery of different programming languages, knowledge of mainstream program interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs), and familiarity with big data technologies – it has less to do with change management and IT automation toolkits, and more to do with people and processes. And this is where organizations looking to migrate towards DevOps so often fall down.
The keys to creating a successful DevOps culture: communication and collaboration.
As we’ve seen, DevOps is itself a product of collaboration. And for it to be successful, emphasis has to be placed on effective communication and relationship building between team members. For small to mid-sized organizations – with a team all working out of the same space – this can be achieved in a number of different ways. But for global organizations, where team members can often be operating out of different offices on different continents on different time zones, enterprise network solutions are essential to help forge relationships, align objectives and prioritize tasks.
This is particularly important when it comes to rolling out software updates or launching a product on-time and within budget. With so many moving parts involved in delivery, a collaborative environment and a spirit of togetherness are crucial to producing high-quality results.
For organizations looking to deploy a DevOps practice, technical proficiency is clearly of great importance. But it shouldn’t be placed above collaboration and communication. In some cases, teamwork can be of greater importance to the whole than mastery of the technicalities.
While it’s clearly advantageous to identify and acquire people who possess expert knowledge of particular subjects, when building a team, the attributes at its foundation should be a willingness to collaborate and communicate openly. Often, the individuals who best employ these qualities are creative problem solvers with strong communication skills. And while it takes more than just a willingness to collaborate and communicate to create a successful DevOps culture, those organizations that commit to building their teams around these attributes will be better placed to succeed than those that don’t.
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