Optimizing Cloud Strategies with DevOps
Salted caramel. Once, not long ago, salt and caramel existed in separate corners of the food world, one as a seasoning and baking superstar and the other as a delectable candy. Everything was moving along just fine. Then a genius came along and decided to combine the two, and voila! - A new flavor. This new flavor revolutionized the dessert world and made it hard to remember a time when caramel didn’t have those crunchy chunks of salt inside.
What is DevOps?
Development and Operations. Separate teams that work just fine… until it’s time to optimize your cloud strategy. You’ve done the initial legwork and created a mindful cloud strategy, and you have migrated your application to the cloud. Now it’s time to play like the tech giants and enjoy the benefits, including the increase in your speed of innovation to market! But, hold up. Migrating to a cloud platform has helped elevate many technology companies to industry leaders, but there is another key methodology that makes these companies successful – DevOps – the tech equivalent of salted caramel.
DevOps itself can be a bit of a mystery. The best way to think about DevOps is the over-arching methodology of how your development team and operations team work together in a cohesive fashion. DevOps breaks down the silos between development teams and operations teams, having them work together seamlessly (and constantly) while creating and maintaining their solutions.
DevOps isn’t a new concept. Companies, who over the last few years have embraced DevOps, have experienced improved business practices, workflow efficiency and faster go-to-market releases. The influence of DevOps can be seen in everything from how business processes are defined and implemented to the individual automation tools involved in testing, deployment, monitoring, etc.
When cloud technology came along, the need for DevOps became evident. Cloud technology on its own allows companies to scale quickly without incurring large upfront costs. It also enables development teams to quickly deploy new code without the previous bottlenecks often found with on-premises solutions. Unfortunately, increasing deployment speed alone isn’t always the best solution. Quick deployment sometimes leads to lower quality code with a higher incident of bugs – and unhappy end users. Also, due to a lack of automation tools and templates, the development team may not have the bandwidth to fully utilize the cloud’s abilities. In some cases, cloud technology may leave your operations team confused about how they are being utilized.
Industry leaders, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Adobe began realizing that adopting a DevOps methodology into their organizations could solve certain problems presented by cloud technology. They could utilize the speed of the cloud while simultaneously leveraging the efficiency of DevOps. That combination was a game changer when it came to application development. DevOps became the powerful and necessary methodology that complements cloud technology.
If you’re already running your application through a cloud without utilizing DevOps methodology, there’s no need to panic. It is not too late to adopt DevOps.
For companies wanting to adopt DevOps methodology in their organization, there are a few important things to consider.
1. Start with a strategy.
It is important to create a high-level DevOps strategy that details how workflows, processes and resources may be affected. Trained DevOps Engineers and Strategists take the guesswork and confusion out of DevOps adoption by customizing a plan that works best for your organization. These individuals have a deep understanding of best practices and can help you predict future challenges and prepare for them. If you choose to work with an external DevOps team, they can also provide the flexibility to assist with everything from high-level business strategy to implementation to development of specific DevOps cloud tools.
2. Be patient.
Like any business process implementation, DevOps takes time to cultivate. DevOps touches both the business and technology sides of an organization. This doesn’t mean business has to come to an abrupt stop during DevOps adoption. Regular business can go on as usual and in parallel with DevOps planning and adoption. We recommend a slow roll-out of DevOps, starting with a single team or project to act as a showcase of the new methodology. For sweeping process changes, having a good change management strategy will support your teams in the transition.
3. Cultural change is required.
It’s important to note that adopting a DevOps methodology often requires a culture change within your organization. Teams that are not used to working together are now required to collaborate and communicate constantly. Developers may need to begin coding differently. The operations team will need to work closely with developers to identify and build solutions to automate repetitive tasks and reduce errors. There will be growing pains. For this reason, it’s important to have leaders on both the business and technology sides of the house working together to build the DevOps framework and act as change champions throughout implementation.
Although DevOps and cloud technology are mutually exclusive and can be beneficial to companies in their own right, when combined they complement each other perfectly. If you’re interested in optimizing your cloud strategy to increase the speed of innovation to market in an efficient way, DevOps methodology adoption may just be the solution you need.
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