How to Implement Enterprise DevOps Transformation

For many, IT is no longer fit for purpose. So if leaders want their IT departments to stay relevant, i.e. deliver quickly and flexibly, they need to fundamentally transform their view of IT as a cost center and recognize it as an enabler. strategic business essential to the success of the company as a whole.

About the Author

Darren Coupland, Executive Vice President of Capgemini & Sogeti.

The technological landscape has completely transformed and will continue to evolve rapidly in the years to come. DevOps, combined with an Agile approach, enables organizations to reliably create business value and deliver continuous innovation to their customers.

DevOps is not only about continuous integration and delivery, but also about how automation can play a big role in quickly creating value and creating an early feedback loop. Early digital native users developed their DevOps principles through an evolutionary path. However, for many existing enterprise organizations, the reality is that they are stuck with years, if not decades, of legacy applications and processes that struggle to stay consistent and relevant, while delivering diminishing returns.

These organizations need to embrace Agile and DevOps to survive, but many struggle to reap the benefits as they struggle with legacy software and organically developed workflows and approvals. These companies are facing transformational DevOps evolution. However, to scale and implement DevOps at scale, companies must overcome these three challenges.

Product management

Almost every company has legacy product portfolios that are scattered across fragmented teams, business units, and organizations, leading to costly duplication of systems and effort, and disjointed customer support. Enterprise organizations have often implemented disparate solutions of varying commercial software that are incompatible with each other, creating a culture that encourages the delivery of quick results, but often ends up causing catastrophic problems later.

Businesses are used to buying or developing a new product for each new service they bring to market. None of these systems integrate and, for example, cross-selling and up-selling services to customers will be more difficult. Even simple tasks like getting a 360° view of a customer are often impossible. These failures are often the result of overworked and undertrained product managers and team members who don’t feel comfortable taking risks to solve systemic problems.

DevOps advocates the formation of long-lasting multidisciplinary teams that are aligned with the creation of value for the organization (value stream). These multidisciplinary product teams, comprised of both Dev and Ops, take full responsibility and accountability throughout the product lifecycle, from inception to retirement. This contrasts with the more fragmented, project-driven approach of traditional IT that forces teams and individuals to take responsibility only for a narrowly defined segment of the product lifecycle, from build to release. They then hand off the deliverable to a separate operations team for the operational lifecycle of the service.

Moving from “project” to “product” helps focus a team’s attention and efforts on product goals, which should be measurable results focused on creating value for the customer.

Ensure quality

Ensuring that quality is maintained as the frequency of software releases increases is a priority for Enterprise DevOps teams. How do you move your DevOps teams from “counting bugs” to actually improving the quality of a product? What software development lifecycle (SDLC) interdependencies do you need to be aware of and how do you get that information? Breaking down the walls between different DevOps teams, standardizing their work with policies and frameworks, and using automation to free up quality assurance (QA) professionals and test teams are all integral to managing the quality within companies.

High-performing organizations require their DevOps teams to deliver this value, with the right quality, at steady and continuous cadences. In other words, they implement continuous quality within the framework of continuous delivery. However, while many companies expect “fast quality,” they only check for defects before deploying code. Conversely, leading DevOps organizations focus on “end-to-end quality”. While they always do this with thorough code review procedures, they are also able to validate the quality of what is delivered before, during, and after deployment. These organizations embed quality processes and procedures into every process so that a product’s features and characteristics are built right the first time.

Distributed teams and remote work

Enabling distributed teams and remote working has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizations must simultaneously embrace remote working practices, while adapting to a radically different business landscape. Nevertheless, the previous challenges around how to enable developers to code, deploy and collaborate from anywhere remain a constant.

SaaS-based collaboration platforms put advanced communication and document sharing tools at the fingertips of everyone in the business. In particular, we’ve seen major advances in remote developer productivity tools. Developer productivity platforms, like GitHub for example, allow distributed teams and remote workers to collaborate effectively to achieve their software development goals. DevOps teams need to be equipped with the right collaboration tools, high-speed network access, and the right IT equipment, while maintaining secure environments.

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced an urgent need to transition to remote working, with governments asking people to stay home and avoid entering their offices. This has radically changed the ways of working and living. Team members, at all levels of responsibility, in organizations that are not considered “mandatory” or “key” services have been required to work from home at some point in the crisis. As we continue to wrestle with the idea of ​​mandatory remote work, we have the opportunity to learn from the challenges faced and focus on growth.

Having the right development tools is one of the main drivers of business performance, and collaboration tools are one of the key factors in this tool chain. It’s clear that many companies have underinvested in building tool chains to support remote development and collaboration, leading to a rush to adopt disparate solutions that will have major repercussions down the road. .

DevOps can be a radical cultural shift for any organization. Most companies need to transform their existing people, processes, and technologies in order to adopt DevOps. The most successful DevOps companies view development and IT as part of the business and aligned with products and customer needs.

Development and IT do not work in silos in the service of the business, they are at the heart of the business. This enables the most successful DevOps companies to bring their product ideas to market faster, without sacrificing the stability or security of their production systems. This means they are more agile and ready to adapt faster to the most challenging events and become leaders in market disruption.

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