Enterprise Software applications enable functions in organizations to deliver outcomes that help run businesses efficiently. Application development and maintenance have to be aligned to the constantly changing needs of the business functions. While managing diverse IT applications – from implementing new software to fixing a bug, the process involved is crucial for the turnaround. DevOps, is one such idea that brings Development and Operations together and streamlines IT Software services management, which in turn help business functions deliver better.
DevOps is an extended agile thought process where greater emphasis is placed on relevant stakeholder involvement throughout the software development lifecycle and operations.
In the Global IT applications management setup, we have user requests flowing in at scale, and we need to deliver almost immediately, without compromising on quality, time and scope.
The alignment of Developers, QA resources, Infrastructure Operations team members and the business functions users at all relevant stages is essential in order to ensure the success of DevOps.
Some highlights of the process adopted for Global IT
- Code, environment and configuration are in one place
- Consistent (automated) release process performed by the Release Manager
- Faster release cycle, achieved by collocating teams of Developers, Testers, Release Manager, Infrastructure, Operations
There are arguments that DevOps is not just a skill or methodology; it calls for a culture that needs to be built, and organizations have to be tuned towards this. The culture that needs to be driven is that of transparency, ownership, collaboration and speed of delivery. The change in culture calls for greater effort and involvement from multiple functions.
Culture in this context refers to a set of behaviors. Hence, adopting a DevOps culture requires Developers, Testers, Release Managers, Operations team members and users to adjust to behaviors suited for DevOps methodology, with a corresponding change in mindset. As is the case with any change there is bound to be resistance to the change. However, the benefits that DevOps has to offer to teams involved is the incentive for change.
DevOps cuts across several areas and therefore there are tool-chains of tools. Tools span across the following areas of the DevOps lifecycle. Tools exists both in open-source and premium mode in all the areas mentioned above.
While there are numerous tools available for the DevOps lifecycle, there are specific tools that are in use based on the application landscape deployed in the organizations. For Global IT applications teams, which often have their ERP on SAP, we have successfully used SAP Solution Manager as a tool that provides a single place for development, build, release and change management.
For teams that work on open source technologies and infrastructure frameworks, the most common and popular tools are Docker, Puppet and Vagrant.
Gartner has noted that the market for DevOps toolsets hit $2.3 billion in 2015, which is a 21.1% increase compared to the previous year. The firm predicted that in 2016, we will see an evolution of DevOps from a “niche strategy employed by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25% of Global 2000 organizations.”
Here are the key drivers for the adoption of DevOps:
- Suitable because of emergence and prominence of cloud-based solutions
- Improved response time by collaboration between Development & Operations teams
- Improved turnaround for business function via Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery
- Overall IT spend reduction via a consolidated view of IT costs for Management team