by Nicole Morley
Digital transformation is a term that is hard to escape from in business today.
Each organisation’s approach to digital transformation and change is different, based on internal competencies, operational goals, desired business objectives and ultimately customer needs. Nevertheless, in most cases of successful digital transformation, there is one important factor that remains constant: the need for increased agility.
As a result of digitisation and our access to a wave of emerging technologies, the speed at which organisations are required to perform, respond and transform to changing market conditions and new innovative opportunities is accelerating. Faced with more demanding requirements for 24/7 availability and security, C-suite executives and IT departments are looking for new ways to deliver features faster.
In this article, we are going to focus on two ways in which organisations are aiming to achieve this. First up is DevOps, regarded by McKinsey & Co as, “The key to IT infrastructure agility”. Second is transitioning an enterprise to a cloud technology platform, to offer supreme technological agility.
The term “DevOps” barely existed a decade ago. But since its wide adoption in the enterprise over the past decade, DevOps has moved from tech buzzword to increasingly common practice. The term refers to an enterprise fostering a high degree of collaboration across the full IT value chain (from business, over development, operations and IT infrastructure), with successful cases witnessing benefits including a 25 to 30 percent increase in capacity creation, a 50 to 75 percent reduction in time to market, and a greater than 50 percent reduction in failure rates.
George Spafford, research director at Gartner, explains that in situations that involve uncertainty when trying to solve a business problem, DevOps can help companies experiment faster to get to the right solution.
However, there is no universal set of practices, understanding or definition about DevOps, and building a successful DevOps into IT infrastructure is not an easy hurdle to overcome. According to McKinsey, there are 6 fundamental shifts required to successfully extend DevOps to IT departments: 1. Work as one team, 2. Apply design thinking to IT infrastructure, 3. Shift to next-generation technical practices, 4. Invest in building software engineering talent, 5. Overinvest in cultural change, 6. Link incentives to delivery and service goals. To read this full report, click here.
Transitioning to the Cloud
Cloud computing is focal for DevOps. The growing emphasis on the need for DevOps in organisations is placing an extra pressure on infrastructure teams, so choosing the right platform to underpin the IT infrastructure is paramount. Traditional storage systems are often unable to cope with the requirements of a simple, flexible and automated enterprise infrastructure, calling for a transition to something more sophisticated.
As IT departments seek to overcome the challenges of outdated, legacy infrastructures, organisations are starting to witness the benefits that adopting an agile and scalable cloud strategy can offer. As well as this, transitioning to the cloud aids an organisation’s preparation to adopt DevOps practices, which cannot be fully supported by traditional infrastructure.
As cloud-first strategies are all the hype, we are starting to see enterprises adopt a cloud strategy that includes a combination of public cloud and their own private cloud.
This move to what is known as a “hybrid cloud” platform, a mix of public and private cloud, aims to generate the benefits of public cloud for workloads that need agility and scale, while retaining control of workloads and data that are to be kept internal.
Demand for DevOps skills soars as organisations’ spending on digital transformation projects increase
To reap the benefits of a DevOps model, as a means to accelerate development efforts and deliver new applications and services, you can’t rely on merely ensuring you have the right IT infrastructure in place. You need the right people too.
With the growth of the cloud and DevOps models, organisations are also updating their talent acquisition strategies and seeking out DevOps and cloud engineers with software engineering experience.
In fact, according to a 2018 LinkedIn report, the most recruited job overall on LinkedIn is for DevOps Engineers. Every CIO, CTO and CEO I know is looking to deploy DevOps in their organisations.
Demand for DevOps Managers (43%), Senior DevOps Staff (26%) and DevOps Engineers (16%) have all grown over the last two years and are now needed to support many organisations’ expanding DevOps initiatives.
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