In talking with those in the enterprise trenches working to make DevOps a reality – admins, developers, CIOs, and business leaders who get it and are trying to help transform their enterprise culture and workflow to be more DevOps oriented – a number of key drivers surfaced from these discussions.
What drivers are they? Below are the Five Fruitful DevOps Business Drivers Gaining Speed right now that many say are currently acting as a catalyst for pushing DevOps forward in their organization.
These are in no particular order, nor is this list meant to be all inclusive, but these benefits are what was top of mind when speaking with enterprise IT over the past couple of months:
1. Clearing application backlog. Enterprises are busier than ever before, and more employees, partners, and customers are requiring more apps to complete their day-to-day work. These demands, plus the pressure in recent years to build more apps for more form factors is pushing many development teams further and further behind schedule. They find themselves buried in application backlogs.
Increasingly, seeing the speed and reduction in errors, more enterprises will clear through their app backlog with DevOps.
2. Improving mobile development workflow. The needs of mobile users are constantly changing, as are mobile devices and mobile apps. Mobile devices and operating systems are a never-ending river of new capabilities, updates, and integrations. The evolution is so rapid that traditional mobile development and operations teams have trouble keeping up.
It’s clear that creating dedicated mobile development teams isn’t working for all organizations that seek to maximize their productivity. But DevOps and continuous delivery and integration strategies make it more likely that development teams will be able to build and deliver these apps as fast (well, almost) as their enterprises demand.
3. DevOps is mainstream. The debates over whether DevOps is real, or not, have come to a close – except for a few who may have kept themselves buried too deeply in an underground data center for too long. The question about whether DevOps is having a positive impact on enterprise outcomes is over.
The discussion now switches, most everywhere, how to move rapidly to a DevOps organization, or how to improve the effectiveness of existing DevOps efforts.
There will be more organizations working to collaborate more effectively, increase automation, and integrate teams to increase effectiveness. DevOps and collaborative toolsets and movements such as ChatOps will also mature and help accelerate the transition.
4. Design teams, work more closely with DevOps teams.
It’s surprising that DevOps isn’t more entrenched in enterprise mobile design. One of the key benefits of DevOps is the ability it provides for enterprises to design and build applications more quickly, and be able to react more swiftly to market demands. It’s why DevOps can be so powerful for mobile teams. More effective mobile app development, testing, and operations means more effective business integration and focus on designing apps that the business needs. “all DevOps does is make sure your app works well. It has nothing to do with it being popular,” says Katz.
Some have called this focus on building better UX/UI functionality DesignOps, and more organizations are working to bring the same levels of collaboration and team integration with design and development as they’ve down with operations and development.
5. DevOps and Better Feedback from Business Leaders
With the enterprise embracing DevOps, certainly that is a culture change but the toolsets and the application service delivery platform is also changing, and with new toolsets and new workflows and tighter levels of collaboration and workflows means new assumptions of how business management can or will work with IT. Savvy businesses recognize the opportunity and are already engaging with their IT departments.
It’s the manifestation of what Gene Kim called The Third Way: Culture of Continual Experimentation and Learning:
The Third Way is about creating a culture that fosters two things: continual experimentation, taking risks and learning from failure; and understanding that repetition and practice is the prerequisite to mastery.
We need both of these equally. Experimentation and taking risks are what ensures that we keep pushing to improve, even if it means going deeper into the danger zone than we’ve ever gone. And we need mastery of the skills that can help us retreat out of the danger zone when we’ve gone too far.
As part of the culture of “The Third Way” business leaders need to help guide IT on some of that risk taking – where it makes sense, were it doesn’t, when those risks could affect direct business outcomes.
This will help DevOps keep IT more aligned with business goals than was largely possible in large organizations previously.