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Are you DevOps Ready? Part 1


The Digital Transformation is bringing a lot of challenges for IT decision makers. One of the main challenges is trying to keep up and deliver on the business expectations and requirements for software solutions to address problems or create innovation. The sheer volume of projects and time constraints are overwhelming IT decision makers, their organisations and their ability to deliver.

This does not only apply to new development or applications, but also to existing applications where users demands for constant change, modifications and development creates a continuous flow of required development and configuration modifications. One way of increasing the delivery capacity of the IT organisation as a whole can be to adopt a DevOps style of work to specify, design, develop, maintain, deploy and host applications. A DevOps style of work have been adopted by several large organisations both in Scandinavia and abroad. Evidence points at working DevOps style increases the performance in several important areas of the above processes and increases IT’s ability to deliver on business requirements for Digital Transformation related capabilities.


What can be achieved with DevOps?

So there is a lot of talk of DevOps and some have already been working DevOps style for some time. What can be achieved then and how can we benefit from this approach to deliver IT related capabilities? 

Well….according to the ”State of DevOps report of 2016” (presented by Puppet and DORA – DevOps Research & Assessment) actually quite a lot. In the 2016 survey - 4,600 tech professionals from around the world answered to questions related to software development, maintenance and hosting. Some of the key metrics from the survey shows that the throughput of high performing IT organisations (skilled at a DevOps style of work) massively outperforms that of low performers (have not implemented a successful DevOps style of work yet). Among other things high-performing IT organisations do 200 more frequent deploys, they recover 24 times faster from failures, has a 3 times lower change failure rate and has 2,555 times shorter lead times.

Furthermore….a DevOps style of work makes quality everyones concern and improving quality becomes everyone’s job. This have resulted in that high performers spend 22% less time on unplanned work and rework. Working with DevOps also means incorporating security into every step of the process. This have meant that high performers spend 50% less time on remediating security issues than low performers. A slightly more surprising figure, but increasingly important, shows that employees in high performing organisations are 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organisation to a friend as a great place to work. With the current challenges to attract and keep IT professionals, employee satisfaction have always been important but its significance will increase even more in the years to come. Maybe DevOps can play a part in that aspect as well.


How to implement DevOps?

Judging from the above referrenced study, there seems to be many arguments for starting a DevOps initiative within your organisation. That immediately raises a lot of questions – Where do we start? - What is important? - Organisation/Culture/Technology? - How to measures the impact of the initiative?

Actually there are many aspects to consider and decide upon when implementing a DevOps initiative. To start with, such an initiative is not primarily a tech project, but rather a matter of establishing a new culture, methodology and smooth process for software development that spans from users to developers and operations. With a DevOps initiative, the objective is to make everybody work together without silos, bottlenecks and other obstacles that delays processes of the traditionally organised IT departments.

In order to achieve this it is important to choose the right tooling to enable this way of working, but it is equally (if not even more) important to establish an organisation and culture of cooperation that sets the foundation for joint objectives and targets.  

Redpill Linpro have been working DevOps style for quite some time already. Both with internal projects and as experts in customer projects on site. Through these projects we have gathered experiences and knowledge on what works and what does not work when starting a DevOps initiative. We have also established a reference architecture that can be used to assist organisations with quick starting the DevOps journeys. This architecture can be deployed on site, in the cloud or in a hybrid mode.

We have packaged or experiences, tooling, best practices and reference architecture in a model to assist organisations with a kick start for their DevOps initiatives. We call this model the ”Redpill Linpro DevOps Ready model through CAMS” as the acronym CAMS stands for many of things that are important in a DevOps style of work.

In a series of blog posts with a weekly cadence we will present this model and the steps included to guide your DevOps initiative. We look forward to reconnect for the coming blog posts of this topic.  



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Written by Fredrik Svensson