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The recent years have been transformational for future-thinking organizations in terms of moving away from legacy systems, and adopting a next-generation approach with DevOps. As enterprises constantly evolve to meet customer expectations, organizations realize that it would be strategy “hara-kiri” to have a myopic view of the IT function as merely a cost center. Enterprises that seek to stay ahead must continuously innovate with technology, proactively integrating DevOps into software deployment pipelines to scale up rapidly. The growing importance of DevOps has led to estimates that the global DevOps market size will reach USD 12.85 billion by 2025.
The phenomenal DevOps transformation has enabled organizations to bring sweeping changes to the status within IT departments, which is reflected in the seamless merger of development and operations teams. It marks a seismic shift in how the traditional IT landscape has embraced an inclusive approach, where there is cross-functional synergy between the two most critical functions in an enterprise. Key architectural decisions are enabled by bridging the gap between development and operations. Thus, at its core, DevOps is all about breaking down communication barriers and advocating a mature approach to working in a collaborative environment, geared towards wider business interests. Moreover, while shrinking the core, it is also gradually wiping out silos that could potentially debilitate and complicate organizational efficiency.
While change is no easy task, enterprises are increasingly embarking on the DevOps journey with the aim to revitalize their business strategy and stay ahead. Barclays, for instance, was compelled to face modern digital disruptors head-on when it waded into uncharted waters to adopt DevOps, to achieve innovation, agility, and efficiency. This broke new ground in the banking and financial services sector that is otherwise notoriously slow to adapt the next-generation technologies. Across industries, organizations have turned their attention to DevOps. Netflix, known to be an early adopter of innovative, cutting-edge technologies, introduced cloud-based DevOps best practices into its business to ensure the high quality and frequency of its automated processes and code releases. Similarly, the Walt Disney Company took a decidedly DevOps approach at the time when it struggled to scale its fragmented organizational structure that called for a more cohesive, result-oriented approach. Likewise, at Mphasis, we have successfully implemented DevOps for businesses that strive to stay ahead. Recently, we helped a leading brokerage firm automate its test environment, thereby accelerating new releases and dramatically reducing costs.
In another use case at Mphasis, we collaborated with Washington Post to transform their existing publishing architecture by integrating DevOps pipelines to achieve effective automation, continuous delivery and agility. The application of customized DevOps automation technology helped the publisher scale rapidly while building governance into the platform.
A DevOps solution was yet again deployed by our team when we collaborated with 3M Health Information Systems to create a fully automated continuous delivery pipeline, to reduce bottlenecks created by the manual provisioning of pipelines. The biggest benefit for the client was reflected in the time they saved that led to enhanced customer satisfaction.
We believe that DevOps is a gamechanger for enterprises because it empowers teams in the deployment and release process. Regardless of whether there are technology or non-technology members in the DevOps value chain, each team runs and monitors its own code while still working as a cohesive group. However, there is also a flip side: accountability. Highly evolved teams define their own monitoring criteria and know when to alert others in case a glitch in the processes stalls progress. As teams scale their expertise, they need to address pain points to avoid delayed releases. To counter such potential bottlenecks, a successful DevOps strategy concentrates on continuous integration and delivery practices that are built on automated deployment patterns.
Security and DevOps on the cloud
Further, with massive data breaches on the rise, robust security in the form of DevSecOps is integral to successful DevOps implementation. In other words, security can no longer be treated as an afterthought and should, instead, be brought to the forefront of the software development pipeline. The growing importance of DevSecOps is reflected in recent industry forecasts that expect the DevSecOps market to grow from USD 1.5 billion in 2018 to USD 5.9 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 31.2 percent during the forecast period.
The relevance of DevSecOps can be seen across industries. For instance, the healthcare industry, as a measure to safeguard against criminal data breaches, is gradually realizing the potential gains from DevSecOps initiatives. Using DevOps-as-a-Service enables the industry to comply with multiple regulations, and protect and optimally leverage the various types of data it collects.
While DevSecOps practices are important for datacenter-oriented software delivery and operations, it is more prominent in cloud environments. Consider the example of American Airlines that switched to the cloud by harnessing the power of DevOps and DevSecOps best practices after it acquired US Airways. Interestingly, the organization took this route primarily to facilitate a culture of trust between the IT teams of both airlines.
Besides writing code that automates testing and integrates security, through the entire deployment pipeline, DevOps also supports cloud migration. The flexibility gives an increased competitive edge to enterprises seeking to adopt DevOps.
Most significantly, cloud computing and DevOps share a symbiotic relationship. Shifting to the cloud enables immense scalability, configurability, and automation of infrastructure, improving the speed of software delivery. Such a synergy enables a dynamic development environment that propels enterprises to go-to-market faster.
Fostering a culture of change
Despite the aggressive adoption of DevOps across industries, there is still resistance to change. While American Airlines understood how DevOps could be a catalyst for ushering in cultural change within an organization, not all enterprises are ready to embrace this paradigm shift. Industry watchers opine that there could be several reasons for this reluctance. For one, more than a technology concept, DevOps is an ideology that demands a cultural shift to take place within an organization. Two, the accuracy of automated testing and provisioning code that is fed into the pipeline is a process-oriented barrier. Developers should be fluent in the process of integrating code to enable continuous delivery in the newly automated environment for it to happen seamlessly. Three, the complexity of a DevOps transformation could be daunting for both C-level executives as well as the employees participating in the change process. This is especially true among large enterprises that have heterogeneous technology environments. These enterprises might find it overwhelming to integrate and standardize tools and practices for optimum software delivery. To fully leverage DevOps, organizations need to eliminate undue delays and multiple handoffs in the process of software delivery. Most importantly, enterprises must demonstrate a commitment to a DevOps strategy.
C-level executives could play a significant role here, facilitating an environment that encourages broader organizational support and participation. For a strong DevOps culture to thrive, multiple teams across departments must come together to work toward the organization’s business goals. However, it cannot happen overnight. The company has to gradually transition to DevOps by phasing out legacy systems while simultaneously helping customers also to make the switch to an updated technology platform. The CIOs in highly evolved organizations have been able to bring about this positive change in mindset among their workforce by hiring, identifying, and training leaders across the board—leaders who champion DevOps.
However, despite these hurdles, it is clear that DevOps is not merely a passing industry fad. It frees organizations from the shackles of technical debt, building on lean principles, to facilitate truly agile organizations that respond rapidly to evolving customers’ requirements.
For organizations that are on the cusp of DevOps transformation, it’s important that they create a culture of continuous learning across teams. Only a truly collaborative spirit based on the bedrock of trust, empowerment, and autonomy can help an enterprise innovate with tech and adopt an agile DevOps approach, thereby truly unleashing the power of next-generation technology that enables tomorrow’s organizations to stay ahead.
This point of view article originally published on AmericanBanker.com has been shared by Nitin Gokhale - Vice President & Head, Mphasis, and Bill Santos – President, Mphasis Stelligent. American Banker is the essential resource for senior executives in banking and financial services, keeping its users updated on vital developments and focusing sharply on their most important concerns — innovation, transformation, and disruption; technology, regulation, and reform. Financial industry professionals turn to American Banker, every day and throughout the day, to stay maximally informed — drilling down on complex issues, keeping up with breaking news, and downloading research and data.