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Future-proof your business with enterprise DevOps

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The current crisis has affected everyone and we are seeing businesses across all sectors re-evaluating their operations to ensure maximum efficiency and business continuity while also driving down operating costs. By providing optimized customer experiences and monetizing data, companies yield significant benefits and begin their journey towards becoming an Autonomous Digital Enterprise (ADE).

An ADE harnesses technology assets across the organization to successfully navigate social, technological and economic disruptions. Key priorities for ADEs of the future will include unlocking agility, scalability, better customer experiences, and reducing operating expenditures.

This is where Enterprise DevOps comes in. With advanced capabilities that optimize speed and efficiency, Enterprise DevOps can help businesses beat competitors in the uncertain market and create opportunities for future innovation.

What is enterprise DevOps?

The term “Enterprise DevOps” has gradually become more commonplace in IT vocabulary, however that’s also led to a range of definitions. Across technology and business environments, definitions vary, but two core definitions have emerged.

The first defines enterprise DevOps as having the capabilities to run agile teams across an entire enterprise, spanning the whole technology and business portfolio. It optimizes speed, efficiency, and reliability across products and systems by combining automation with the foundation of software DevOps process models.

The second definition extends core DevOps principles to all processes, such as release planning, change management, and product operations.

As they look towards the future, organizations will invest heavily in automation and orchestration solutions to increase DevOps throughout the enterprise and expand and transition existing software DevOps offerings towards enterprise DevOps. Ultimately, enterprise DevOps will ensure that agile development extends beyond DevOps to optimize all surrounding processes. Understanding software DevOps is therefore intrinsic to completely understanding enterprise DevOps.

The current position of software DevOps

After emerging around a decade ago, DevOps models and practices have sparked a number of studies, which explore factors such as adoption rates, success factors, and maturity measurement. For example, the DevOps Research and Assessment LLC (DORA) annually conducts an Accelerate State of DevOps Report that delves into the key trends in the DevOps space.

2019’s report revealed insights into the current state of software DevOps. Notably, it highlighted that the industry is continually improving, with elite performers now comprising 20 percent of all DevOps teams. However, with this improvement, the metrics gap between elite and low performers is becoming substantial - today, elite performers' code deployment frequency is 208x that of low performers.

The report likewise found that delivering software quickly, reliably, and safely lies at the core of technology transformation. As a result, DevOps teams that channel their focus on the metrics of lead time, change fail, availability, deployment frequency, and time-to-restore deliver superior outcomes.

Business continuity and resiliency are also both becoming important in the operational excellence of DevOps, particularly during the recent global uncertainty. To futureproof their operations, organizations need to begin deploying advanced, automated capabilities in the DevOps space and address weaknesses in security testing and automated performances that still exist across DevOps teams.

Even as automation tools accelerate software DevOps towards becoming a default offering, the supporting systems are often the weak link in the application delivery process. Slower surrounding processes, no matter how efficient the development, can delay the overall application journey. The adoption maturity of software DevOps can also differ across businesses. For example, some organizations foster a full DevOps pipeline across innovative development, while others opt for fragmented pipelines, only using the DevOps model for certain business areas.

Moving from software DevOps to enterprise DevOps

Enterprise DevOps encompasses a set of core foundations that allow for ongoing improvement and agility when faced with cultural and behavioral changes. While it doesn’t necessarily fall into a certain market, it can be considered as an extension and evolution of traditional software DevOps models.

When software DevOps began, agile code development and the processes that delivered software into production were the main focus points. However, as DevOps practices grew across the enterprise, development periods became shorter and new processes were included under the DevOps umbrella, such as release planning phases, testing and verification, and operational monitoring.

As organizations adopt DevOps capabilities, legacy tool sets often have to be replaced and upgraded to match the needs of DevOps practices and integrations like source code governance and testing and monitoring tools. To enable DevOps success, businesses should assess DevOps functions against categories such as time, manual effort, and levels of automation, and streamline processes across the enterprise.

While automation is creating new agile development processes, supporting processes are still slow and inefficient, so enterprises should extend the principles of software DevOps to those processes, too, for maximum benefit. With optimized enterprise DevOps processes in place, enterprises can aim to improve overall operational time frames, as well as boost business productivity.

Optimizing change management

Use cases for Enterprise DevOps include release planning, change management, and product operations, to mention just a few. Each of these play a fundamental role in optimizing processes and ensuring the rapid and continuous delivery of software applications and services.

When it comes to change management, adapting existing software and production processes can be difficult and involve numerous boardroom decisions due to regulatory and compliance requirements and the need to coordinate changes across different teams. DevOps teams should therefore foster secure, efficient processes that don’t require heavy coordination costs to achieve change success.

When transitioning towards Enterprise DevOps, teams will also need a clear change program to identify and address sources of process friction surrounding DevOps. This will help them build metrics to measure true end-to-end DevOps time, cost, and success.

Developing the enterprise of the future

Delivering value, agility, and efficiency is fundamental as companies look to the future, and it requires fully embracing tech-enabled systems across all business areas. By moving past legacy processes and developing new, agile operating models that extend DevOps principles beyond software DevOps to all surrounding processes, organizations will improve overall operational timeframes, boost business productivity, and not only survive but thrive as they evolve toward becoming an Autonomous Digital Enterprise.

Herb VanHook, Vice President, Enterprise CTO Services, BMC Software

Herb VanHook is Vice President, Enterprise CTO Services, at BMC Software.