How DevOps is transforming business management
Over the last few years, DevOps has become quite a buzzword in the IT world. It’s now a term that is starting to echo in other business areas as well, outside of the IT department – and in doing so it has taken on additional meaning. DevOps has become almost synonymous with ‘agile collaboration’ in any context.
So what does this trend mean for business management? And what can a non-technical application of DevOps learn from its IT origins?
What is DevOps?
If you’re not up to speed with the term DevOps, it stands for a set of methodologies bringing together Development and IT Operations in an agile, collaborative relationship.
The purpose of DevOps is to improve the relationship between the two units, by encouraging better communication and collaboration. As a result, the entire IT delivery process can often be massively accelerated.
The universal DevOps principles
Many organisations are starting to recognise that there is a need for breaking down some of their ‘hard silos’ in the business. Rather than working in isolation, many functions and departments can benefit from taking a collaborative approach to working more efficiently together.
To better understand how this can work in practice, let’s take a look at some of the key values of DevOps:
- DevOps aims to improve the business
Even though DevOps was born in IT, its purpose is not to make IT better – it aims to help the business become more successful. This is why so many of its elements can be applied to other functions.Any methodologies, processes and tools across your entire business should aim to make your organisation more competitive, which is what DevOps is all about – making it useful for all teams.
- The principles are based on Agile and Lean
The Agile approach to software development is a set of processes that aim to speed up development and focus very clearly on the end result. It’s about being nimble, flexible and able to respond to any changes quickly, helping everyone get to the final solution faster.Agile thinking is already spreading into non-IT areas, giving rise to Agile Marketing, Agile Sales, and Agile Business Management.
- Culture is crucial
Even with the best tools and systems in the world, a DevOps culture needs to be nurtured to be successful. This means working actively to change things like communication habits, attitudes, problem-solving skills, and conflict management.One of the most powerful aspects of DevOps culture is the ‘no-blame’ approach. If something goes wrong in the team, it’s not one individual’s fault but the fault of the system. This approach reduces friction and helps to maximise future improvements.
- Feedback fuels innovation
In a successful DevOps environment, nobody is afraid of suggesting improvements or trying new things. Experimentation is welcomed as a key part of the innovation process.A business can implement this thinking into other departments by encouraging ‘feedback loops’, where improvements are constantly measured and monitored. This leads to not only a huge amount of learning internally, but also plenty of service value that can be directly passed on to the customer.
- Automation helps
In IT, automation is a natural element of daily life and has come to play a critical part in testing, production, and deployment. Automation can often hold the key to releasing new products in hours rather than weeks and months.
Outside of IT, however, there is often just as many opportunities to automate tasks and processes. A proactive business should always consider new ways to cut waste, improve consistency of quality and speed up delivery in every department.
Get better results with software
Here at DCSL, we often work with clients who need to see quick results. They want to prove concepts, and they want to start seeing return on investment as soon as possible. For us, this translates into an agile, flexible development process that gets rapid results.
But for our clients, software is of course just one piece of the puzzle. The next challenge is to find ways of using the principles represented in DevOps to manage a lean, efficient, and profitable business.