Brian Day, Director of Solution Development for Logicalis US, looks at the business benefits of DevOps in the cloud and concludes that CxOs should be making sure their teams are addressing this important area.
As IT becomes more responsive to ever-changing business needs, the DevOps (development and operations) philosophy – more of an organisational cultural change than a complete development framework – is taking centre stage as an efficient means by which to support agile IT service delivery.
That is backed up by findings from the Computerworld Forecast 2016 survey. Some 44% of respondents said they plan to embrace DevOps in 2016, up from 37% in 2015 – an upward trend that is perhaps driven by some of the benefits the cloud has brought to DevOps.
For one thing, DevOps in the cloud has greatly enhanced the development process for developers, enabling them to deliver a steady stream of smaller releases in significantly less time.
But it doesn’t end there. Indeed, a cloud-based DevOps approach to IT service delivery is packed with business benefits, which in turn enable competitive advantage. Here are my top eight reasons to look again at DevOps:
- Speeds up releases: Where energy was once focused on one big release, today the cloud and a proactive, collaborative DevOps environment make it possible to deliver a constant stream of small releases.
- Automates processes: DevOps in the cloud takes previously manual tasks – building environments and executing tests – and automates them for a more continuous integration process.
- Removes IT barriers: Cloud-based solutions allow for faster provisioning of environments, using a templated catalogue rather than building, testing and producing environments in house.
- Accelerates Testing: Cloud-based DevOps processes allow the design, build and testing of smaller pieces of functionality – often simultaneously – rather than the previous time-consuming waterfall method of testing large systems one stage at a time.
- Encourages testing first, not last: Rather than evaluating and checking code at the end of the process, developers can write automated test cases prior to building the code.
- Promotes planning ahead: In the past code was built before involving operations and thinking about infrastructure needs – this can now be done much earlier in the process.
- Helps manage the infrastructure: Where your IT team once controlled infrastructure components individually, today’s software-defined solutions make it possible to managed the infrastructure as a whole using dedicated software tools.
- Fosters better collaboration: With the right tools in place, development and operations teams can collaborate more easily and deliver better results faster.
Given these benefits, and the flexibility that the cloud has brought to DevOps processes, CxOs should be asking their managers if their approaches to IT service delivery is really delivering competitive advantage.