Think you can’t offer your digital services fast enough? Time to think DevOps.

One of the biggest hurdles companies face with digital transformation is trying to do two seemingly opposing things at once: deliver applications and services faster to stay ahead of customer needs, and have the time to experiment with innovation. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose one over the other – even if you’re dealing with flat or reduced headcount. A growing number of organizations are adopting DevOps to support their transformation to digital businesses.
Written by 
Mike Hallabrin
Application Development & Integration Practice Lead

DevOps is a software engineering cultural practice that brings tight collaboration between software development and operations teams for greater speed, agility, and innovation.

At least 50 percent of companies have started implementing DevOps, according to Forrester’s Q1 2017 Global DevOps Benchmark Online Survey, and it’s gaining momentum within all industry sectors.

Here’s why ICC supports clients in using DevOps for their IT projects.

DevOps is a cultural shift to deliver value faster.

DevOps breaks down isolated silos between developers, testing, operations, quality assurance, and security teams, creating a shared concept of code ownership and collaboration across one empowered IT organization.

This shift toward faster service delivery became noticeable five years ago, with the release of The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win.

DevOps combines this cultural shift with automation technology, so you can reduce your software cycles for new and enhanced services from months to weeks, and from weeks to days. (Some juggernauts such as Amazon and Google deploy software changes in a matter of minutes, but for most of us, mere days is a worthy goal.)

With shorter development and testing cycles, more frequent service deployments, and higher quality software releases, the benefits of DevOps translate to reduced costs for you and greater value for your customers.

Automation drives faster, higher quality services.

DevOps advocates automation and monitoring at all steps of the software lifecycle, from developing, integrating, and testing code, to deploying applications and managing infrastructure.

The benefits of automation go beyond increasing the velocity and quality of new digital services. Automating processes such as code testing also frees up your employees from working on tedious, manual tasks. Instead, they can focus on higher-value areas and solving more challenging problems.

Automation also gives you the ability to quickly collect more metrics and data at every stage. As a result, you have more actionable analytics and intelligence to improve your services, making them more efficient, secure, and reliable.

DevOps makes your customers part of the innovation process.

DevOps helps you keep pace with your industry, so your competitors don’t get ahead of you in offering new, valuable services to customers.

Now imagine making your customers feel like partners in your innovation.

Working closely together, developers and operations teams quickly can:

  • create or make changes to applications,
  • release the resulting new service,
  • support and monitor its performance in multiple environments including mobile, and,
  • based on end user feedback and analytics, choose to rapidly reverse the software changes or try something entirely different.

As partners in your innovation process, your customers can try your new services while knowing you are listening and are able to quickly act on their feedback. This continuous innovation becomes a model for the whole enterprise.

A culture of experimentation unleashes innovation.

Look closer at the DevOps cultural shift, and you’ll see a big part of it is the change to a culture of experimentation.

The era of making changes to software feature capabilities on a quarterly basis is gone. DevOps today encourages daily changes to applications, resulting in a continuous cycle of experimentation and innovation. 

Our clients who use DevOps also find they can easily conduct A/B testing of solutions with their customers, and quickly get rich analytics and fast customer feedback.

That’s the agility needed to become a digital business.

DevOps complements Agile in delivering value.

The success of Agile software development led to enterprises wanting to release their software applications more often. This frequency puts more demands on the release management processes, and that’s where DevOps really performs – with automation, continuous integration tools, and continuous delivery.

ICC views DevOps and Agile approaches as symbiotic. By doing both, you move more quickly from ideation to development to production, and your software release quality improves.

Like Agile, DevOps isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for our clients. We focus on what our clients want to achieve and what will bring the most benefits to them.

For example, a DevOps sweet spot for one ICC client is test automation. This improves product quality by eliminating manual testing, which takes too long and doesn’t find all defects.

Another ICC client is a Midwestern Bank that wanted to provide a digital experience for global banking. Their original project plan was to implement in 18 months, and we did it in 12. The client also benefits from now having the basic infrastructure in place to continually improve their applications.

Whatever your transformation goals, there is a DevOps approach that will help you achieve them.

You want to be relevant in a digital world.

Companies that will last and survive disruption are those that embrace the digital changes happening now. 

Businesses that rely on out-of-date applications and processes are already behind, and today’s customers won’t tolerate apps and services that disappoint. Fortunately, they don’t have to.

By using a DevOps approach to develop and deploy software faster, more frequently, and more reliably, you remain relevant and deliver more value to your customers.

We provide DevOps training and mentoring, helping you focus on the right areas for greatest benefit, select the ideal tools, and make the cultural shift needed. Find out how by emailing me at mhallabrin@icct.com

Read more about digital transformation approaches:

5 Reasons why an Agile approach delivers value

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