Why Building a DevOps Culture Is Critical to Digital Transformation


Digital transformation goes deeper than simply upgrading tools. Richard Whitehead, evangelist in chief and CTO of Moogsoft discusses why  It’s also imperative to develop a strong DevOps culture to enable a deeper and broader transformation.

A majority of  IT executives (69%) say they are accelerating digital business initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gartner’s 2021 CIO AgendaOpens a new window . And this acceleration is seen in the forecasts for the global digital transformation market. The already $521.5 billion digital transformation industry is expected to reach $1,247.5 billion by 2026Opens a new window . 

In other words, most enterprises are waking up to the fact that digital transformation is critical to long-term success, and every business is indeed a digital business. But despite the investment and belief in the promise of digital transformation, an astounding 84% of enterprises failOpens a new window to achieve desired results from their digital transformation efforts.

How can enterprises successfully improve business operations with modern technology?

In a nutshell, enterprises should embrace a true DevOps (development and operations) culture.

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Delving into DevOps Culture

Some of the enterprises prematurely declare their digital transformation journey complete after adopting the latest technologies and ditching legacy tools. But modernization goes deeper than upgrading tools. Companies need to build a strong DevOps culture first, and the supporting tools and technologies can follow.

Enterprises that do not take a DevOps approach to software development and infrastructure management silo responsibilities between designated teams. The development team writes the code and tests it before handing it over to the operations team to deploy and release the software. 

The problem is that siloed workloads and multiple software handoffs slow down releases. And a lack of ownership over the final product can diminish the product’s overall quality. This doesn’t work in today’s modern digital world, where keeping pace with competitors demands continuous innovation.

Enter DevOps culture. DevOps — with its emphasis on fast, frequent delivery — is an increasingly critical element of digital transformation success, starting with the “3 ways”, flow (rapid delivery), feedback, and experimentation (fast iterations).

In general, DevOps culture is about the collective “we.” The mindset values teamwork and avoids rehashing problems in favor of discussing problem prevention techniques. 

The DevOps community also moves expeditiously and enables speed with autonomy. For example, DevOps practitioners can often test their own codes and push their own work into production. This sense of ownership also improves the quality of work.

As one of my team members described itOpens a new window as, “Giving a developer restricted access to production is like going bowling with the bumper lanes up. Taking a kid bowling with those bumpers up, they’re not going to care when and where they throw the bowling ball. They’re just going to let it go left and right, and eventually, the ball will get to the bowling pins. However, take off the bumpers, and they’re going to be a lot more intentional about how they’re delivering the bowling ball.” 

In addition to autonomy, DevOps practitioners have an obsession with automation. For example, on epf our clients has tried to implement a DevOps culture. They have a very small tech team because they automate every manual intervention possible. And in addition to saving time, they eliminate mundane work and human error. 

This approach to automation is fundamentally different from a legacy IT shop’s approach. A traditional IT professional might say, “No software program will replace my years of experience.” But in the DevOps world, it would sound like, “I want to automate any manual process that will help me move on to high-value tasks and help me continue iterating and improving.” This improvement of daily work is such a core concept, it’s one of the five “ideals” of DevOps.

By combining software development with operations, DevOps practitioners break down silos and foster collaboration, communication and understanding. The unique DevOps culture enables its practitioners to get fast feedback and respond to improve products and services. And all of these elements together build a culture of innovation and agility where experimentation is valued and rapid technology adoption is encouraged. 

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Why AIOps is Essential to DevOps Culture

While DevOps culture puts a premium on rapidly deploying innovative apps and services, users demand continuous availability of these apps and services. And keeping apps and services always on and performing at peak performance requires monitoring. But legacy monitoring systems are too slow, rigid and information-heavy for today’s fast-moving DevOps practitioners. 

Artificial intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) solutionsOpens a new window allow DevOps practitioners to innovate quickly and confidently. AIOps tools automate observability to build continuous service assurance into CI/CD pipelines. 

In real-time, AIOps tools identify data anomalies and correlate incidents, notifying teams of significant issues and providing valuable context to the problem. By detecting incidents early in the incident lifecycle, DevOps practitioners can mitigate issues before entering live environments and becoming more costly to the business and more time-consuming to fix. 

Unlike the developers of old, DevOps practitioners need to understand how the production environment is performing at all times. Using metrics like session length and bounce rate, teams can see what’s working and pivot when necessary. 

The automated workflow and decreased mean time to resolution (MTTR) also delight DevOps pros. Saving time enables these professionals to spend less time fixing issues and more time focusing on the high-level innovative initiatives that further accelerate digital transformation. 

Digital transformation is a business imperative in our rapidly changing digital economy. But achieving desired outcomes from this transformation relies on a robust DevOps culture — and the supporting tools — to keep the business innovating and keep those innovations performing. 

How can DevOps transform work for your IT team? Share with us on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to know!