Since I published my blog explaining the topic of ‘Big DevOps’ late last year, the concept of Enterprise DevOps has exploded, with commentary, experience, and advice (some good, some awful) popping up from many different quarters. Fortunately, many pundits have now come to agree that application delivery in a traditional enterprise is very different from in a typical web-scale/startup environment.
As a result, a growing body of work is filling a significant and important gap with unique insight into Enterprise DevOps, from many excellent commentators and practitioners who understand how large enterprises are different, and how to address those different challenges.
As Enterprise DevOps takes off, I seem to field questions about it on an almost daily basis, so I decided to contribute to the body of work with a webinar explaining my answers to five of the most frequent challenges I hear about DevOps at scale. It was titled ‘Big DevOps: Five Top Tips When Implementing at Scale’ and you can catch the full replay on YouTube.
The top five issues I chose to address are below:
My five ‘Big DevOps’ tips for overcoming these issues center mainly on cultural change, because DevOps is primarily a cultural and attitudinal shift. However, it is also undoubtedly true that certain technologies can play a large part in enabling that change, especially in the more complex world of larger enterprises.
With that in mind, my top five tips to address these challenges are as follows:
- Facilitate a culture of teaming and collaboration – this is at the core of devops in any environment, large or small, but especially for large organizations with bright lines between teams, this is essential to overcoming the tyranny of complex and dispersed silos
- Establish agile development as a shared discipline – agile development is brings code to market faster, but can result in just filling the clogged pipes of PMO, HR, training, security, and other departments faster. ‘Agile’ needs to be common throughout the SDLC – in dev, ops, and beyond
- Automate relentlessly to enable rapid devops response – automation allows faster execution throughout the system, enabling downstream processes to keep up with speed of DevOps. Automation also adds audit and governance, especially important to larger organizations
- Push smaller releases faster, measure and remediate impact – large organizations especially are can avoid big errors by avoiding big releases. Adopt faster, smaller cycles with closer scrutiny to achieve a DevOps approach while managing the risk of faster cycles and fewer controls
- Manage user identities to enable shared access – in smaller organizations it might be acceptable to give out root access like candy, but not for large enterprises. Identity and access management can enable a new DevOps approach that is safe, secure, auditable, and well-governed
While these tips may not be the perfect answer for every organization, I have seen how these approaches have made the journey to DevOps easier, safer, and more effective for big enterprises. I hope they help you on your journey.
If so, you will want to stay tuned to DevOps.com. Since starting work on Enterprise DevOps concepts, I have collected many questions on how large organizations can best succeed in their DevOps transformation. I will be sharing these questions along with my answers here on DevOps.com in a regular series, to give everyone the chance to understand how large enterprises can overcome the challenges of adopting DevOps at scale.
So keep your eyes out for my posts over the coming days, weeks, and months in the brand new occasional series, ‘Enterprise DevOps Q&A’. I hope you will keep reading, and maybe even help me out by discussing your experiences and ideas in the comments below.
Finally if you have any questions about Big DevOps, Enterprise DevOps, or anything to do with adopting a DevOps approach at scale, let me know in the comments below too. I would love to hear from you, and answer your questions if I can, or source guest opinions from the DevOps community.
Meanwhile, please stay tuned for more Enterprise DevOps Q&A. I am excited to continue the discussion on what it takes to transform application delivery at scale.