Sweeping transformations aren't the only area where organizations need change agents. Here's how to find and nurture people who are eager to make incremental changes every day.
10 ways DevOps helps digital transformation
DevOps plays an essential role in digital transformation - from identifying patterns to uncovering new revenue streams. In fact, experts say it's hard to have one without the other
6. DevOps breaks down silos
Jeff Fried, director of product management, InterSystems: "Development teams are oftentimes the masterminds behind any digital transformation initiative. They build and support the architecture that makes enterprise-wide digital transformation a reality – whether that is developing an application for remote collaboration or maintaining the infrastructure to ensure successful data storage and sharing. Any successful digital transformation rollout also comes with an accelerated pace of innovation and requirements for the on-demand updating and development of new tools. As a result, development teams must adopt a DevOps mentality, which will help power their digital transformation initiative by enabling team members to test and troubleshoot quickly, collaborate across the organization, and embrace experimentation, ultimately driving innovation.
One of the biggest ways DevOps fuels digital transformation is by breaking down organizational silos. Successful digital transformation initiatives require adoption across the entire organization, but it’s common for traditional business practices to get in the way, such as annual planning cycles or slow processes. By breaking down these silos, development teams can gain better insight into what is and isn’t working across the organization, which enables swifter improvements and creates a culture that embraces the changes that come with digital transformation."
7. DevOps extracts new revenue streams
Gur Steif, president, digital business automation, BMC: "In a climate where speed to market is an existential requirement, DevOps is one component of a technology strategy that must be considered. DevOps drastically improves agility, allowing extremely fast response to changing requirements or market conditions.
No matter how you define 'digital transformation,' the 'digital' is fundamental, meaning the transformation relies on leveraging technology in new and/or more effective ways to achieve business goals. DevOps represents an evolved way of working, across the entire value chain, for organizations to bring new services to the market and to extract efficiencies – and even entire new revenue streams – that previously were inconceivable."
8. DevOps enables continuous and reliable change
Dave Ehringer, senior architect, secure DevOps platforms, Liberty Mutual: "As we look at most digital transformations, they’re driven by many things such as the desire to enable the business to learn, iterate and move faster. They look to embrace the cloud and to modernize their architectures with approaches such as microservices. They look to reach broader user bases and achieve greater scale. If you don’t have process, culture, and discipline that allows you to continually and reliably introduce change, which is what DevOps can help enable, it isn’t possible to achieve these goals. There is a lot of complexity that comes along with cloud and with operating microservices. If you don’t have strong or shared alignment across development and operations, your chances of success is limited. DevOps principles and culture are the fuel for enabling these types of transformations for most organizations."
9. DevOps makes customers happier
Mirco Hering, global DevOps practice lead, Accenture: "Large-scale manual efforts and fragmented delivery teams optimized for cost worked when systems evolved slowly and the systems themselves were large applications. In the new digital world, speed and reactiveness is more important than control. DevOps creates the capabilities both from a technology perspective as well as an organizational perspective to deal with the increasing demands in regards to speed and complexity.
There are three main ways that DevOps enables digital transformation. The first one is that it makes the delivery of systems more reliable, cheaper, and faster. This allows organizations to evolve their systems quicker and reduce the waste in the process. Second, it improves the overall service quality to stakeholders. Advanced monitoring and remediation methods mean that problems are often found before the customer notices or that the system degrades in a way that only marginally impacts the customer. The third and perhaps most profound way is that it allows organizations to build better systems.
DevOps organizations are structured for speed with product teams able to react quickly to new information. This new information can come directly from production through telemetry systems that allow organizations to evaluate their functional experiments. And because of the speed of delivery and the decoupled digital architecture, we can run many experiments at the same time, creating systems that make customers happier and happier."
10. DevOps supports rapid experimentation
Ben Grinnell, managing director and global head of technology & digital, North Highland: "A big aspect of digital transformation is transforming into a company that gains competitive advantage by experimenting on its customers in the market, learning from their engagement and revising the services they interact with faster than their competition. As customer interactions and learning from them is increasingly digitally enabled, the key enablers of competitive advantage become:
- The ability for the business to understand/interpret feedback from digital interactions quickly,
- The ability to design changes based on this feedback to improve the product / service,
- The speed at which the business can reliably implement those ideas and get them out to market to start learning again.
Essentially, DevOps enables the three bullets above, which enables digital transformation. Often this happens in pockets in large companies, so the ability to truly transform depends on the ability to scale."
[ Read also: The ultimate DevOps hiring guide - a free guide for practical advice, analysis, and statistics on the state of the DevOps hiring market. ]