“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

This quote by Charles Darwin stands true even today for any organization to survive in this tough and competitive world. As an organization, be it SMB or large enterprise, you need to adapt rapidly and stay ahead of the competition, foster innovation, and run an efficient operation to deliver new and high quality products and services continuously. We are going to look at how the combination of DevOps and Cloud could help provide your organization with sustained competitive advantage and growth. Topics covered include

What is the need for Digital Transformation?

Leveraging DevOps and agile IT Operations, combined with cloud-based solutions, fosters innovation. This provides the ability to substantially increase application deployment speed and automation with new processes and metrics. Digital transformation could help drive your business and ensure you stay ahead of the competition.

You can check your organization’s capabilities catering to demand, by answering these simple questions:

  1. What is the time taken to scale up the Infrastructure and applications?
  2. What is the time taken to manage mergers and acquisitions requirements to take care of new processes and capacity?
  3. What is the time taken to expand to new markets or on-board a new partner?

Why adopt DevOps and Cloud together?

DevOps and cloud computing are vital for you to achieve digital transformation. According to a report from IT analyst company Freedom Dynamics using DevOps or cloud in isolation accelerates software delivery only by 50%. By combining them there is an acceleration of 81%.

What are the benefits of cloud based DevOps?

Cloud based automation

DevOps enables the automation of repeated tasks making the software development process more efficient. Cloud platforms provide tools for automation for DevOps processes like Continuous Integration (CI). Circle CI, Jenkins, Gitlab etc. are all tools used for continuous integration. These tools reduce human interaction and help provide consistency and speed in software development.

Centralized infrastructure

Cloud provides a centralized infrastructure which can host everything from development, testing, deployment and monitoring environments. This makes it easy to keep track of all the environments in the same space and it’s easier to manage things like compliance and security.

Scalable infrastructure

Though the infrastructure requirements would have been planned before, there might come instances where infrastructure upscale might be needed to meet demands. This can be done rapidly in the cloud environment. Similarly rapid downscale of infrastructure without the loss of equipment is possible with cloud.

Software stability

Cloud provider’s primary concern is stability and uptime of the cloud infrastructure. Let them worry about the maintenance elements of the platform. Your IT team can now focus on product development leading to improved product performance, faster time to delivery and improved customer satisfaction.

Improve productivity

In a traditional environment, the DevOps team needs to wait for infrastructure to be developed before deploying applications. Similarly they will need to wait for servers to become free and available for them to work. This hinders the concept of fast delivery of software. Cloud provides the freedom for the DevOps teams to scale up or scale down when required and does not let them wait for resources to free up. This enables true Agile development.

Reduced cost of ownership

Any on premise infrastructure is usually over-provisioned to manage increased capacity due to peak demands. This could be in annual occasions (eg. during Black Fridays) or weekly (weekend shopping) based on the sector/industry. There could also be unexpected peaks which are unpredictable and outside your control. Due to this, continuous payment is made for rackspace all day, every day. With cloud and automation of key provisioning parts, you can pay only for what capacity is used. This reduces the total cost of ownership.

How to approach cloud app development?

When implementing DevOps and building applications on the cloud, the change needs to start from the developers, not at the C-level. The advantage of developing softwares using modern DevOps tools and practices needs to be understood by all to drive the process. Those who don’t understand the importance of DevOps will likely hinder the development process. A synergy needs to be there between people and technology. Before jumping into building a software on the cloud using DevOps, it is best to analyze your requirements, infrastructure and people. We have found the following steps help to implement a successful DevOps project:

Define the development requirements

Take a look at what you are doing now, what needs to change and how the software will help.

Define the business case

There is investment from the company in terms of money, personnel, infrastructure and time. Clear ROI needs to be defined.

Define the DevOps process

Keep in mind that this will keep changing but the initial process needs to be defined and improved through continuous monitoring and correcting.

Define the DevOps tools and cloud platform

It is not enough to define just the DevOps tools, but an understanding of the target cloud platform or platforms needed to realize its full potential. There must be cohesion between process, automation, culture and cloud platform.

People and training

As mentioned earlier, everyone in the organization needs to be on board with DevOps. Adopting new paths will be difficult for traditional developers and will require a lot of guidance and training.

Define how applications will work in the cloud

The old method of writing code and tossing it hoping for the best is not going to work anymore. Developers need to work with the operations teams to achieve their goals. DevOps and cloud should give the developers more visibility on the application and improve overall performance.

Final Words

You can enjoy huge benefits by implementing DevOps and cloud in conjunction. However, for many organizations, the issue arises in managing the large number of changes that occur simultaneously. Continuous improvement is the key to the success of adopting Devops, Agile and cloud.

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