“DevOps represents a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps emphasises people (and culture), and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilise technology — especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective”. Gartner
DevOps has been around for quite a number of years at this stage and the concept is quite mature in organisations, from startup to enterprise - so why are so many of these projects not realising their full potential and delivering the kind of wins promised at the planning stage? While there are many challenges on the technical side, we will focus on the human aspect of the challenge of getting it right.
- People skills - The absolute key aspect of succeeding with in-house DevOps is the right people in key roles across the organisation. These resources should have the best balance of technical and business skills to get the operation running effectively. Unfortunately, people with this finely balanced skillset are rare and to get things moving, less effective or less well balanced substitutes are used, leading to a potentially critical failure point. Typically in a new setup, the best and the brightest will be appointed to the initial team and hopefully will get the ball rolling effectively together. But what happens when that success means an immediate or extremely rapid scale up? Good hires take a long time and are often in high demand, so short of a magic wand or a 3D printer for humans, there is going to be a delay in getting the right people into the next set of teams required to scale fast without compromising quality and sacrificing delivery times.
- Proper Collaboration - Extrapolating from the previous point, these key people then need to work hand-in-glove with the rest of the organisation to deliver the sort of collaborative work that gets the entire organisation involved effectively. In practice however, “silos” can exist or develop where teams and individuals operate outside the collaborative environment for various reasons. Simply put though, not all talented people have the will or the ability to adopt a flexible team-driven model and thrive in it.
- Culture - It is often (correctly) said that DevOps is more of a culture than a process and instilling the right culture to collaborate and work outside silos can be challenging. An environment where even a properly functioning DevOps implementation is working but the entire project is siloed into an “IT initiative” is likely to run aground due to lack of an organisation-wide buy in to a wider collaboration culture. DevOps needs a wider adoption to include everybody who delivers the application/product.
- Conflicting Outputs and Goals - The very concept of DevOps is that taking members from across the organisation to develop applications together should produce a common goal to streamline efficiency and eliminate conflict. In practice however, the outmoded view of having diverse targets for Operations functions and IT defeats the very purpose that DevOps exists to solve.
The Benefits of Getting DevOps Right
- Competitive Advantage - Business in 2019 operates on slim margins meaning customer adoption and loyalty is often only achieved on the ability to deliver key personalisation of the (UX) User Experience in the market. DevOps (done right) allows organisations to fast track delivery of their digital applications and getting the mix right allows them to respond faster to all stakeholders whether internal or external. Essentially there is a greatly reduced launch time to market, enabling a proper and substantial competitive advantage for those who get it right.
- Speed of Delivery - Effectively implementing DevOps reduces project delivery time considerably as multiple stakeholders from development to production are involved, fostering the all-important culture required. The speed of production and delivery are greatly increased and allow for failures to be quickly identified and rectified without compromising quality or deadlines.
- Collaborative Wins - Tying together team members who were previously siloed off and even competing with each other can effectively change the company culture and get the best out of the Operations and Development functions with a common goal in sight.
- Innovation - Properly run DevOps allows for fast failure and reiteration, more experimentation and vastly increased productivity and enabling a focus on key business outputs.
- Automation - Having removed barriers internally between Operations and IT, and automating deployment delivery, organisations are able to focus on end user value goals. Enabling competitive advantage is a key outcome from automating processes and being first to market with a better and more attractive, continuously improved user experience will attract and retain customers.
- Increased ROI from team synergy, increased productivity, and scaled, faster delivery is the core result of adopting DevOps effectively. With integrated teams able to focus on delivering bottom line value, through automation of repetitive “lower value” tasks, software developers can work on producing good applications that are adopted and retained by customers.
DevOps Managed Service
Implementing a DevOps culture in your organisation can have a lot of challenges as discussed earlier but also deliver exponential benefits for those who can pull it together with the right team at the outset and also when the collaboration needs to scale up. This latter part is where the most organisations begin to come up short and fail gradually. This is where the introduction of a Managed Service for DevOps comes in to consideration. Kellton Tech specialise in offering best-in-class DevOps Managed Services to businesses.
The Benefits of Adopting a Managed Service Model
- End-to-end Transformation - Planning, design, implementation and configuration from our team of highly practically experienced experts. Taking the DevOps project from the outset right through to delivery, our team enable your organisation to deliver.
- An instant extension of your team - why waste time hunting for weeks or months to find rare talent when we can deploy the perfect candidates from architects to developers to scale or build your team immediately?
- Advice and consultation - having experienced every challenge in DevOps, our experts stand ready to help with the ideation stage before planning even begins and being vendor agnostic, we can give you truly unbiased advice at every stage in the journey.
Kellton's USPs in Managed DevOps
- We are early adopters working with open source technologies, IoT, Bots, Cloud and DevOps.
- We have a wealth of practical experience gained by Implementing DevOps for SMEs and Enterprise clients.
- Kellton Tech have a DevOps plan scaled to suit every need from start-up to Enterprise level organisations.
- We are a pioneer and leader in “next gen” technologies with case studies of ground breaking projects delivered on the ground where others are still conceptualising.