Once achievable only for the Facebooks and Netflixes of the world, DevOps is going mainstream in 2018. But is the C-suite ready?
According to a recent report from Forrester, executives and DevOps practitioners are on very different pages when it comes to strategy, customer experience, and progress. Consider this: more than 60 percent of executives believe their organization’s DevOps plans have been implemented and will even expand in the new year. However, more than 50 percent of DevOps pros who are in the weeds and working through their pipelines every day disagree.
What’s leading to this disconnect?
During the last year, developers have begun to encounter three major transformations causing a shift left to make sure DevOps implementations are successful, despite also adding additional pressures to their daily responsibilities:
- As the sophisticated sensors, AR and location/camera-based app use cases increase, there is a rise in digital engagement across platforms, meaning more to measure, test, and develop.
- The growing need for faster turnarounds of new releases puts added pressure on DevOps pros to speed up the process for continuous deployment (CD), leading to the growth of continuous testing and continuous integration (CI).
- The ever-changing technical landscape brings more tools (commercial and open-source) and technologies to the market to enhance DevOps adoption.
[ Want DevOps advice from other CIOs? See our comprehensive resource, DevOps: The IT Leader's Guide. ]
While the C-suite’s view on the current state of DevOps is optimistic, it is possible to get everyone on the same page in the new year. To do so will require aligning executives’ objectives with DevOps practitioners’ realities, starting first and foremost with setting realistic, attainable goals based on happenings within the industry to show how DevOps can help, not hinder the process.
To ensure success, developers and CIOs need to work together on these three areas in 2018:
Go back to basics
Today, most developers rely on legacy systems to support different processes throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Legacy architectures mean legacy testing methods – and those aren’t nearly as versatile or elastic as they need to be for today’s agile workflows and DevOps processes.
To keep up with the pace of software and app releases, developers need to churn out and automate different test scenarios quickly and in real-time with continuous testing; they don’t have months, weeks or even days to test, analyze and update code before a new release. Shifting to automation and migrating to more modern platforms will give teams the flexibility they need.
[ Read our related article by ServiceNow CIO Chris Bedi, How automation helped my IT team make time for innovation. ]
In the new year, executives and developers must focus on modernizing their architectures, especially as new technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality begin to pick up steam. When planning budgets for 2018, executives should consider designating a portion of it for ripping and replacing their legacy architectures.
Keep up with the cloud
One of the first steps to updating legacy systems begins with moving to the cloud model. To ensure quality throughout the SDLC, more than 95 percent of testing should be automated. Developers need stable development and testing environments, which requires a shift to the cloud. After all, unstable dev/test environments hinder DevOps success.
The cloud typically yields much higher uptime than any other in-house lab or server. While the move can be daunting, the return is astronomical for everyone throughout the company, from IT to R&D.
Jump on the IoT bandwagon… sparingly
IoT is something all executives want to talk about and focus on internally within their organizations. While IoT will continue to be a big focus for many DevOps professionals in 2018, it shouldn’t be for all.
Of the different vertical markets, the financial services, healthcare, retail, and automotive markets should consider advanced IoT use cases to optimize their pipeline. For the rest of the market though, adoption will be slow – and those organizations should instead focus on optimizing their pipeline in other ways, ensuring things such as their test automation frameworks are in top-notch shape.
Bonus tip: Carefully consider the future of AI
Looking at today’s top headlines, it may seem like everyone in the industry is talking about AI – and AI only – and the C-suite wants to get in on the conversation. However, most organizations have yet to determine how DevOps will be used to increase AI in the enterprise. Instead of demanding a plan of action to tackle AI in the new year, DevOps pros and executives should work together to determine how they can best incorporate AI into their DevOps strategies.
My recommendation? Consider how it can help to bolster analytics automation.
For executives and DevOps pros, working together on these priorities will encourage greater collaboration and better alignment on DevOps in 2018.
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Eran, Very nice article. Than you for writing this. There is a lot of pressure on developers to deliver fast in DevOps environment. While testing can avoid functional defects, I was wondering what you think about keeping the code quality high. Can you please share your thought on whether this will have any impact on code quality? if yes, how one can mitigate this risk