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Adopting DevOps Within Your Enterprise
Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place
In a mature enterprise, the development and maintenance of software systems and products rely on processes that have grown over the years. These process can be fairly detailed, manual and rigid, but the fact is they work!
DevOps preaches collaboration and continuous improvement to better meet business goals. Often, continuous improvement means changing culture, processes and automating tasks where possible. But in a mature enterprise, doing any of these is expensive and time consuming. The fact that these efforts often have no predictable outcomes of success which makes it hard for the business to sponsor it.
The business continues to push IT teams to deliver software and keep up with market needs, while expecting stability and consistent service at the best price possible. The translates to IT teams working even harder and stressing age old processes to the point of breaking.
Your (Suggested) Plan of Action
Start slowly and steadily. Here are some suggestions on what you can do.
Critique Your Processes
Take a step back and map your portfolio of applications, and their release processes.
Processes: Where do the dependencies lie? Are there any commonalities or redundant steps in the processes? Can they be consolidated?
Bottlenecks: Where do the bottlenecks lie and what’s causing them? How expensive is each bottleneck in terms of idle resources downstream, delayed time to market, quality, and other key metrics based on your situation? Can they be ironed-out by adding more resources or refining processes?
Look for a prioritized list of small changes that you can make to introduce big improvements.
Explore Available Tools
With an eye on increasing agility, the right tools can help automate repetitive and time consuming processes. The resulting benefit is measurable in increased velocity and reduced human errors. Consider as much of your application portfolio while carrying out the process of tooling and automation. This way you avoid ending up with tool glut, and can consistently apply your approach across the entire portfolio.
Drive Cultural Change
Communicate your initiatives and successes to all the stakeholders in IT and business. Start a newsletter. Celebrate small wins. This will help popularize DevOps related efforts within your organization, help garner interest amongst your peers, and gain support from the business.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day :)
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