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DevOps – Ensuring Everyone at a Large Organization is on the Same Team

April 17, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Jeff Keyes, Director of Product Marketing, Plutora

Think about playing tennis and about playing football. Or how about relay swimming compared to soccer? What is one of the biggest differences between these sports? Tennis and swimming are individual sports and at most require coordination between only a couple of people, while football and soccer have a lot more moving parts that need to work perfectly in sync to ensure success. DevOps in SMEs vs. DevOps in large organizations is a similar concept – in small organizations, successful DevOps strategies require coordination between small, tightly-integrated teams. DevOps in large enterprises, however, needs far more coordination.

A typical enterprise provides releases that need to coordinate 200-300 projects that include a mix of geographically dispersed teams (both development and testing), development methodologies, software architectures, cloud and virtual environments. Decades of M&A activity can leave enterprises with quite a tangled web of applications and architectures that must have every update highly coordinated. This level of coordination limits the typical enterprise to only one or two releases per year.

These legacy complications that enterprises experience have meant that traditionally it was more natural for DevOps to be adopted by SMEs with smaller teams. As the industry has evolved and matured, however, we’ve seen a growing trend in large enterprises taking the leap into DevOps – or at least showing interest in wanting to take the leap. According to a recent survey, adoption of DevOps in the enterprise is now only 20% lower than adoption in smaller organizations. However, a large proportion of these large enterprises don’t know how to efficiently implement a DevOps strategy, with the result that the benefits are not fully reaped – imagine your quarterback and receivers running different routes, this does not foster much success.

Since these enterprise systems are traditionally overly complex, DevOps adoption often begins in small pockets of large organizations – which causes a whole different set of integration issues. It’s not impossible, however, to implement DevOps strategies across every department in a large organization if you know what you’re doing, can identify common inefficiencies and understand the keys to overcoming or reducing them.

The Achilles Heals of DevOps in Large Organiztions

There are three major issues that large organizations face when it comes to seamlessly implementing a DevOps culture.

DevOps – the best game plan  

While these are some of the most common inefficiencies, they certainly aren’t the only ones, but they can be tackled. Specifically, there are key DevOps strategies that can be quickly implemented to enhance efficiency and flexibility, while also providing more visibility and control.

– Get everyone aligned. What are the issues that need to be fixed? Once everyone is on the same page regarding this, the team/s can figure out the best strategy moving forward.

– Look at how value flows through the organization and put metrics on it. DevOps can then provide you with a common view with decided upon checkpoints to ensure high performance throughout the organization.

– Push the majority of testing and defect fixing into smaller, less complex test environments with quality gates to keep defects out of bigger, more complex environments. This, in turn, helps reduce the cost and complexity of testing, and helps triage the process because issues are localized to the subsystem or application that created them.

As continuous delivery development cycles only become faster and more complex, no one person can track the full deployment pipeline – and the larger the organization, the more impossible this becomes and the larger the margin for error. Implementing DevOps strategies into large organizations – although daunting at first – can be done and can provide an edge over a competitor with better services and products getting to customers.



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