DevOps – Paving the future paths for the biggest organizations

By: Gopinath Chigakkagari, Group Program Manager- Visual Studio Team Services, Microsoft

Industries today stand on the verge of transformation as events across the arena have forced reductions in budget allocation and resources. Organizations face greater struggles to maintain consistent value production despite these restrictions as mandated by the industry. The current state of the industry thus requires viable practices to be employed in order to maintain efficiency levels. Agile and DevOps practices combined with cloud services represent one of the most optimum solutions in the contemporary scenario.

Defining DevOps

DevOps can be defined as ‘the union of people, processes, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our end users.’ It involves teams working together with a common understanding of all the processes involved in areas such as deployment, handoff, testing and others using the right set of tools. The focus, hence, is solely on achieving continuous delivery to donate value to customers.

Few years ago, DevOps was just a concept but now it is a reality and IT industry is modernizing itself by adopting this methodology. While DevOps approach alone is not a savior; it is a practice for teams to consistently deliver customer value. By utilizing DevOps as a methodology, organizations gain the potential to collaborate internally and deliver insights to their customers in an efficient manner.

A recent Puppet Labs report shows that companies that have implemented DevOps strategies are able to spend 29% more time on new work, such as new features or code. They also have faster lead times and three times lower change failure rates. In addition to this, they have also registered better employee loyalty, thus making DevOps deployment a truly viable option to ensure consistent delivery.

The Road to DevOps Transformation
Automation at every stage forms one of the critical support aspects of this transformation, such as automating building processes, tests and deployments. Additionally, collaboration forms another important aspect as cross-department exchanges are crucial to facilitating information transfer at every stage. Finally, DevOps transformation must be driven by a top down form of executive ownership, in conjunction with its collaborative approach. Teams must learn to work together in order to ensure the continuous delivery of better software, better quality and consistent customer value.

The market today contains many tools that enable successful DevOps transformation to enable organizations to utilize advantages with minimum downtime. Products such as Visual Studio Team Services and Azure Cloud Services help remove barriers between teams and encourage collaboration which leads to an improvement in value flow towards customers. In fact, many enterprises have already achieved successful Agile and DevOps transformation.

Some examples of the effect of DevOps transformation are given below:

· One of the top oil & gas firms in the world, Royal Dutch Shell, accelerated software development to fuel global energy production. Johann Krebber, the company’s IT CEO stated that the technology enabled Shell to deliver new features in a matter of weeks, instead of the industry standard of 6 months. Shell achieved this by transforming software development using cloud and modern practices.

· Microsoft Bing began a long-term journey towards building the largest and most efficient search engine in the world. One of their major steps forward was the implementation of a continuous delivery system that helped move their month-long deployment systems to daily ones, cutting down on review time from several days to a few minutes using their six worldwide data centers.
While many challenges lie on the road to industry success, DevOps and Agile represent avenues that could potentially lead organizations to a new era of efficiency and performance through collaboration and innovative technology.

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