When initiating your Cloud journey, simply investing in Cloud technologies is not enough. For many organizations, silo mentality and outdated traditional working methods stand in the way of realizing the full potential of Cloud. If this is the case in your organization, DevOps might be the way forward.
While "Cloud" and "digital transformation" have become prominent buzzwords, unavoidable even in boardrooms, many organizations still lack one decisive factor paramount for Cloud success: a work culture that matches the Agile tools.
- Cloud is not merely about technology investments, because the tools alone will not get you far. When companies increase their use of Cloud as part of their digital transformation, a cultural change is necessary to realize the full potential of the Cloud investment. Unfortunately, many companies have overlooked or misjudged this factor, says Mathias Blichert Christensen, Director for Cloud DevOps services at NNIT.
The challenge is that the traditional linear project methods that prevail in many companies are rarely a good match for Cloud-based development projects.
- You can invest in as many Agile and effective Cloud solutions as you want, but if you try to implement them by utilizing, for example, waterfall methods, you are back to square one. If lengthy processes and approval procedures dominate your organizational setup, you will miss out on the agility that was the intention behind the investment in the first place.
Cloud and DevOps: the perfect match
If you recognize this challenge in your organization, you are probably asking the question: how do we solve it? The answer is… DevOps, a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). DevOps is a partnership between the two departments and aims to break the silo mentality.
- Breaking down the silos between development and operations makes the process from development to implementation much smoother. DevOps allows for faster response times in a team that is, for example, building a new infrastructure in the Cloud where it is important that they can move from coding to production in no time. For this reason, DevOps is an ideal way to ensure better ROI from your Cloud investments, says Blichert Christensen.
Fundamentally, it is a matter of bringing together culture, processes, and technologies:
- DevOps is a method for optimizing processes through technology and automation toolchains. But in order to do so, the culture needs to be aligned. When supporting technologies with streamlined work processes, you create the best foundation for improved efficiency, Blichert Christensen explains.
The organization must follow suit
Yet, that is easier said than done for many companies.
- DevOps may be very different from the way you are used to working. Many organizations are locked in silos, utilizing more traditional work methods, and for them, especially the employees outside of the development department, the DevOps mindset is a challenging paradigm shift, Blichert Christensen explains.
And according to him, that shift is often a sore point:
- First and foremost, you must realize that to succeed with Cloud you likely need a new mindset, and not just in the development department. It is not enough that the initiative to work with DevOps comes from the developers. They also need to have the mandate to ensure change. It has to be a management priority if DevOps is to be entrenched in the organization.
Think big, start small
DevOps should not necessarily replace all waterfall projects and other linear work processes. And some organizations have already come a long way towards finding the right balance, while for others, DevOps will be a completely new undertaking.
- For this reason, it is important to start your journey internally and evaluate what makes sense for your organization. If you develop web applications, you are probably already working with DevOps. Other organizations, however, may be less mature. If this is the case in your organization, we advise that you start small and focus on creating some initial success stories. Once you've got a firm grasp of the requirements, you can scale it to the rest of the organization, Blichert Christensen ends.
Need help to get going with DevOps?
At NNIT, we have vast experience assisting organizations of all kinds on their Cloud journeys and we fully appreciate just how effective a contribution DevOps makes to achieving digital transformation goals. If you would like to know more about how your organization can benefit from DevOps, do not hesitate to reach out.