The rise of DevOps:
With IT-driven innovation ruling the roost, the critical differentiating factor for organizations, irrespective of the size and the type, is agility in rendering IT solutions and how to run them cost-effectively and reliably, leading to the rise of DevOps concept, and consequently, the big demand for it.
The main objective of DevOps culture is to help overcome the barriers and priorities that are at odds between operation and development teams including application, project costs, functional and performance requirements. DevOps helps in team collaboration, reliable, safe and rapid production by delivering systems and to operate, manage and support them more efficiently than before.
What is DevOps?
If you think DevOps is a specific technology or technique, it isn’t; it’s a culture that creates a collaborative working culture and promotes adoption of overlapping objectives aimed at delivering IT services, offering value to any business.
DevOps is closely interlinked with a set of techniques commonly called ‘Continuous Delivery’ which is a combination of different concepts: continuous deployment tools, continuous integration tools and lean production.
Conflict between operations and development:
The collaboration, traditionally , between the operation and development siloes have been little, if any, marked by teams working in different locations, operating teams working in different shifts, development teams operating in remote locations, use of different technical languages and lesser intersection of common understanding and thus fewer candidates who are qualified DevOps professionals.
This brings us to the key discussion and that is developers lack the operational knowledge it takes to carry out complex infrastructure automation jobs and few operations and infrastructure experts have the depth of software engineering. It requires deep operational knowledge to create software which performs optimally in production. Though the skill sets required for functional automation testing is quite prevalent, DevOps is efficient only if testers can automate testing for security, resilience and performance, important in most operations. Only few boast of this experience.
Any DevOps programme at the enterprise level will demand top, technically sound architects and delivery managers to plan and handle the needed infrastructure, development, and organization and vendor management.
Is DevOps worth the effort?
The key advantage of DevOps culture approach is to align the two transparency-contained siloes. This means faster business operation through system delivery, lowered risk of production changes, thanks to shorter development iterations and automated non-functional testing. Over and above, operational objectives are supported by automation of service management and a thorough understanding of the various levels of the production environment stack that help mitigate risks and fix production problems. What usually follows in DevOps is a change in organization and managerial culture than technological changes, together with gaining the right skill sets.
IT service delivery is no different than a production line – the delivery speed and the product’s finished quality is generally determined by the most vulnerable link in the chain. Until we find career progression and tech education catching up with both the sides – technical and operational, IT companies need to hire change management support professionals and experienced DevOps experts. It promises and delivers much, but should be reinforced by the right mix of skills sets and cultural changes.