Improving your business processes is an important aspect of digital transformations, but so is speed and efficiency. Here's how DevOps can help.
Committing to a digital transformation is no longer an option for modern-day businesses - it's a necessity. Being able to constantly innovate and make use of newer technology not only helps companies improve their operational processes, but also enables them to deliver useful applications and services to their customers quickly, decreasing time to market.
DevOps is closely associated with the software development process and represents a collaboration of tools, philosophies, and business practices that enable companies to quickly adapt to changes and incorporate them throughout all products and services. By leveraging this methodology, businesses can move through their digital transformation faster and with added efficiency.
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What Is DevOps and Why Does It Matter?
The term DevOps refers to a blend of two critical components in IT departments - "development" and "operations." Traditionally, these two entities exist separately within an organization, which often leads to misalignment, delays, and errors. DevOps focuses on bridging the gap between both teams, giving companies the tools they need when addressing internal changes and encouraging better collaboration for higher efficiency across the board.
When developing new software, ensuring high-level execution and automation from the start is vital. Software is no longer used as a way to "support" a business; it now drives everything that a business does. This being the case, DevOps helps organizations improve critical components, including logistics, operations, and communication protocols. But, DevOps is also about more than just technology or greater efficiency, at its heart, it's a cultural shift. DevOps represents a movement towards iteration, collaboration, breaking down barriers, and strong communication, without which the technological applications wouldn't be possible.
The Benefits of a DevOps Culture
Adopting a DevOps culture comes with several advantages, but its main purpose for implementation focuses on the following areas:
- Speed and Automation - DevOps helps to merge workflows and responsibilities between development and operations teams. Employing automation and continuous delivery enables companies to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, and makes them competitive in today's digitally-driven world.
- Better Security Principles - Cybersecurity has been a growing concern over the past decade. DevOps practices allow companies to find and fix their vulnerabilities in significantly less lead time than with previous methodologies.
- Improved Collaboration - While development and operations teams are typically "siloed" in their own areas of expertise, DevOps demands better communication and collaboration between the two. By improving collaboration at all levels, DevOps drives a cultural shift, which in turn leads to better execution and results.
[RELEVANT READ: Fail Fast and Try Again When Adopting DevOps]
Improving Your Digital Transformation
While all digital transformations are designed to evolve how businesses operate, there is a significant amount of importance placed on the speed at which it can be accomplished. DevOps can be leveraged to accelerate your digital transformation by focusing on using real-time metrics and analysis to drive business decisions, but also creating an environment conduce and adapatable to change.
Rapid delivery, system reliability, scalability, and improved collaboration are all fundamentals of a DevOps culture. Adopting these concepts leads to higher quality products and ensures the company remains able to pivot and adjust course quickly as the need arises, yet maintains an unshakeable foundation of strong principles.
So, what does that mean for digital transformation? What DevOps principles can we use to speed up a digital transformation?
- Fail fast, try again - One of the most important principles of DevOps is the ability to fail fast and try again. In that respect, you'll be creating a culture where mistakes are used as opportunities to learn more.
- Start with Why - Because DevOps is a cultural change, you have to start with why. Don't rush into concepts without building rapport and trust within the organization. Additionally, DevOps will make much more sense if you clearly align it with the goals of the organization.
- Find your champions - Train and support mentors and champions who can be available to iron out kinks or issues.
- Choose the Right Tools - Choose wisely and choose tools that are well known and make sense for your organization. And, while DevOps is not only about tools, applying effective tools goes a long way in improving inefficiencies.
DevOps can be considered both a scientific and practical approach towards agility and speed. By leveraging DevOps in all stages of your digital transformation, you'll ensure your business meets the growing demands of the market while significantly improving collaboration across all departments.
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