Elyon Strategies Blog

Modernization and Cloud Adoption: DevOps

Cloud Adoption

Cloud computing is about technology and services; DevOps (composed of two words – “developers” and “operators”) is about process and process improvement. Although DevOps originated from the need for cloud computing, it actually has nothing to do with cloud computing. Cloud and DevOps are independent, but mutually reinforcing strategies used to deliver business value through IT. According to the Software Engineering Institute, DevOps is gaining traction in many government organizations. Cloud computing propels IT transformation, and embedded DevOps processes provide efficiencies. DevOps goals can be grouped into four categories:

  1. Culture 
  2. Automation 
  3. Measurement
  4. Sharing (CAMS) 

DevOps methods include software development methodologies and practices.

DevOps Benefits

DevOps streamlines development so user requirements can quickly make it into application production, while the cloud automates provisioning and scaling to accommodate application changes. 

Modern delivery unites the Agile SDLC (software development lifecycle) and DevOps continuum into a single operating model through collaboration and communication between developers and operations. It provides a holistic view of Agile, DevOps, and cloud to speed delivery, reduces failed deployments, and supports continuous improvement. Modern delivery breaks down the traditional silos that limit IT agility by: 

  • Integrating engineering, testing, and operations into full stack teams 
  • Automating large portions of the value chain 
  • Creating a culture of collaboration focused on customer outcomes. 

Organizations should try to leverage Splunk and Jenkins real-time data, along with configuration management and security monitoring tools, for providing operational intelligence to DevOps teams and for monitoring execution of repeated tasks, respectively.

DevOps and cloud computing can be described as a symbiotic relationship.

DevOps and cloud computing partner well together because the centralized nature of the cloud automates DevOps and provides a standard, centralized platform for testing, deployment, and production. While they can exist separately, together they are able to drive meaningful IT transformation that directly impacts business goals. DevOps automation continues to become more cloud centric as cloud computing providers support DevOps on their platforms, which is less expensive than on-premises automation technology. Cloud-based DevOps makes it easier to track development resource costs by leveraging user-based accounting to track resource usage. 

DevOps is a progression of agile software development, which involves normal releases and iterative response so that applications continue to move toward the business goal, encouraged by partnership between developers and users. Cloud technologies and services complement DevOps processes regardless of how your organization defines them. Cloud computing drives IT transformation, it can help your organization increase its operational efficiency, while streamlining and embedding DevOps processes for greater, transformative efficiencies. 

DevOps speeds up the modernization process by enhancing internal collaboration.

Most IT departments have separate development and operations teams. Even if the teams have the same business goals, they are generally at odds with each other. DevOps empowers developers and revolutionizes the work culture when the organization streamlines the process for the developers to be able control applications. DevOps is a journey that is not always linear and includes cultural changes as well as technical and process changes. It is a shift from product-centric to service-centric thinking. A successful collaborative DevOps team is agile and efficient, and can produce higher quality software faster than traditional, separate development and operations teams. 

A state client that Elyon recently helped to facilitate their cloud journey decided to adopt DevOps because it consolidated everything into one place, and it was easy to monitor activities while they lifted and shifted from on-premises to the cloud. Another client that Elyon worked with wanted to more than just put their infrastructure in the cloud. They wanted to include many DevOps concepts with a continuous build of source code into a software development pipeline so they could continuously deploy.

DevOps significantly increases employee satisfaction and loyalty. 

According to Bloomberg Professional Services, successful DevOps implementation speeds up software deployments and increases recovery time from failures. It also provides higher quality levels of employee satisfaction, while reducing the time and effort required to fix issues. Successful implementation of DevOps in state government can be achieved through stakeholder collaboration, infrastructure governance development, and operational staff DevOps skill training. 

DevOps success requires cultural changes that are significantly more difficult to implement than other cultural changes and require broader organizational input and support. Because of this, Elyon advocates that your state government agency IT management make a commitment to build their own DevOps talent internally and not solely rely on consultants. Otherwise, the cultural changes that DevOps brings to your government agency IT will not spread across the development organization. It is also important for your organization to develop metrics to measure the efficiency, agility, and security of your DevOps implementation. As your organization and DevOps implementation become more mature, metrics gathering will transition from manual processes to automated processes.

Professional developers do not always have the required operational, interpersonal, or collaboration skills and have not been trained to focus on continuous process improvement. DevOps practitioners advocate that siloed organizations need to break down barriers so that developers, operations personnel, and end-users can work together to achieve business continuity, accountability, and the desired results. Successful software developers in a DevOps environment adjust how they approach deployment and change control because the target software systems are not within the control of the organization.

DevSecOps

DevSecOps is a culture and best practices to implement security controls on all layers of DevOps. As cloud security and compliance is a shared responsibility between a cloud provider and the customer, customers are responsible for security in the cloud by securing applications and network with services from third-party vendors. DevSecOps builds this approach into development and operational processes. Security engineers work with developers to provide application security. 

Automation is a core principle of DevOps, and it is imperative to take steps to automate processes and build security into the application by design. Elyon recommends that organizations without in-house skills should leverage services from a security integrator, who can provide services to define processes and roles, integrate security tools, and automate the processes for your team. The critical step in implementing DevSecOps is understanding the goal of DevOps and extending it by embedding security controls in it.

About Elyon

Elyon Enterprise Strategies, Inc. is a management consulting firm specializing in business design. Our purpose is to lessen executive burdens, increase organization order, and provide organizations with more hope and success while meeting human needs. We are each client’s most trusted advisor and inspire our clients to transform complexity into enterprise success.

Carl Engel
About the Author
Carl Engel
CEO, Chief Architect
at
Elyon Strategies
Carl Engel is a Business and IT visionary with 30+ years of experience including Health and Human Services, Revenue, Finance and Technology. Teaching advanced technology, architecture and framework courses on 4 continents.
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