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How to Execute a Digital Transformation Strategy

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How to Execute a Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital transformation will be driven by the c-suite rather than IT. It's critical for business survival. Read on in this interview with Kieran Taylor of CA Technologies.

· DevOps Zone ·
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Thanks to Kieran Taylor, Senior Director, Product and Solutions Marketing Technology and Development at CA Technologies during CA World '17. CA is helping enterprise companies overcome barriers to become "modern software factories," or in more common parlance, make the digital transformation.

I spoke to Kieran about the keys for enterprise organizations to make the transformation.

Q: What strategy does a company need to employ to successfully transform from the legacy systems they've been running to digital systems that are able to be automated to scale with all of the data that's being generated and ingested?

A: Start small and scale the same way they did with mobile development. DevOps fastest way to move from ideation to production. Once people in the organization see the success the DevOps methodology scales throughout the organization through the implementation of the methodology may be different based on the culture, processes, and technology of a particular department on the organization.

Q: What's been the biggest change you've observed in legacy organizations in the past year or so?

A: Operations are more involved in DevOps, I see them embracing the concepts and the methodologies. A year ago I was seeing developers adopt agile methodologies. Today I'm seeing operations engaged with DevOps. We've introduced a new solution, digital experience insights to enable operations to feed their insights into development – UX/UI/heat maps session replays to show engagement with an app will enable shorter feedback loops and faster iteration.

Q: What are a couple of use cases you'd like to highlight where CA has been able to help legacy enterprises make the digital transformation?

A: 1) CNN has been using DXI to monitor mobile politics app. The insights provided helped CNN to fine tune their politics app to increase user adoption and time on site. 2) Banco Exterior Columbia has a mobile banking app for which they are using DXI to understand end-user experience in the app. DXI goes beyond traditional application performance monitoring (APM) solutions to deliver a wealth of information and insights important for development.

Q: Can DevOps use DXI for API monitoring?

A: All apps are modular and APIs are the glue that connects the apps. DXI provides the insights into these connections so there are no blind spots. DXI also monitors containers so DevOps can see what's taking place inside the container. We want to provide shift left monitoring. Developers want access to the tools that will help them build faster, secure, and hardened applications. DXI supports role-based views into the details. We are seeing the emergence of Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) This was initiated by Google and LinkedIn. The SRE is a person that blends dev and ops. DXI is inspired by the needs of the SRE.

Q: Where’s security in all of this?

A: We emphasize security consistently throughout SDLC. We provide continuous testing with Veracode. We encourage clients to put testing at the beginning of the SDLC and keep it throughout.

Q: What's the future look like for digital transformation?

A: It will begin in the boardroom rather than with IT. DXI will combine business KPIs with IT metrics. DevOps will mirror convergence with business and IT and correlate how IT metrics support or detract from KPIs (i.e. time on site)

Q: Do you have any concerns with the state of digital transformation you are seeing?

A: Early adopters put more emphasis on the development team adopting Agile versus driving collaboration between operations and development.

Q: What do developers need to do to ensure digital transformation goes as smoothly in their organization as possible?

A: Look for tools to enable collaboration within and outside your team (operations, security, systems administrators, database administrators, and network managers). Be willing to evolve from preconceived roles for developers to be more fluid in the definition of your roles and responsibilities. The tools you use need to be open. CA is using a lot of open standards like restful APIs so their tools can integrate with other tools and platform. Actively communicate with every member of your team and other teams. Feed application performance information into your development tools like release automation and service virtualization to accelerate the process. Take production data that has shifted into development to get a more real-world view of how your application is performing and being used. This will give you shorter feedback loops.

Read the 4-part DevOps testing eBook to learn how to detect problems earlier in your DevOps testing processes.

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