Today organizations create innovative applications and technology in order to drive the business scale higher or increase customer satisfaction. Therefore, what does one mean when they say they want to adopt or implement ‘DevOps’? What is DevOps?
DevOps is neither a solution nor a process, it is a Philosophy. A philosophy including principles and practices affecting People, Processes, and Tools. Adopting DevOps hence is not just about adopting a product or a process, it is about undergoing Transformational Change.
Why banks and financial institutions need DevOps?
The reason to adopt DevOps has to be the reason to provide value to the organization. Considerably reasons may vary from one firm to the other and one team to the other team. It all depends on the goal for DevOps as an organization will have, to determine its practices and principles they need to adopt.
Below are few reasons why banks and financial institutions may adopt DevOps:
• To break down the cultural and organizational silos which are shift in mentality
• To move towards private or hybrid infrastructure
• For a standardized framework with the capability to develop, test and deploy applications
• Speedier deployment
• Reduce cost/time to deliver
• Reduce testing time with reduction in costs
• Minimize deployment related downtime
• Minimize deployment time issues (the weekend long deployment marathons)
• Minimize roll-backs of deployed Apps
• Increase the ability to reproduce and fix defects
• Minimize ‘mean-time-to-resolution’ (MTTR) of production issues
• Reduce defect cycle time
• Reduce challenges related to Dev and Ops collaboration
Dev vs Ops
Historically most organizations have struggled with the Dev and Ops relationship. As Dev is tasked with producing innovative capabilities and automating business processes for speed and efficiency. Ops, on the other hand, is tasked with making sure the systems these applications run on are stable, available and responsive. To overcome these challenges, they need to communicate and collaborate more to make sure they align and work together. Communicate enough to ensure Dev brings about innovation keeping Ops in the loop on the changes Ops will need to make to enable those innovations. And Ops need to get more involved in the processes of Dev and get more visibility into what Dev is building so they can preemptively make the changes they need to make to deploy what Dev produces, ultimately work as a team!
Aligning Dev and Ops
One of the biggest hindrance companies’ face today is Dev and Ops have been separated by a large wall, which results in hindered communication. There are companies who outsource three different vendors for development, Q&A, and infrastructure for a particular project. Hence, there is not much collaboration going on between the teams. So how does one align both the teams together? There are few guiding principles in the DevOps space that must be used in order to achieve organizational transformation.
• Shift Left: The Major goal of DevOps is to bring Development and Operations together not only during the deployment but throughout the development cycle. In turn, it requires Developers to keep Operational considerations in mind while building their applications. This is referred to as ‘Shift Left’. As in shifting towards the left, some Ops responsibilities. Shifting it earlier in the software delivery lifecycle, towards Dev.
• Collaboration across Teams: In order to better collaborate teams should use tools that are fully integrated for example Change management or Work item management tools. They allow seamless visibility and traceability and creat a best possible scenario.
• Build Application Aware Environment: Developers need to develop environments that are Application Aware or are fine tuned for the applications they are designed to run. More importantly, environment need to architected in a manner which allow evolution of the applications, both as they are developed; as they are projected to change or as they may evolve in the future. This obviously, would require close collaboration between Dev and Ops to Architect Environments and the projected evolution to align with the application.
• Environment Sprints: Agile Development Principles prescribe that at the end of every Sprint, developers have a build. This would mean that at the end of each Sprint, the Dev team will have an executable and the Ops team will have an environment, a production-like environment (potentially with very limited production like capabilities), built that the executable can be deployed on. This would allow the build to be tested in a production-like environment. This would also provide immediate feedback to the Ops teams on the behavior of the application in their environment and use that feedback to improve the environment. Which again provides an opportunity for the Ops and Dev teams to align better.
However, these principles are only designed to align Dev and Ops together, if you have right people in place, space to operate, and focus on clearing away impediments to their progress; you will be amazed to see the magic.
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