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DevOps as key catalyst in digital transformation

Author: Sridhar Murthy J, Principal Technology Architect, Enterprise Architecture 

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Today's digital marketplace is governed by fierce competition - and falling behind is a risk no business can afford. The key to succeeding as a digital business is to embrace emerging technologies and innovation. With digital transformation programs sweeping across industries, enterprises are finding new ways to deliver top-quality products and services to end-users, manage vendors and optimize internal processes.  

 

When it comes to digital transformation, IT has a significant role to play as a strategic driver of digitization, agility and innovation. The DevOps approach is already revolutionizing software delivery for many companies. However, enabling DevOps is challenging, and requires commitment and careful planning. Often, enterprises choose to adopt DevOps because they truly want to differentiate their market offerings and increase speed-to-market. However, without a clear goal, the drivers for DevOps remain elusive and, in such cases, enterprise IT is unable to support true transformation.

 

My suggestion is this: If you want to gain a competitive edge through digital transformation, you must first re-evaluate how you develop software and how you harness the talent of development and IT teams.


Transforming the IT landscape

Meeting ever-changing customer needs means having the ability to build innovative, quality and scalable products. However, businesses cannot innovate in isolation. This 'collaboration for innovation' is exactly what DevOps offers.


The DevOps methodology combines agile with constant feedback to continuously roll out new changes. The outcomes of each rollout are meticulously assessed and fed back to enterprises by customers and end-users using a technique known as the 'canary release'. DevOps also helps enterprises leverage micro-services architecture to achieve modular services with business capabilities. In doing so, DevOps ensures constant innovation and refined digital transformation.   

 

So how do you, as an enterprise, adopt DevOps to revolutionize IT?


Roadmap for digital transformation

In my opinion, there is a mutually dependent relationship between cloud and DevOps. They share common patterns such as infra-as-code, auto-scaling, proactive monitoring, infra-resiliency, and immutable environments. Even as cloud maximizes the value of DevOps, the benefits of cloud can't be fully realized without DevOps-driven automation.

 

Step 1: Redefine your enterprise vision to align with the short-term and long-term goals of digital transformation.

Step 2: Create a roadmap to transition from the current methodology to DevOps. Here, it is better to start with specific projects and then scale up progressively.

Step 3: Define the tools required to automate workflows and underlying activities to achieve agility, higher quality and shift-left testing.

Step 4: Carefully select the technology you need that will maximize automation and collaboration

Step 5: Automate everything you can in workflows and implement a pattern where 'everything is code'


Securing the last mile

Finally, let's not forget security. DevOps promotes secure development lifecycles where security is in-built rather than tested separately. It requires security checks to be established across the software development lifecycle with a seamless feedback loop into development.


I think the best feature about DevOps is how it enables 'operation by design'. This means that DevOps builds resilience and testability while providing proactive monitoring and self-healing capabilities. Further, it ensures that all environments are stable. Development, quality assurance, user acceptance testing, and production remain consistent, giving you top-quality software.


With all its unique capabilities, I believe that DevOps is one of the key catalysts for digital transformation. Are there others? Let me know what you think.




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