“Devops is not a goal, but a never-ending process of continual improvement.” – Jez Humble
Neither tool nor process, DevOps is a cultural revolution with 50% of organisations now implementing the methodology, according to Forrester. However ‘implementing’ is a broad term and its meaning differs greatly in the context of the organisation’s maturity. There are three patterns, as outlined by ITBrief: DevOps Lite, Ops-Centric Devops and Dev-Centric Devops.
With Government seeking insight on how DevOps and Agile tools can help them drive efficiency, productivity and deliver greater value for public money, it’s important to be aware of where your department sits on the maturity scale to develop a comprehensive strategy for implementation.
Three key indicators can help you assess where your organisation sits in DevOps maturity; culture, tools and skills, and budget.
DevOps is often described as a culture in itself, with “increased collaboration between development and operations teams, a sense of shared responsibility for application development and operations, no silos between these teams, and a high degree of team autonomy” IT Brief says.
What are referred to as ‘DevOps Lite’ organisations are trialing the idea to see if it’s compatible with their goals. While development and operations teams are still likely to be involved, ingrained processes and cultural resistance often prevents them from truly committing which results in continued siloes.
In cases of true adoption, organisations go a step further with infrastructure and operations staff with strong infrastructure backgrounds leading the DevOps effort. “I&O staff engage development teams to share the responsibility of looking after a system over the course of its lifetime.” These teams have a higher level autonomy and the agility associated with making new changes or fixing issues swiftly.
A truly reformed DevOps organisation features thorough collaboration between development and operations teams, with the DevOps teams being part of the larger application team and adopting cultural viewpoints from developers. With shared responsibility of operating their applications, these teams can easily identify ways to simplify deployment and maintain visibility of applications in production.
2. Tools and skill set
“Automation is key to the success of DevOps.”
With automation comes reduced friction by eliminating manual handovers between development and operations.
DevOps-specific tools are often not found in DevOps Lite companies who instead attempt the transformation with existing capabilities. This limits their ability to deliver applications quickly and their application monitoring is compromised.
While Ops-Centric Devops organisations have started to realise the benefits of advanced automation, they “still rely heavily on legacy tools and technology to manage a wide variety of applications.”
In comparison, Dev-Centric DevOps organisations employ a variety of tools to achieve automation. “They have developed a repeatable and reliable process for releasing and deploying software. They use enterprise editions that have advanced features and premium support from the vendor.”
This results in speedy application builds, rapid deployment, streamlined infrastructure and application monitoring.
As DevOps Lite organisations are trialing the approach, they usually don’t have a dedicated budget for DevOps software and tools. Their biggest resources invested are manpower and time.
“Ops-Centric DevOps companies have started to invest in advanced automation and orchestration techniques, especially in tools that enable I&O staff to automate all aspects of infrastructure operations including deployment, configuration, and monitoring.”
Dev-Centric DevOps companies prioritises spending money on staff upskilling to ensure they are competent with the latest technology and systems and “have a dedicated budget to invest in enterprise-grade processes, tooling, and team structures.”
Where does your organisation sit?
The DevOps & Agile Digital Transformation for Government conference, running from 26 – 28 November in Canberra, will bring together leaders of government administration to discuss DevOps and Agile digital transformation strategies. Attendees will learn how these can be used effectively to drive greater efficiency, productivity, deliver greater value for public money and increase government’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to changing ICT infrastructure needs.