The last decade saw a rapid rise in digitization, and astute business leaders took note. Even before COVID-19 began its spread across the globe, digital transformation plans mapped years-long paths for many companies working to keep pace.
COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the shift to digital. Organizations are being asked to condense two-year technology roadmaps into quarters, and even months. To do so, they’ll need help. In this panel discussion, industry leaders explain how they are delivering on digital acceleration.
As brick-and-mortar locations closed and consumers were ordered to stay at home, the need for accelerated digitization became clear. In COVID-Era business, to digitize is to survive. Now, those years-long digital transformation plans are being executed in months and weeks.
This level of agility will certainly challenge businesses in novel ways. However, companies can rise to the challenge with a tool already used by technology business experts: DevOps.
The Magic of DevOps
DevOps is a process that brings your development and operations teams together. It leverages practices called continuous integration and continuous deployment, or CI/CD, to more quickly and frequently deliver code changes. CI/CD reduces silos and speeds up the development process with an always-on workflow.
With DevOps, teams can code, build, test, add security and compliance, and deploy changes on a rolling basis rather than stuffing them into a traditional one-at-a-time release system.
Teams use the process to build consensus about which quality and security issues are pending, how and which issues to prioritize, and how to resolve outstanding issues.
DevOps was designed for a distributed workforce that is spread across various geographies or locations, but is also extremely agile, people-driven, and collaboration-centered. This allows companies to tap into the power of an entire team’s collective brainpower. DevOps also reduces bottlenecks by automating tasks that usually rely on human intervention or approval, controlling costs. All of these qualities are much-needed in our current remote work atmosphere.
DevOps means, agile and safer deployments more often—and more confidence. It is a people-before-process, customer-centered approach that allows for rapid response.
How does DevOps accelerate digitization? In three ways:
1. DevOps Enables and Supports Quality
When it comes time to tighten the belt, many companies resort to cost-cutting tactics to stay afloat. However, poor execution of these measures can have dire effects. Right now, the need for reliable, valuable, high-quality software is higher than ever before. For some, it’s too much. Even Microsoft Teams crashed due to the sudden influx of new users after stay-at-home orders were issued.
Microsoft is far from alone, and fear of crashes has some software providers hesitating to roll out products or updates. However, delayed action when demand is high gives competition the advantage. At the same time, rushed development risks sacrificing necessary quality checks. Where’s the middle ground? Something that allows for smaller, less drastic changes to be deployed quickly as needed: DevOps.
DevOps has continual quality checks built into the process. From development to testing, and testing to delivery, every stage of the DevOps cycle is active at any given time. This makes it easy to let successful tests proceed to deployment and release while circling failed tests back to development.
In this way, bugs are caught early. This is important, as one study found that “the cost of fixing a bug can multiply 100 times between the design and downstream maintenance phases of technology projects.”
As bug effects magnify, they can also drag down performance. If software usability suffers, it will eventually be out-performed by the competition. All of this becomes very costly.
DevOps, more precisely DevSecOps processes increase the odds of catching bugs early, before development has reached a point where debugging is overly burdensome. In this way, it simultaneously improves the product while conserving resources.
2. DevOps Bridges Security Gaps
Ensuring security and compliance while moving at breakneck speed is difficult, but critical. Manual handoffs need to securely transition into a remote, digital process while preventing data sharing breaches.
Additionally, team members working from home instead of within a company’s secure network pose a security risk. As Sivan Tehila, Director of Solution Architecture at Perimeter 81 explained, work-from-home security concerns include weak home wi-fi security, phishing scams, and insecure passwords. Some team members may even circumvent security measures to limit oversight or admin check-ins, creating further vulnerabilities.
DevSecOps (development-security-operations) is where DevOps and Security come together to ensure security throughout the DevOps cycle and beyond.
This includes security, top of mind for many. Distribute your security know-how within the IT organization. To ensure that security does not block agility, focus on enabling frictionless security in the DevSecOps process. Left-shift (baking security into your initial infrastructure definitions) and automate policy enforcement. Forrester
3. DevOps Broadens Visibility
To envision a successful future in the age of COVID, business teams and leaders need information. Forecasting and predictions rely on analytics. The more executives know, the better decisions they’ll make.
Fortunately, DevOps can help. With real-time KPIs provided by DevOps automation platforms like Opsera, team members and leaders are given the high visibility they need to identify issues and opportunities. With a shared view and set of goals, silos are dismantled and business teams become unified.
“Now more than ever is the time to ensure that the product team, as a rule, has all the information, resources, and approvals it needs to get the job done,” Forrester asserts. Connectivity, collaboration, and automation is the name of the game now. With demand for quality software at an all-time high, companies can’t afford to hold back.
With wider visibility comes increased ability to act. Intelligent and action oriented DevOps dashboards with specific KPI's make it possible to isolate problems and look for opportunities to standardize successes. In turn, this will reduce confusion and bring the team together over shared tools and solutions.
The ability to identify and address issues remotely and collaboratively is critical given our current circumstances. With DevOps dashboards, every team member has the power to tackle issues as they arise.
Surviving, and Thriving, in the COVID Era With DevOps
Rapidly scaling a business’s digital presence and operations requires striking a delicate balance between quality, security, visibility, and speed. Additionally, it must be cost-efficient in our currently strained economy. Fortunately, platforms like Opsera can help businesses successfully digitize by automating DevOps and providing the visibility leaders need. With DevOps, anything is possible.
To learn more about how DevOps propels businesses forward, check out Opsera’s upcoming webinar: The Future of Business Digitization and Workforce. Learn from industry speakers such as Sheila Jordan CDTO, Honeywell, Fran Rosch CEO, Forgerock, Ralph Laura CIO, Lumentum and Declan Morris EIR CostanoaVentures, Ex-CIO Splunk.