March 3, 2015

5 Enterprise Business Drivers for DevOps

George Hulme wrote an article on yesterday detailing five reasons that are emerging as the most important business drivers behind enterprise adoption of DevOps (see article here). These are important to understand, as even though DevOps promises many benefits for the IT organization, the decision to adopt is ultimately a business decision. And in order for the business to invest in a DevOps implementation, there has to be an expected return on that investment in some area the business wants to grow. For IT leaders who desire to pilot or implement DevOps in their organizations, aligning its benefits with the company’s top growth drivers will go a long way towards getting the green light.

Hulme culled these business drivers over the last “couple of months” from conversations with those in the trenches trying to implement DevOps, ranging from admins and developers all the way up to CIOs and other business leaders. According to Hulme, these five drivers are what “many say are currently acting as a catalyst for pushing DevOps forward in their organization.”

Clearing the application backlog

It’s probably not new to you that the enterprise is busier than before, as it tries to satisfy growing customer demand for innovative and multi-platform applications to help them live and work more efficiently. According to Hulme, “These demands, plus the pressure in recent years to build more apps for more form factors is pushing many development teams further and further behind schedule. They find themselves buried in application backlogs.” DevOps philosophies, which emphasize increasing release velocity while reducing errors, will help organizations clear through those backlogs.

Improving mobile development

Mobile is exploding as more and more consumers become connected, and the next wave can already be seen on the horizon with the wearable device market just beginning to heat up. Not only is there huge demand, but the constantly shifting nature of both devices and apps as new technology is introduced means that mobile development and operations teams are in a constant state of change. From Hulme’s perspective, “It’s clear that creating dedicated mobile development teams isn’t working for all organizations that seek to maximize their productivity.” The DevOps emphasis on automating the delivery pipeline makes it possible for mobile development and operations to respond to this rapid rate of change.

DevOps has become mainstream

In Hulme’s opinion, the debate over whether or not DevOps works, or provides any real benefits, has been laid to rest. The question now is not about whether DevOps is worthwhile. It’s about how fast organizations can successfully implement DevOps, or how those who have implemented can improve even more.

DevOps helps design teams

User experience, along with UI, are paramount in mobile, and those companies that are able to rapidly deliver new mobile apps and respond to market feedback to improve existing apps will gain the competitive edge. Hulme remarks that in light of these conditions, “It’s surprising that DevOps isn’t more entrenched in enterprise mobile design.” With its emphasis on collaboration, it should be possible to extend DevOps further left to include the design team to further streamline the pipeline all the way from ideation to delivery. In fact, “Some have called this focus on building better UX/UI functionality DesignOps, and more organizations are working to bring the same levels of collaboration and team integration with design and development as they’ve done with operations and development.”

Better feedback from business leaders

Ultimately, DevOps is about bringing IT and the business closer together. It’s about enabling IT to become more responsive to the needs of the business, so that the business can be more responsive to the market. And when DevOps is successful, that’s exactly what happens. DevOps, “with new toolsets and new workflows and tighter levels of collaboration and workflows means new assumptions of how business management can or will work with IT.” DevOps transforms IT into a strategic weapon that the business can deploy where and when it wants to, and from what Hulme has seen, “Savvy businesses recognize the opportunity and are already engaging with their IT departments.”

Read more about the benefits DevOps brings to the business in our white paper, The Business Case for DevOps.

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