On June 23, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. The impact was immediate. The value of the pound has plunged. Stock markets around the world tumbled. Share prices for U.K. companies that trade internationally have recovered fairly quickly, but smaller companies in the FTSE 250 are still down.
Many U.K. businesses now face a period of uncertainty. In the week following the referendum, 49 percent of businesses reported feeling “pessimistic” in a YouGov and CEBR poll—up from 25 percent beforehand.
When faced with uncertainty, it’s common for businesses to try and protect themselves. This can include:
- A reduction in investment
- A hiring freeze
- Reduced or non-existent training budgets
Even before the EU referendum, the BBC reported that 1 million U.K. businesses don’t have the skills they need to prosper in the digital age.
Does this mean the outlook for DevOps adoption and organizational culture change is bleak in the U.K.? At a time when companies large and small were starting to innovate, will we now see a retreat to traditional ‘tried and tested’ waterfall methods?
The Time for Change is Now
It’s easy to understand why businesses might be nervous about implementing new ways of working in time of great uncertainty. However, the Puppet 2016 State of DevOps report has some compelling data that might change their minds. Some of the key facts include:
- High-performing organizations are deploying 200x more frequently
- High performers have better employee loyalty—potentially allowing them to avoid recruitment and induction costs
- High performers recover from failure 24 times as fast
The report also shows that high performing organizations spend 22 percent less time on unplanned work and rework. For a business that’s looking to protect its bottom line and improve forward planning, this could be a huge advantage.
Evolution, Not Revolution
The traditional corporate approach to new ways of working is “big bang”—lots of change, all at the same time. Businesses need to remember that DevOps doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Rather, incorporate elements of DevOps into existing service management capabilities—it’s an approach discussed during Ignite at DevOps Days London. Making small incremental improvements can lead to benefits, with less risk attached.
Whatever the results of the post-referendum negotiations are, U.K. businesses need to put themselves into a strong position to survive in a global market. Deploying better software, faster, will definitely help.