Cloud adoption has initiated major changes for businesses across a wide variety of industry sectors. Whereas traditional on-premise servers required organisations to focus on hardware like server size and storage space, the move to the cloud has brought applications and services to the forefront.
Previously, businesses would purchase a software package from a supplier and would then be responsible for its management and any subsequent issues they had with it. Cloud computing has meant that software engineers work together with clients to ensure the best results, something that has helped facilitate the growth of the DevOps movement.
The collaboration and sharing of data enabled by the cloud has ultimately meant that DevOps teams can more effectively manage applications with operation and customer satisfaction in mind at all times.
By moving from a server-centric approach to an application-centric one, DevOps is needed to ensure that these services have operation in mind from the very outset. Both cloud and DevOps have brought function and operation together and hence are often mutually reinforcing approaches.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) as delivered by the cloud means that users experience function and operation together as a seamless whole and expect continuous maintenance and improvements to that service. DevOps also views function and operation together, enabling faster and more effective software solutions to be created.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses also need to be more agile than ever and the way that they achieve this agility is through software. However, traditional approaches to software development cannot adequately address business and customer needs in the 21st century.
Instead, cloud computing has enabled a faster and more agile deployment of innovation at all layers of an organisation, whether it’s infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service or software-as-a-service. With so much more virtualisation than ever before, companies can receive new resources in minutes, compared to the months it took previously.
With the shorter application lifespan initiated by the cloud, DevOps must enable faster application rollout. By encouraging greater collaboration between development and operations teams, the latter can enable continuous deployment that is automated, integrated and aligned with business needs.
DevOps has cut application building time down from months to just days, and this is not surprising considering how rapidly businesses are being disrupted. Technological change is a great enabler, but it is also highly transformative, and DevOps allows organisations to react much quicker to these changes.
As more and more businesses move to the cloud, it is likely that we will continue to see agility increase, but this will remain constrained by the effectiveness of company DevOps teams.
In order for agility to continue increasing, firms must ensure they have a collaborative culture in place geared towards faster app creation. Deployment needs to be a streamlined, automated process, use an integrated end-to-end toolchain and be set against a company-wide set of metrics or objectives. It is only by having an effective DevOps strategy that businesses will see agility continue to increase alongside cloud deployment.
The importance of cloud computing and DevOps to business agility will be one of the major topics for discussion at this year’s IP Expo, taking place on the 20-21 May at Manchester Central.