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Margaret is senior vice president and general manager of Digital Service and Operations Management for BMC Software Inc. She has P&L responsibility for the company’s full suite of BMC Helix solutions for IT service management and IT operations management.
DevOps is all about driving rapid innovations and changes through a repeatable cycle of analyzing, building, testing and deploying. But if you’re working for a large enterprise that has applications and services that span the mainframe, cloud and everything in between, you’ve probably seen firsthand that practicing DevOps in a complex environment with a multitude of dependencies can lead to uncertain, unpredictable and, in some cases, unintended results.
It’s no surprise. Most organizations have piecemeal or incomplete DevOps adoption. According to Puppet’s State of DevOps 2021 report, 58 percent of companies report that multiple handoffs between teams are required before product deployments. In short, organizations with fragmented DevOps processes fail to gain all the potential benefits of employing DevOps principles at scale.
Incorporating DevOps across the enterprise is necessary to drive growth and innovation. It is key to helping large organizations deploy new processes, systems and applications faster and with greater efficiency.
Builders of DevOps at Scale
DevOps is not as simple as “build it and run it” when you have to build it while dozens of heterogeneous teams are managing and running their own deployments at different paces and with different processes. Teams that have successfully mastered a DevOps transformation usually have these three traits in common:
1. They Communicate and Share Data
Too often, groups that deliver technology aren’t integrated and don’t communicate well. They tend to work in silos, each supporting a separate technology stack. When they do come together, their data is manually collected or incomplete — or both.
Successful DevOps transformations break down silos by using standard tools and sharing data. When DevOps teams share technology with security, operations and service management teams, or work toward one gold data standard, they better meet end-user needs and accelerate timelines.
2. They Get Change Management Right
Change management is the only constant in DevOps. Asked about the most significant challenges faced in managing these practices in a recent survey conducted by Hanover Research that looked at the integration of operations and service management, respondents reported a lack of familiarity with change management procedures (41 percent), insufficient infrastructure for endpoint monitoring (39 percent) and incomplete information to make sound ITSM decisions (38 percent).
A multidimensional complex system can be made more reliable by making continuous and targeted incremental changes. Teams can streamline deployment and maintain service availability by using tools that automatically map application and infrastructure dependencies along with AI-driven processes that automate testing. This is especially important, since 62% of developers say the ability to automate testing will increase the quality of their organizations’ applications by 23%.
3. They Get Buy-In from Key Stakeholders
DevOps principles center on improving the communication and coordination between development and operations, but they often don’t include IT service management teams. Because the end goal is faster, higher-quality software deliveries, the internal and external customer experience must be considered. The service desk manages that function.
Integrating IT service management and operations management is a priority for top executives. According to the Hanover Research survey, CIOs with responsibility across both domains have risen from 39 percent to 55 percent since 2019. In addition, CTO involvement has increased from 41 percent to 55 percent, while participation from IT directors has risen from 43 percent to 54 percent.
Reaping Benefits of DevOps at Scale
The adoption of DevOps at scale supports organizational growth, increases capabilities and delivers on customer expectations. While the pressure to innovate rapidly can’t override the necessity of stability, a DevOps mindset promotes both by effectively coordinating people, processes and products.
When operating effectively, and with careful management of the competing needs of both development and operations teams, DevOps positions businesses to deliver competitive differentiation as an autonomous digital enterprise, equipped with the agility and flexibility to respond quickly to customers’ changing needs.
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