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Making DevOps a core competency

Gavin Selkirk, President of Asia Pacific & Japan at BMC Software | July 27, 2016
What’s at stake today is not just a project or someone’s position. Instead, it may be the very existence of the company.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

In the era of digital transformation, bringing software developer and operations functions together is more important than ever to remove bottlenecks in production, shorten the production lifecycle and improve quality.   

What's at stake today is not just a project or someone's position. Instead, it may be the very existence of the company. According to Gartner, 25 percent of companies will lose business due to digital incompetence by 2017 while IDC predicts that 75 percent of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027. Every industry is exposed to this new "digital imperative," including Singapore's financial industry. Furthermore, companies stand to lose their employees if the latter finds their employers and managers to be digitally incompetent. To avoid the fate of becoming an industry has-been, today's market leaders need to ensure they won't be overtaken by more agile competitors that respond faster to a rapidly changing digital marketplace.

Agility does not mean sacrificing everything

Too many companies, intent on being agile and innovative, believe that a successful DevOps organisation must be free of the trappings of rigorous change management. Business innovation and increased employee productivity, however, cannot exist without a stable IT foundation. When companies set on a path for 'agile' IT and give up the safety and accuracy of traditional IT, this de-stabilises company transformation progress. The goal is to have a balance of both strategies in an organisation.

By committing to balancing the two strategies, organisations can increase agility without sacrificing stability. More importantly, companies can increase employee satisfaction by different teams successfully doing the jobs they are paid to do, whether it is to drive innovation or keep the lights on. An example that may help us in thinking about DevOps is whenever a big company releases an update to their software. While it is common for companies to innovate and provide regular updates to their software, a poor update or lack of communication can lead to frustration, and users questioning why the company bothered with creating an update in the first place. There is a big consequence arising from this inefficiency - Microsoft claims that it takes 200 minutes on average to diagnose and repair a production issue, and that the average cost of infrastructure failure is S$140,000 per hour.

How can companies be agile and stable?

The pace at which the digital economy grows requires companies to roll out new services faster than ever before, businesses are challenged to move from idea to revenue as soon as possible. This need for speed leads to a desire, really a requirement, for agile applications.


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