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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

DevOps - Is it the right fit for your Organization?

DevOps - Is it the right fit for your Organization?

Why are you here ?

What is the problem with current process of operations that lead you to lookout for newer methodologies?

What do you want to accomplish? -  Is the base question that Organizations should ask themselves before looking out for radical changes.

Define your desired state, and judge how far is it from your current state of operations.

We indulge in newer methodologies to improve quality, speed and efficiency of delivery of products. Going through the mundane pipelines can sometimes dry up Innovations and bind you to a predefined framework of delivery. Coming up with new ideas, new practices and taking them from the drawing board to the shop floor is a task of dynamism; an area which every company must address at intervals. DevOps is one such methodology which caters to the market demand and dynamic customer needs. It has originated from the need to evolve from the standard waterfall/spiral methods of development to a faster, collaborative and feedback driven method of delivery.

DevOps has spread across the market as a progressive and dynamic approach but is it all-embracing? Or is it just motivated by the drive to automate everything in its way, relying on Bots to the job of individuals faster. The base question here is, is DevOps the right fit for your organization? A flat generalized response to that question would not be appropriate before analyzing the fashion in which your business operates and what its size is.

Small and Medium Sized Organizations

The Size categorization of businesses may differ based on their geographic location. Organizations are categorized based on the number of employees or based on their turnover. For our case we need to categorize businesses according to the number of individuals that work for it. Constituting 1-50 individuals is categorized as small whereas 50-400 can be categorized as a medium scale business.

If you are an SMB which identifies

  • The Requirements of your projects are ever evolving
  • Features need to be delivered in bursts and the project pipeline lacks the support for a batch delivery of improvements
  • The QA tests performed on your projects can be automated without security being compromised

Then these are a few factors which point in the direction of DevOps.

If you need to opt for anything which is systems related, with a more customer centric approach and to adapt to changes at the pace of evolving business needs; you can opt for DevOps.

What if I am a startup?

Micro organizations with just 10-15 individuals are already operating in an environment which is fertile for DevOps. The initial culture shift in DevOps involves closely knit teams which overlap from development to operations to security. Micro organizations usually satisfy this criterion due to their manpower, but they might fall short in terms of processes followed for CI/CD and Automation.

You recognize a growing organization when the boundaries demarcating teams start getting more defined and broader. This streamlines job definitions and segregation of duties but also creates isolation between streams of the workforce. DevOps stresses on having individuals who are cross-functionally skilled and avoid over-specialization. Evaluate if the members of your organization are willing to adapt to these changes and would not create an existential crisis within the organization.

Hurdles you should be prepared for:

  • Lack of DevOps center of Excellence
  • Manual Release
  • Manual Testing
  • Budget for Automation tools
  • Executive Support for change in Traditional Processes
  • Scarcity of SMEs

At the DevOps Enterprise Summit, London speakers from various organizations briefed in detail regarding what were the main hurdles they faced while trying to implement DevOps in their organizations. Do take a look at their journey for additional firsthand experiences.

Large Organizations

It is often an Annual Report or a Metric that acts as a trigger for an organization wide change.

What metric has led you to this need for DevOps? If it is how often you deploy to production, how elaborate the release cycle is, how many halts you take in the delivery process, or you just need to comply to an Industry standard; implementing DevOps would help you get aligned with these needs.

On the other hand, while engineering a lifesaving drug or designing a Jet airplane it would be advisable to take your time in the Quality evaluation, before sending your prototypes into Production. Here we would like to refrain from the DevOps CI/CD approach of delivery.

For large Technology organizations, the question is mostly about “HOW DO WE?” rather than “SHOULD WE?”. Large organizations are always in the race to deliver better, reliable and faster to their clients. Adding new features on a consistent basis is the mantra for success. Hence the focus is constantly on how you can keep adding improvements without disrupting the existing underlying architecture.

Large organizations mainly take the “small batch approach”. This is to automate in small batches and cross-train teams, if required, to qualify them to collaborate with other teams. Unfortunately, Large organizations also go about implementing DevOps by adopting multiple tools and stressing on AI BOTs for mundane tasks; rather than initially promoting a change in culture.

People are considered as the biggest hurdle you face in large organizations while implementing DevOps. Teams behind walls with stringent job definitions, Streamlined Processes, Policies which are more restrictive than cautionary are few of the perceptions that need a revamp.

Hurdles you should be prepared for:

  • Stringent Security Policies
  • Lengthy Processes
  • Large Releases
  • Stringent Teams
  • Inducing Culture change to a Mass Programmed Workforce
  • Cross-Functionality Skillset
  • Inconsistent Environments

Compuware is one such large scale organization dealing in Mainframe innovation that performed a complete internal revamp. They went around initially recognizing their Problem followed by defining their desired state of operations and designed a path using DevOps of how to reach there. You can go through their entire journey here.

Clarion has worked at helping enterprises implement DevOps in fragments. We work towards streamlining the Delivery workflows to embed CI/CD. We have been extensively dealing with implementing Automated Testing tools across multiple organizations. All this at each organization’s individual pace of adapting to changes. For organizations that want to make this DevOps change as per their momentum, Clarions experts are here to help. To know more about us do read through the ventures we have helped in the case-studies section at Clariontech.com.

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