A Q&A with Rajeev Sharma, Chief Solutions Officer at Ness Digital Engineering
What is Ness Digital Engineering’ view on DevOps?
Some of the technical executives at our clients are interested in cutting costs, so they ask us about what it takes to implement a DevOps strategy within their organizations. We need to explain that the DevOps approach or technique wasn’t developed as a cost-cutting measure, but instead as an overarching driver for building operational excellence. The idea is to remove the hand-off between the development team and the operations team and instead have one function be the engineering driver, which accelerates the process and reduces risk.The DevOps approach is a journey, and there’s a point in that journey when DevOps can add value to organizations. To get to that point, an organization needs to have the right structure in place, including a strong relationship between the two teams and an agile environment.
It typically starts with our clients asking, “We hear that DevOps works, so why aren’t we using that?” About 70-80% of the time, those clients are not good candidates for DevOps. So, we educate our clients on the pros and cons of DevOps and we provide our recommendations on what the given client needs to establish internally before considering implementation. DevOps is a way of managing production in a manner that needs a very small handoff and a team with composite skills. It’s an operational excellence construct that is optimal in some organizations, but it’s not right for every company to start with. Our job is to help our clients realize the full scope of what its required for DevOps success and to consult with them on other options, if the approach is not a fit for their organizations.
What type of organizations are candidates for DevOps implementation?
Good candidates have a strong, agile delivery team and a high degree of upstream (unit test) and downstream (build and deploy) automation. They need to be able to create a culture where the handoff between the development team and the downstream operations team can be seamless.
Can you provide an example of how a DevOps team operates?
The approach enables companies to operate successfully with smaller, tighter teams with more cross functional skills. People in the operations team need to have skills for testing and coding, along with other similar skills incorporated into the skillsets of the development team. For example, instead of having 20 employees on the operations team and 20 employees on the development team, the DevOps team might require 15-20 people with cross functional skills including problem solving and the ability to work under pressure, supported by automated tools and dashboards to capture metrics around the quality of DevOps. The team needs to be able to capitalize on automation, respond quickly and solve problems fast with a smooth hand-off between the Dev and the Ops folks in order for the approach to be valuable and to have an impact.
Please leave a comment or contact Ness if you’re interested in learning more about DevOps. Ness welcomes the opportunity to determine if DevOps is the right approach for your organization.