4 Approaches to Extending Digital Business Platform with DevOps for Infrastructure Agility

Nov 27, 2018 posted by Sachin Mantri under Project Management, SoftwareAG

In today’s disruptive business economy, enterprises are increasingly poking holes into silos and integrating digital to automate and innovate their IT landscapes. And, lighting their way is a new cutting-edge methodology—DevOps for Infrastructure Agility. 

DevOps helps enterprises hack through agility bottlenecks and achieve continuous delivery. Open and independent by merit, the solution catalyzes digital transformation and combines software development and information technology operations to accelerate the delivery of new capabilities and services. This fosters adaptive capacity, stability, and reliability within enterprises to scale and innovate conclusively. 

In the current scheme of things where digital success is a must, yet not easy, DevOps happens to be the holy grail for enterprises seeking a gentler push to reinforce new and seamless IT. 

But, there are challenges. 

Despite all the good things about agile DevOps and a glut of web guides on how to use it, the fact is most enterprises stumble at the first hurdle—adoption of DevOps. This is primarily because of their entrenched resistance to do away with siloed infrastructure. Most enterprises still work on the outdated, plan-build-run operating model that lacks the ability to mobilize the existing infrastructure for newer integrations; thereby, stymieing every little chance of achieving infrastructural agility. 

Besides this, most enterprises work from remote areas. Plugging integration gaps with DevOps at such a humongous stretch is difficult, and therefore, companies, while trying to extend DevOps across decentralized teams, always find themselves at sea. 

Well, the list of challenges doesn’t end here. Below are the biggest challenges enterprise faces while integrating DevOps with their existing IT anatomy. Take a read. 

Challenges to DevOps Adoption 

1. Upskilling isn’t Easy and Frustrates DevOps Adoption

With DevOps adoption comes a variety of tools, which might be the key to every closed door in the first place, but trigger a whole new set of problems—upskilling employees. An organization’s staff might fail at handling the new tools efficiently, so it’s vital to train employees to use them well, derive maximum output, and ensure that these tools work in tandem with the existing infrastructure. 

While it may seem a buoyant prospect, upskilling employees is challenging, especially for enterprises with remote facilities and elongated value chains. People might show resistance to quit legacy applications and work erratically, tossing all digital endeavors. 

2. The Clash between Dev and Ops Toolsets 

The clash between Dev and Ops toolsets is an issue in DevOps adoption. Since both teams have different methodologies and inclinations, they may show aversion to legacy breakups and may not be competent enough to handle advanced technologies. This can result in compatibility failures, rendering every effort to disrupt and innovate. 

3. The Dev and Ops Functional Domains Often Run Counter to Each Other

The Dev team inspires innovation and the Ops team aims at sustainable service delivery. The developers often code while losing sight of the real ambient conditions and priorities, which put Ops team in a state of fix. This is where the goals of both teams act in opposition. The remedial approach is to have the same team members wearing Dev and Ops hats as per the requirements.

DevOps 1

Another plight is the communication gap. The handovers between Devs and Ops aren’t as easy as sending an email but are expensive and often delay decisions, stalling the adoption of DevOps practices.

What is Software AG’s Digital Business Platform and How it can Help with DevOps? 

DevOps adoption doesn’t happen overnight. Neither there’s any stopgap or silver bullet to bring it to fruition. However, if achieved, the benefits include:

  • Increased capacity by 25 - 30 percent;
  • Shortened time-to-market by 50 - 75 percent
  • Reduced failure rates by more than 50 percent

These numbers are an enticing index as to why enterprises must aim at leveraging DevOps for their IT landscapes to make a crack at infrastructural agility.

Digital Business Platform by Software AG enables DevOps to transform digital business.  According to Software AG, Digital Business Platform is:  “An adaptable technology layer that fits into your existing IT landscape. Created to be open and independent to work seamlessly with the industry’s best solution providers, the Digital Business Platform simplifies and connects your software, apps, devices, and people to quickly infuse business value across your organization.”

The total point of focus for Digital Business Platform is integrating components for a more unified, concentrated, and agile life cycle. It accelerates everything in between, from development, testing to deployment, with an aim to get services up and running as quickly as possible.

Devops

Digital Business Platform with new-age DevOps edition brings an integrated set of features, which offers support for:

a.   Continuous Development (CD)
b.   Continuous Testing
c.   Continuous Integration (CI)
d.   Continuous deployment with low or zero failure rates
e.   Continuous monitoring for better interactive and informed collaboration between front-end developers and IT operations

Software AG’s CTO Wolfram Jost, while throwing light on Digital Business Platform and its new DevOps capabilities, said, “The purpose of webMethods DevOps Edition is to help developers write and launch apps in shorter lead times, (and provide) IT operations with a faster mean time to recovery.” He further added, “Traditionally, developers created monolithic applications for their customers. Today, best practice dictates employing small, nimble development teams comprising software developers and IT operations to work on individual applications. The root of DevOps’ success is in breaking activities into small, modular chunks. For any new product that an organization launches, DevOps teams can approach the application with a modular approach, and have a clear plan on how to break down the existing monolithic products in the same fashion.” Source: idevnews

Approaches to Extending Digital Business Platform with DevOps 

1. Collaboration is Key

DevOps is a combined effect of several amalgamations occurring at development, testing, and personnel levels, and therefore, it fosters a culture of sharing and collaboration between components, which were traditionally siloed. Enterprises must strive to bring cross-functional IT teams together to work as one unit, instead of optimizing discrete components, to accelerate DevOps influx across the IT spectrum through Digital Business Platform. The best way to bridge the gap between teams is through a thoughtful deliberation to understand the valleys and hills of procedural workflows and find out ways to align tools better for producing the intended collaborative outcome. 

2. Bring Next-Gen Technical Practices into Perspective

One way to extend and nurture DevOps mentality is conditioning the IT infrastructure teams to shed its ‘legacy-hardware’ disposition and embrace new-age software-development engineering practices, like extensive test automation, rapid test-and-learn approach, large-scale automation, and continuous delivery of infrastructure with Digital Business Platform. Since enabling an enterprise-wide transition has its people at the center, the right way to condition them is to overcome the confidence barrier, build trust, and ask people to evolve, rather change. Once a team embraces and evolves with DevOps, other teams will be automatically encouraged to get up to speed and increase their competencies; thereby, acting proactively to resolve issues. 

Devops 3. Apply Design Thinking to Leverage Infrastructure

Design Thinking is a buzzing approach to reframe IT infrastructure and deliver a more customer-centric, personalized, and exceptional user experience. Enterprises, while channelizing DevOps, must aim at building a talent pool of design thinkers and understand its application from their perspective. Design Thinkers always address the larger problem, which may or may not appear at the face value. For them, what would look small will have deep tentacles reaching deep down the system, and might need a re-defined, innovative solution. 

The design thinking approach is about approaching the same problem differently. It enables enterprises to adopt the user-first mentality. Design Thinkers think and imitate real-world situations, create user personas, and replicate their journeys to understand the strengths and pain points. They prioritize the solutions in a way that can help them succeed at providing end-to-end value to customers and accelerating business outcomes. 

4. Galvanize Culture Change

Extending Digital Business Platform with DevOps is a cultural shift of tectonic propositions since it entails the complete transformation of fundamental business models. The DevOps adoption spurs senior executives to re-envision business objectives, send IT teams to work for building capabilities and upskilling employees, and hire new executives and build service teams to achieve optimal customer journeys. With the introduction of new tools and technologies, enterprises must strongly focus on driving the culture change, which is key to digital transformation.

Kellton Tech has a long-abiding reputation of being trusted Software AG’s partner for a decade. We have been enabling agile architectures for global clientele based on the high-performance expertise of Software AG’s Digital Business Platform and speeding up Digital Transformation journeys. We are a name synonymous with boosting IT competencies, elevating performance across functions, and driving innovation-led growth for enterprises. 

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