While the concepts of agile and DevOps have been around for years, many organizations struggle to apply these fast-paced methods to software development. Organizations are eager to adopt these concepts, yet they often end up becoming puzzled and disappointed. The coming year will be defined by organizations recovering from the economic fallout created by the pandemic, raising the stakes for IT departments and managers, who will struggle to fulfill the continually complicated demand for software delivery on a limited budget.
When we wrote the copy for the new XiteiT website, we observed the upcoming trends and challenges in the DevOps\SRE market. We spoke to customers, partners, and influencers and noticed a common thread. Many organizations which have already adopted DevOps and agile, still lack a “sense of urgency” when running their cloud application and services.
DevOps and agile are ideas which can have a wide variety of interpretations and each organization will generally implement it in its own unique way. Getting as many organizations as possible to see eye-to-eye on this issue and getting them to understand the urgency of using DevOps and agile methods, as well as illustrating how much these methods can benefit the organization, is the real challenge the industry faces, and in the year ahead efficient and directed technology delivery will become more crucial than ever before.
Many companies struggle when they emphasize the importance of superficial forms and tools rather than the philosophy and results, or fail to build collaboration with personnel in departments other than development such as testing, who can contribute to deciding what to build into the software.
Emphasizing DevOps can be challenging from an organizational perspective. DevOps lacks the shine and novelty of a new tool or feature, which makes it more difficult for organizations to see the urgency of implementing DevOps. Additionally an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality means that organizations are reluctant to adopt new methods. DevOps should be flexible and easily applicable into any company’s methodology, but since it is difficult to see direct benefits or financial growth tied to building a DevOps flow, it is low on the priority list for organizations when engineering resources are allocated. This leads to DevOps implementation stagnating while the rest of the development process evolves.
Developing DevOps requires building an engineering team with a stable foundation, which will speed them up and improve their efficiency. Recognize the areas in which an improved DevOps flow will contribute most. Improving DevOps is an investment which must be made if you’re looking to grow your agile team.
The Agile Manifesto advocates placing an emphasis on the individuals behind the code and their collaboration, as opposed to processes and tools. Many software companies struggle with this concept, as processes and tools seem simpler to work with. This indicates that DevOps is more than simply a ‘job to be done’. It is a way of life, a culture that, especially for software companies, converts organizations into becoming operations-driven rather than development-driven. While some consultancies and software companies may try to offer you tools which claim to give you agile and DevOps and make you digital, this gives the illusion that there is an easy way to adopt agile and DevOps principles.
Organizations should focus on value and results when looking at agile initiatives. Frameworks known as ‘enterprise agile’ frameworks, based on the Agile Manifesto, are increasing in popularity and provide users with a top-down management model. These frameworks deviate from the Manifesto, which places more of a focus on responding to change as opposed to following a plan. The frameworks provide a formula for plan management; however, they can make adapting to change difficult.
Another challenge agile faces in the coming year is how it can be applied beyond the IT department. Agile technology, particularly automation can benefit the business sector. It is essential to emphasize the importance of promoting a sense of urgency not just across IT but organization-wide, to truly adopt agile and DevOps, and to unlock the real value of it. Using digital process automation technology for cross organization collaboration can positively affect agile projects. An example of this would be automation technologies including options for visual programming, allowing citizen developers to build user interfaces, and outline business rules and conditions as well as improve coding capabilities such as templates, archetypes, SDKs, and extension points.
Technology and tools can help organizations develop better flow; however, there is no easy answer. Like with the cloud, technologies created with traditional platforms can introduce new problems. Technology alone is not enough, the agile and DevOps philosophies of encouraging collaboration must be implemented, and the focus must be placed on value and results to fully benefit from all agile has to offer.