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Enterprise DevOps – how to avoid the chaos

When you want to scale your IT to support ongoing digital transformation programs, it’s likely you’ll turn to DevOps. It’s the ‘go to’ model for bringing together people, processes, and technology to support the business transformation journey. With DevOps, your development and operations teams work as one with a single focus: to get product ideas to market fast, securely, and with the assurance of quality.

But there’s a problem with this. While the principle of DevOps isn’t new, transforming it into a truly enterprise-wide delivery model (what we call Enterprise DevOps), is not a simple process. That’s because a number of hurdles are standing in the way. However, before I get onto those hurdles, perhaps the question to ask is why should you care? Does Enterprise DevOps really matter to your business? Well, yes it does! Enterprise DevOps makes it possible for enterprises to keep up with (and even anticipate) the next generation IT. It enables flexibility and a quick response to an evolving application architecture and system landscape, as well as to disruptive competition and 24/7 online customers.

Addressing digital acceleration with Enterprise DevOps

There’s clearly a need for this. Adoption of digital technologies has escalated and accelerated both in the home and in the workplace in recent years. This has driven an unprecedented surge in people’s use of digital services like social media and e-commerce. As these have become ingrained in everyday life, it has led to ever-increasing expectations surrounding the user and customer experience. So, it’s no surprise that enterprises are seeking to deploy to production faster and more frequently, providing highly available services for their customers in stable and secure environments.

Yet, faced with decades, or even centuries, of legacy ways of working and legacy technology that needs to be modernized,  many enterprises have IT landscapes, delivery and processes that are simply not fit for purpose.  What’s needed is a different approach. Currently the best blueprint we have to build this next-generation IT capability is DevOps – or more specifically Enterprise DevOps.  

Enterprise-scale IT challenges for DevOps

All of which brings me back to my opening headline: how to avoid the chaos. Here at Sogeti – and working with Microsoft – we’ve conducted some research that reveals six key areas of enterprise-scale IT that face significant challenges as part of a DevOps transformation: product management, distributed and remote working, governance, quality, security, and compliance.

They’re each worth a separate article on their own – and I’ll be covering them in future blogs. Suffice to say, getting to grips with each of these challenges is essential to achieve consistency at scale across your DevOps teams. With multiple self-organizing and silo’d teams a feature of today’s enterprise, there’s a danger of chaos if this consistency isn’t insisted upon. We also know that the goals of the busines (long-lived projects, stable environments, compliance, etc.) contradict the goals of DevOps (rapid pace, disruptive, experimental, fail fast and often, etc.), potentially leading to yet more chaos. Getting to grips with the governance and compliance challenges of Enterprise DevOps is essential to addressing this chaos and helping to deliver the DevOps ambition – at speed.

Look out for my next blog on the challenges around remote and distributed working on the Enterprise DevOps transformation journey. 

Clemens Reijnen
Clemens Reijnen
Global CTO of Cloud Services
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