Enterprise DevOps: Bridging the Journey from Now to Next
Take a close look at what you have in place to begin the enterprise DevOps journey.
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Digital transformation is driving the demand for swift innovation and the evolution of new technologies and business models. It is tempting to embrace both at any cost. The software industry seems obsessed with “the new,” but large enterprises have already made big investments in a world-class infrastructure that manages and controls risk, compliance, and security.
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For large enterprises, implementing DevOps practices cannot be about “ripping and replacing” current tools or infrastructure. Both brownfield and greenfield environments must be taken into account. New capabilities should be built on what already works, but how can an IT organization continue to run while innovating faster with lower risk? Here are three areas of focus that will help bridge “Now and Next.”
Continuously Improve Your Current Deployment Pipeline
Every enterprise IT organization currently has a process in place to build and deliver software to its customers. This is the “current” deployment pipeline, or in some cases, pipelines. It’s imperative that you understand your “current” state of software delivery. You should first document and analyze the current deployment pipeline to understand the major constraints within the system. Value Stream Mapping is a good technique for understanding process and artifact flow and associated lead times. Based on your analysis and business priorities, you can determine what your “future” state should look like and what to optimize first. Are your business objectives aligned with the software development process? Is there too much rework? Too much manual effort? Too many meetings and handoffs? Do you have a high level of production incidents?
Document your current state to provide a common view that everyone in the organization can reference and work from, then build a plan to address your highest priority constraints. Understand what the defined outputs, goals and outcomes are for each constraint removed. Improvements must be measured by business outcomes. Most IT teams work to create a defined output, but remember, DevOps is not about what you do, but about your outcomes. Measuring outputs is great for defining capabilities, but outcomes show how your improvements to the current deployment pipeline impacts the business.
Orchestrate Your Releases
IT organizations everywhere face the urgent need to deliver software releases faster across many areas of their business, but the needs of the business are varied depending on the different markets and customers they serve. The speed of delivery is not universally the same across all business units and systems. The enterprise is a dynamic and changing environment that typically includes both legacy core and new growth businesses supported by both waterfall and agile development methodologies dispersed across all environments, from mainframe to the cloud.
What is required is a solution that orchestrates releases based on the multi-modal attributes of the business. This solution must manage and coordinate both release trains and continuous delivery pipelines providing a single view of how the enterprise delivers value to its customers. Release orchestration provides a combination of deployment automation, pipeline and environment management to simultaneously improve the quality, velocity and governance of software releases. This enables enterprises to scale release activities across multiple, diverse teams, technologies, development methodologies and delivery patterns. As your software delivery process evolves and you adopt new technologies and practices, release orchestration will enable you to smoothly transition from the old to the new.
Lift and Shift Legacy Apps to The Cloud
Businesses have a strong incentive to transform their existing core legacy applications – at a minimum to keep up with innovation taking place elsewhere in the organization and ideally to establish these applications as a platform for innovation. However, organizations that consider such a transformation have a legitimate concern about jeopardizing the security, availability, and manageability of the core applications. It can be costly and time-consuming to rearchitect an application. The lift-and-shift approach allows organizations to take an on-prem application and move it to the cloud without modifying its design. While not every app is a good candidate, it is a good option for organizations that are bleeding costs from maintaining their own physical infrastructure.
Lifting and shifting legacy applications to the cloud can provide unmatched availability, scalability, and agility when compared to on-premises deployments. On-demand usage patterns and pay-as-you-go cost management allows organizations to redeploy value creation resources to the growth parts of their business. The move to the cloud can lower TCO for individual applications while delivering the agility of an open platform free of restrictive and expensive legacy infrastructure and where the application can be extended freely using contemporary technologies.
Bridging Now and Next
Digitalization has changed everything. Organizations are unleashing the power of IT to supercharge innovation, but as you scramble to respond to the demands of digitally empowered customers, you also need to keep your business running smoothly. To that end, you need to continuously improve and build on what already works. When the competitive ground shifts, you need to be ready. By bridging the gap between existing and emerging technologies, you will innovate faster and with less risk on your path to digital transformation.
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