Abby Kearns, CTO, Puppet, tells us how APAC organizations can progress and scale DevOps practices to get ahead of the competition as recovery from the pandemic in the region beckons.
As CTO of a company that calls 80% of the Global 5000 our customers, I’m keenly aware of the impact COVID-19 has had on global business. Organizations across the world have accelerated their digital journey in the wake of the pandemic and are continuing this process as recovery stands on the horizon.
According to IDC, Asia Pacific will be the first to recover from the economic disruptions of the pandemic, with 65% of APAC GDP expected to be digitalized and spending to hit US$1.2 trillion between 2020 and 2023. Central to the recovery is the ability for organizations to leverage digital capabilities to adapt to disruptions.
DevOps has been a proven way to adjust to change quickly and to deliver software and services faster. The rise of DevSecOps has placed security and its cousin compliance as key components of DevOps as companies seek to not only deliver software faster but also to avoid major security and compliance snafus that could cost them millions.
Many organizations have adopted DevOps but many remain stuck at the middle stages of their DevOps evolution. They are rarely able to scale DevOps ways of working beyond the development, operations and (sometimes) security teams. Over the years, we have learned that frustration is highest in organizations that are at the middle stages of integrating security into the software development cycle.
Once an organization has been through the early changes, it must dig deeply to uproot and revise old practices and processes that stand in the way of further progress. The organizations who do succeed are able to expand DevOps practices beyond the initial early-adopting teams, continuing to evolve and improve across the organization.
So how can you think about maturing your DevOps practises? Our 2020 State of DevOps Report identified a few common characteristics of teams with mature DevOps practises. Here is what we’ve learned.
- Adopt a self-service platform approach
A platform approach can properly integrate DevOps teams to better adapt to changes in how applications are deployed and managed. This is especially critical in the era of COVID-19 as DevOps teams are even more highly distributed than they were before and are often spread across different time zones.
A platform approach, in which self-service capabilities are on offer for DevOps teams for application development, production and management, is thus widely seen as a way to improve DevOps efficiency. A total of 63% of the respondents said their organization had adopted at least one self-service platform for its team members. More evolved organizations are almost twice as likely as mid-level organizations to have a high usage of internal platforms with self-service capabilities.
A self-service platform is imperative when you are looking to ensure security and compliance, as it will provide a foundation for automation, standardization and team autonomy.
- A product mindset is key to scaling DevOps
The most successful platform teams treat their platform like a product, meaning they build a roadmap, receive feedback from their consumers, establish metrics and continually engage with their consumers to make their platform – their product – better.
Managing products instead of projects is the right mindset to have to scale platforms and your DevOps practise. As managing software delivery at scale becomes the dominant way forward for enterprises, IT teams need to treat digital initiatives as products that fully translate to business value, not as cost centers where success is measured as being on time, on budget and reducing costs.
The success of any DevOps strategy as organizations race to recover will depend on how they deliver value by creating digital experiences and delivering software products. Companies that can deploy software-based solutions as a product at scale will get ahead of companies that stick to traditional IT project management.
- Organize teams around common goals
Organizations tend to have a disproportionate focus on adoption of DevOps tools or how much of their infrastructure is in the cloud and neglect to manage the change required in people and processes.
At the core of DevOps is a way of thinking and working that provides a meaningful bridge between the competing priorities of operations, development and security, and promotes collaboration between these teams.
Establishing common goals and introducing consistent practises to collaborate and communicate across teams is crucial to speed up the delivery of better-quality code in a standard and safe manner. DevOps and DevSecOps tools that bring about sharing and convergence can help change the organizational mindset and move DevOps practices beyond an initial team.
The success of the DevOps strategy rests on the implementation of not just technical needs like automation but organizational changes as well. Organizations that address all these components empower teams to move securely faster, capitalizing on the region’s acceleration towards thriving in the new normal. Businesses across all sectors will have to get very comfortable with adapting and transforming successfully in order to become more resilient amidst ample disruptions.