The future of DevOps

While DevOps has been talked about a lot, many of its applications and benefits remain uncertain. Wayen , Chief Strategy Officer, Parasoft explains the need, applications and benefits of DevOps and outlines the road ahead for it. Wayen explains that DevOps has to be taken from a process enabling technology to a business enabling technology. The success of DevOps largely depends on how well the organization will receive and perceive it.

Explaining the need of DevOps, Wayen establishes that the risks, cost and Quality parameters of project are at an all-time high. The cost of failures is higher than they had ever been. He cites an example of people in older generation who accepted failures with ease. Restarting an application that was frozen, time delays, bugs were acceptable. But today expectations are getting higher and people don’t like to get stuck anywhere. With online availability of options the switching cost is low for customer. Therefore an agile initiative like DevOps becomes a must for survival.

However, the process is not smooth. The success of DevOps depends on the adaptability of Devops by people and identification of its need. Different phases of its acceptance have to be identified and facilitated. If it works then it gets broader acceptance. Citing examples of success of organizations that had adopted and had been using it successfully build confidence in new adopters. The owner can also smooth the process around it. Because the concept is new, people are trying to realize what DevOps means to them. They are trying to identify pieces and components that will morph into a process that will work best for them.

Benefits of DevOps include but are not limited to faster deliveries, better collaboration, and valuable conversation leading to increased quality. Better collaboration leads to reduced risks. With Devops, developers are able to address complexities in an effective way. It also helps in early recognition of the failures.

Talking about the future of DevOps, Wayen expressed the need for new tools in coming days. DevOps requires measurement. Measurement requires observation at specific points in the process. Wayen recommends that for DevOps to succeed it is imperative to understand the collaborative process upfront. Speed is critical. Speed attunes to quality. It needs to be brought in places where human interaction will not give accuracy. Getting a metric and then adapting it into the process will help.

However, the road to future is not free of hurdles. Issues are many beginning with the issues in awareness and knowledge of DevOps. The biggest challenge is cultural acceptance and organization’s reaction to change. Wayen recommends that organizations accept the objective and bring everyone in line. They must have a design, sponsorship, honest communication and everybody should understand why the change is being done. Once it is understood then measures and guidelines can be introduced. Talking about the approach, Wayen rejects the bottom up approach while adopting DevOps. He says DevOps gets started on Top Down way from business objectives. The owner must first identify what the business is trying to achieve.

Matrix are absolutely necessary for DevOps. Organizations need to ask value “Is the risk associated with release acceptable”. This will help the Developers in knowing the risks that they have to know. They need to understand with certainty if that risk is acceptable. DevOps processes are always qualitative, well defined and automatically measured that restrict and expose the risks to a considerable level.

Adopting DevOps doesn’t mean doing away with ITIL. It is a way of blending which is driven by the culture of the organization and with what they can achieve. They need to identify the processes that need to be put in place. Areas associated with most risks should be outlined under one head. Areas where more creativity or speed required can have some other head.

Major challenges include the question whether to Outsource or in-house DevOps. Wayen suggests a Collaborative approach, identification of correct people and replacement of people reluctant to change if required. Promote appetite for change by letting people adapt it without expecting too much and taking an incremental logical approach. Organizations that can best align the process change with business agenda end up winning by bringing value in place. The change should be incremental transforming the organization. Wayen outlines the adaption process in five steps: Establishing a vision, creating a process, transforming the process, measuring and adapting.

Talking about the need and future of DevOps, Wayen says that Parasoft has 7000 global customers. The number of organizations seeking DevOps is increasing everyday. DevOps is very logical next step for evolution of software development.

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