In organizations of the past, developers were known to build new software and applications and then throw it over the fence to leave the operations team to figure out how to deploy, monitor, and manage it. On the flip side, operations teams were seen as highly bureaucratic and risk-averse while being resistant to change.
While developers are trying to create and improve applications as quickly as possible, operations teams are doing everything to keep the lights on and prevent major shifts from occurring in the environment. This longstanding disconnect between developers and operations has resulted in inefficiencies, lost cycle times, and has slowed down the speed of innovation.
DevOps, a business-driven approach to deliver solutions using agile methods, collaboration and automation offers a solution to this longstanding challenge. According to Gartner research, DevOps will succeed when both Dev and Ops align to collaborate and better understand the business value each brings to the table. Gartner reports that changing behaviors and the culture within an organization are fundamental to the success of any IT project. If not, Gartner states that 90 percent of organizations attempting to use DevOps without specifically addressing their cultural foundations will fail.
Karen Dosanjh, OSI Digital’s VP, Marketing, chats with Tien Nguyen, OSI Digital’s Chief Architecture leader, to understand why bringing Dev and Ops together makes good sense for both business and IT.
Q1 - How can building a DevOps culture lead to a competitive advantage for an organization?
Tien: DevOps is intended to dismantle cultural bureaucracy and conflicting priorities by bringing operations into the development cycle which can help companies achieve harmony and improve process automation, implement better procedures and refine workflows. According to 2017 DevOps Survey of Practice, high-performance organizations are two times more likely to exceed profitability, market share and productivity goals. These same organizations will deploy into production 46 times more frequently and have recovery times that are 96 times faster than those without a strong DevOps culture firmly in place. That’s a substantial and measurable impact.
Q2 - What are the principles that a performance-oriented culture needs to possess in order to drive digital transformation?
Tien: Organizations need to stop focusing on “perfect” documentation and focus rather on stronger interpersonal communication and driving business value. This agile approach values: high cooperation, an environment where everyone rallies around common goals, where risks are shared, and where failure inevitably leads to inquiry and learning for future growth. Another core principle is having the flexibility to change requirements even in late-stage development for the greater good of the customer. Performance-oriented cultures embrace simplicity in design and architecture and highly-value the ability to deliver working software quickly and more frequently.
Q3 - How can organizations start building a DevOps mindset and culture now?
Tien: I would recommend that organizations start by identifying and connecting the right people within the organization to help influence alignment across the company. Then it’s all about integrating the best-in-class tools into one cohesive software delivery platform to help collaborate, build, test, deploy and run software more efficiently and effectively. Lastly, to scale quickly, organizations should also look for a trusted strategic partner and solution provider whose core competency is DevOps and can transfer their deep knowledge to your team. This will be instrumental in accelerating time to market with established DevOps skills that enable your journey to digital transformation.
Q4 - How can DevOps help businesses be more competitive in peak periods like Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season?
Tien: DevOps enables online retail giants like Amazon, Walmart and Macy’s to deploy changes into production over a 1000 times in one single day based on machine learning and artificial intelligence to maximize their sales volume. The organizations that embrace DevOps are realizing the value of market capitalization more rapidly than those who do not. When you have the ability to deploy more frequently and conduct A/B testing not just once, but many times, you can shift applications based on your customers’ unique experiences and preferences. In essence, you can give customers more of what they want in a one-stop-shop environment to create a faster time to transaction. Getting info out to customers early and evolving the software quickly will enable any business to capitalize on the digital era.
Q5 - What’s OSI Digital’s experience in the DevOps space?
OSI Digital’s DevOps as a Service revolutionizes the way organizations approach software development by focusing on quality and continuous application development for the modern enterprise. Our DevOps services enable data-driven businesses to keep up with growing demands for performance-oriented software solutions and mobile applications that are both on-premises and cloud-based. OSI’s best-of-breed methodologies accelerate digital transformation to streamline communication, collaboration and processes in the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC) to improve quality and speed up software delivery. The leadership that OSI has demonstrated in this space is pretty exciting.