Interesting guest post by Dave  ?? Anderson Agile geek. Fintech nerd. Former engineer. Troublemaker. Speaking at the Ammeon Breakfast briefing, December 8th. More details and tickets here.

Use DevOps to future proof your business

This post is based on my recent presentation at DevOps World London. Tweet #Devops #DevopsDodo.

We live in changing times. Change is the natural order of business – that’s exciting and scary in equal measure.

Average company lifespan on S&P Index in Years

According to Professor Richard Foster (Yale University), the average lifespan of leading US companies dropped by more than 50 years in the last century. And by 2020, more than three quarters of the top 500 companies will be ones we have not heard of yet. So what’s going on? Many traditional companies are being disrupted by faster, more agile new-comers. Think Netflix/Broadcasting, WhatsApp/Telecoms, Uber/Taxis and China’s WeChat/Banking.

During the 1970s and the 1980s, new technology products and features required between one and five years to develop and deploy. By 2010, the introduction of DevOps and Cloud computing saw features (or even entire start-ups) being created in weeks.

Google trends illustrating the rising interest in DevOps since 2010.

Now, new entrants can deploy hundreds or even thousands times a day. This has resulted in unprecedented levels of innovation but also serious competitive threat for those who can’t keep up.

Companies need a strategy to arrive at a future where they are relevant and still in business. Many believe, that in this rapidly changing landscape, IT transformation is the road to survival – and that DevOps and Cloud are the vehicles to success.

Don’t be a dodo and ignore the threat.

DevOps is a Journey

DevOps is a movement where all members across an IT organization work tightly together to enable the fast flow of high quality software and applications from development into live production. It enables companies to:

  • Iterate quickly
  • Avoid wasteful use of resources
  • Eliminate spend on non-productive software
  • Quickly identify the best software to develop to meet customer demand.

DevOps requires the transformation of: people, process and technology, working together to reduce friction and accelerate delivery. Often selecting and implementing the right tools is the most straight-forward aspect of the DevOps trinity. Comprehensive DevOps adoption reaches further into the organisation (Jon Smart, Head of Development Services at Barclays Group, coined the phrase “BizFinancePMOHRLegalComplianceAuditDevSecOps” to illustrate this reach) – it breaks down silos, rebuilds teams and requires new ways of working.

It’s change at scale and that’s daunting. But where do you start?

Analysis Paralysis?

You should start by educating yourself. Preparation is important but remember you are not looking for the perfect process, just one that is right for your organisation. However, there’s no point pencilling out the next year to read the 218 books (and counting) dedicated to the subject or tackling the 21 000 000 web pages in pursuit of a holy grail. Over all that time you would have contributed zero benefits to your business. That’s not good!

But what do I do?

Take immediate action and start making small wins. Follow our mantra “think big, start small, learn fast”.

  • Think Big: Have your end goal in sight.
  • Start Small: Begin with a discrete pilot project to prove value and learn as you do.
  • Learn Fast: Roll those learnings out to another bigger project.

Start small and add value at every step

DevOps delivers value to your customers quickly. With DevOps you can quickly identify what is working, what needs tweaking, and what is a dead end, before you have spent large amounts of in-house development time, and company money.

The U.K.’s SkyTeam help illustrate this point with their Tour De France winning approach.

Think Big: Great Britain’s SkyTeam cycling coach, Sir David Brailsford started with a big goal, to win the Tour de France within 5 years.

Start Small: He used incrementalism to shave off ½% here and 1% there. Lowering the head just slightly. Putting the tyres on exactly straight.

Learn Fast: Continual refinement and the sum of these improvements meant that the SkyTeam won the Tour de France not once – but twice within 5 years.

This approach works!

What is your next step?

Ammeon regularly hosts breakfast briefings for those interested in learning more about how to get started. They are part of our Ammeon Transform It programme. Our next event is in Dublin on 8th December 2016. For more information, click here.

Ammeon Breakfast briefing how Agile, DevOps and Cloud work, Dublin 8th December

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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