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Reaching Digital Excellence through DevOps

DevOps is an essential aspect of this digital transformation, allowing those quick wins.

The monumental Internet revolution and its associated digital transformation are rapidly changing business models in every economic sector. For a business to be successful in this digital transformation, the initiative should be part of a top-management strategic vision, mixing top-down and bottom-up approaches and including a training program across all Department layers of the company.

. Indeed, as described in our last World Quality Report 2016-2017, "speed to market is particularly critical for the development of digital platforms. Among the success factors are the ability to decide on the right things to develop in the shortest time possible without damaging the quality." The following image shows other effects on your company if it adopts DevOps.

 

You cannot buy DevOps. It is a cultural shift that pushes the collaboration and communication of software developers and other IT professionals. Typically, in a traditional organization, functions are separated, and cross-departmental integrations are rare. DevOps is promoting a feedback loop process to counter this trend and to develop communication and collaboration among development, QA, and IT operations.

 

 

 This feedback loop is composed of different pillars:

  • Code – Version control with a branching strategy of code merging and code review.
  • Build –  Continuous integration checks with automatic builders
  • Test – Test and results determine quality
  • Package – Artifact repository, package dependencies, Continuous Delivery
  • Release –Release approval workflow and Continuous Deployment
  • Configure – Automated Infrastructure configuration and management, Infrastructure as Code
  • Monitor – Applications performance monitoring, and end user experience

There are different levels of maturity based on these pillars.

Following Gene Kim’s (co-author of “The Pheonix Project”) three ways principles, incremental DevOps can be adopted through the following methods:

 

Systems Thinking

The emphasis is on the performance of the entire system (not just operations or development independently), as opposed to the fulfillment of a particular or single department or individual. Focus is also on all business value streams that are enabled by IT. This process works in a linear fashion and ensures that defects are never passed along.

 

Amplify Feedback Loops

The emphasis is on increasing feedback and understanding of all teams involved. The outcomes of this method will be improved communication to all customers, internal and external, which will shorten and amplify all feedback loops, and embed knowledge where and to whom it is needed.

 

Culture of Continual Experimentation and Learning

Two things are equally important: experimentation and practice. Embedding this in the working culture - where learning from taking risks, and repetition and practice are encouraged - is key to mastery. Risk taking and experimentation promote improvement, while mastery provides the skills required to revert any mistakes’.

If you come from a traditional functional organization, go step by step:

 

Break the virtual wall

The development department aims for flexibility and delivery speed while operational people care about continuity and stability, and usually, there is a wall between them. The goal is to break this wall and make them trust each other.

 

DevOps is not about methodology or tools, It’s a cultural shift

People are by nature resistant to change. DevOps breaks with all the traditional ways to understand IT delivery. DevOps, in a nutshell, is not about tools or even methodologies; it's about mindset. The first obstacle to overcome is that people from IT will feel that their playground has been invaded.

 

The threat,  from an IT pro’s point of view

Usually, the IT pro feels DevOps is going to add complexity to the pipeline. Writing scripts is like coding as they feel themselves shifting closer to the developer's playground. If an action or procedure could be automated, code it, and you will be able to run it every time without human errors. Invest in your IT Pro training and they will be available to deal with the greatest challenges.

 

The threat, from a Software Developer’s point of view

Sometimes the developer doesn’t care about how the application will be rolled out. How the infrastructure will support his solution, unit test, automated tests, and load test are topics related to the application’s quality. With DevOps, it’s time to get him involved in all these things.

 

Let’s summarize

DevOps is definitely and deeply improving deployment frequency.

It is also allowing a better lead time between fixes and faster mean time to recovery in the event of a new release’s crashing or otherwise disabling the current system.

Finally, the main benefits for the companies are the following:

  • Shorter time-to-market
  • Better customer satisfaction and product quality

These are improving the productivity and efficiency as well as the ability to build the right product through fast experimentation.

 

Sogeti Switzerland can help you in implementing such a strategy from testing to production deployment. We have a particular focus on ensuring high-quality standards throughout your core application building process.

Our DevOps offer covers both Java-oriented and .net-oriented solutions.

If you are a newbie, we will help you to adopt the DevOps culture. If you have already started some process automation, let us assess your deployment pipeline, and we will help you to increase your DevOps maturity level.

 

Luis Marcos - Practice Leader Digital, Mobile & IoT for the French speaking part

Julien Dubrez - Senior Account Manager

Ramon Torras - Digital Solutions Architect

todo todo
  • Pierre Schuffenecker
    Pierre Schuffenecker
    Practice Leader Digital, Mobile & IoT for the German Speaking Part
    +41 (0) 76 811 11 92
  • Luis Marcos
    Luis Marcos
    Practice Leader Digital, Mobile & IoT for the French Speaking Part
    +41 (0) 79 653 69 02