2017 To Be The Year Of 'Smarter' DevOps

by Sohini Bagchi    Dec 05, 2016


DevOps, the methodology that focuses on collaboration between software developers and operationally-focused IT professionals, is increasingly becoming a key business enabler. At the recent CA World 2016, CA Technologies’ annual flagship event held at Las Vegas, Richard Gerdis, ‎VP-Solution Sales, Asia Pacific & Japan for CA Technologies, tells CXOtoday why DevOps is the next big thing in IT.

Analysts believe, DevOps is more of a culture and not a tool. What is your view on this?

Yes, that’s absolutely right. DevOps is surely a culture of software development that seeks stability and performance at the same time speeds software deliveries to the business. In other words, DevOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to end users. Hence a strong shift in culture or a mindset is required to create a high-functioning DevOps environment. However, this cultural change is indeed a challenge and takes a long time to get dev and ops teams to trust one another and transparently communicate project status on a regular basis. It’s also not easy in an organization where top management do not encourage much collaboration. And also this cultural shift doesn’t happen overnight. Hence, it’s good to encourage small changes in everyday conversation, allowing people to get used to these small changes before getting on to the actual DevOps methods.

Despite the momentum, why do you think so many DevOps projects fail?

DevOps projects fail, mostly because of people, not because of technology. We discussed earlier that DevOps isn’t just a shift in process; rather a shift in the entire company culture that can really disrupt traditional roles and alignments. With DevOps, the two teams must closely collaborate. While this collaboration can result wonders when done successfully, it also has high chances of creating friction. Educating teams towards greater collaboration may lead to a more effective shift. However, if this cultural shift doesn’t happen in a company, DevOps is in risk of not delivering on the promise.

So, how can companies determine which projects are best suited for DevOps?

To benefit from DevOps, companies must develop, test and deploy applications and workloads at a rate much faster than they’re used to. Fail fast. Succeed fast. As companies try to shape and refine their DevOps models, they must continually adapt their infrastructure configurations and application functionality requirements to meet end-user demands.

To determine which projects are best suited for DevOps, you need to know how much they will cost, what benefits they can bring to table. Also the duration of time it would take.  While it is important to partner with a specialized DevOps organization, with this fundamental knowledge, companies then can make confident, informed decisions about where to deploy resources and how to gain from the deployment.

What are the key DevOps trends for 2017?

Looking at the tools and emergence of smarter analytics for DevOps teams dealing with automation, testing, deployment, and collaboration it looks like 2017 will be the year of “smarter” DevOps. There are a number of trends we see in the DevOps space not only in 2017, but also in the next couple of years.

As DevOps-ready tools will see more adoption and out-of-the-box functionality, the traditional silos between developers and operations will shrink. As teams focus on continuous delivery and continuous improvement, this means greater accountability and ownership from developer teams to build and run their solutions.

There will be further advances in programmable infrastructure/Infrastructure as a Code. The idea of automating things is not new, but the ability to provision web servers easily and seamlessly is. Owing  to higher acceptance of DevOps and the open source software movement, infrastructure can be programmed so that a team can develop the software and operate its environment at the same time. In the next few years, companies will continue to push more agile, software-based methods of operating the infrastructure.

Moreover Gartner predicts there will be an increase in modular approach to the technology. Earlier, IT organizations have created silos products for their customers. However, going forward they would employ nimble and small teams to take care of individual applications. Companies that will thrive will embrace these challenges to drive future growth.