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Enterprise DevOps and agility: The secrets to a successful cloud strategy

Gunnar Menzel

The emergence of cloud and automation has changed the business landscape irrevocably. Cloud-native businesses have, in many cases, overtaken their enterprise competitors, both in agility and innovation – and it’s a trend no enterprise can afford to ignore if it wants to match the cost savings, speed, and quality that cloud-native businesses enjoy by virtue of their inherent agility. The solution? Automate.

In our 2018 study The automation advantage, we surveyed 415 global IT executives using automation at varying stages of maturity. Two groups emerged from the results: “Fast Movers” (the 20% most advanced in applying automation) and “Followers.” Among the Fast Movers, many reported financial and cultural benefits following their shift to automation, including:

  • 76%: improved company profitability
  • 87%: faster product and service delivery
  • 82%: improved software development

Whether you’ve just begun thinking about the cloud or have a tried and tested strategy, there’s a clear technical and cultural roadmap you can follow to join the Fast Movers – Enterprise DevOps. By combining automation with an agile, collaborative culture across IT and the wider business, software development becomes continuous, ultimately delivering greater value for your enterprise and your customers.

A shared goal

DevOps is more than just a means to break the siloes that once existed between developers and operations. It’s a set of practices and methodologies that strive towards the same goal as cloud technology: delivering top-quality apps, faster and with better value for money.

But as Charlie Li discussed in his blog, many businesses fear that the restructuring required to accommodate automation poses a threat to their talent. The truth is, automation can relieve talent of mundane commodity work like software patching and hardware provisioning, in turn allowing them to focus on higher-value activities like QA testing and coding.

In our study, 59% of Fast Movers say they have successfully redeployed engineers to focus on higher-value activities instead of reducing headcount.

A shared culture

Next to automation to make DevOps work, you need to rally everyone around a performance-oriented culture that values trust, continuous deployment, and experimentation. And as cloud leader Sogeti testifies, “Fast Movers aim to allow their business units to access public cloud services independently, and to use automation to advance enterprise DevOps.”

For principal architect Matt Stine at Pivotal, DevOps has been critical in enabling the business to deliver cloud-native, as well as greater business agility: “You have to be doing DevOps and continuous delivery, but that shouldn’t be the goal,” Matt explains. “The goal should be delivering business agility and enabling resiliency. It’s ultimately about delivering business value through software.”

These include:

  • Presenting a small-scale proof of concept before scaling up
  • Establishing a Cloud Center of Excellence to manage the transition
  • Adapting your operating model to enable business-wide collaboration.

While initial resistance is inevitable, defining the benefits and outcomes in a clear roadmap can prove invaluable when rousing support. Fears of job losses will also subside as teams begin to adapt to automation and find themselves working on more rewarding, higher-value activities.

A stronger strategy

Together, Enterprise DevOps and agile working enable businesses to deploy a cloud strategy that doesn’t just relieve staff of mundane tasks, but delivers consistent value – both for your customers and your bottom line. Just ask the 75% of Fast Movers, who say automation has helped them boost overall revenue, as well as the 86% who report improved customer experiences.

Fast Movers adopt a powerful combination of collaborative working and continuous agile development – something we call “the automation advantage.” And while the road to such a transformation can be rocky, the rewards are more than worth the journey.

What’s next?

To learn more about laying an agile foundation for DevOps and automation, read The automation advantage or contact us.

To benchmark your own organization – and find out whether you’re a Fast Mover or a Follower – take our survey