With our Digital Enterprise Transformation Day New York rapidly approaching, Digital Diary sat down with one of our sponsors, Go2Group to gain a first-hand look into how technology is growing and affecting the enterprise, especially when it comes to the DevOps scope.
Thank you to Go2Group for sharing your insight with us!
DevOps has been hailed as a pillar of modern IT infrastructure. Where do you think the future of DevOps is heading?
Interest in DevOps is fueled by demands of the business for IT products and services to be delivered faster and with greater agility. We are now knee-deep in the era of digitalization where we see many companies reimagining their business and operating models based on digital capabilities. The need to innovate is key for every company, and this is driving businesses to demand faster and agiler IT delivery capabilities. Thus, we see DevOps to be the key approach for organizations looking for more effective, agile and faster ways to plan, develop, release and manage applications to accelerate time to market.
More than 80% of our customers worldwide have reported that they have adopted some principles and practices of DevOps. We’ve also noted that some initial efforts have not been successful mainly due to cultural and behavioral difficulties, hence they have to reset their DevOps initiatives. In essence, the adoption of DevOps has become more widespread, yet every implementation is unique and tailored to requirements. We believe that larger enterprises will continue to not only embrace DevOps but also implement the practices company-wide.
With new technology trends affecting DevOps in the enterprise, what tools are needed to overcome barriers and challenges in order to have success in DevOps in this new era of digital technology?
Most DevOps initiatives in the enterprise focus on leveraging automation. Most of our clients are adopting DevOps to achieve continuous delivery and using sets of tools (offered by Atlassian, Cloudbees, and the likes) to support the initiative. Our customer interaction reveals that they make tool choices for DevOps independently as specific need arises — tools for requirements management, test management, IT service management, or release automation. This leads to a chain of tools that support end-to-end application delivery — from software development through release and into production. But focusing on specific areas creates “tool silos” that often results in many disparate or disconnected tools and processes. Eventually, this would require integration to achieve greater visibility and efficiencies through the introduction of automation on workflow.
There are also cases where this approach results in tool duplication or overlap (like multiple configuration tools) and leaves functional gaps (like metrics gathering, operations activities, and security requirements), as tool vendors extend their tool capabilities across the delivery chain.
Evidently, as organizations strive to develop a toolchain to support DevOps practices to speed up the movement of releases through the toolchain, they have to deal with many issues including tool integration and implementation of automation across the DevOps pipeline. Most modern integrations are being done at an API level (like REST APIs). But in some scenarios, deeper integration may be required to ensure that specific parameters and data can be exchanged or shared cohesively. ConnectALL is an example of a modern integration technology platform that can support such integration scenarios. In addition, it is best practice to implement proper controls and manage the toolchain with information security being taken into account.
DevOps adoption requires regular investment in both tools and training, and skills enhancements as the initiative matures.
How do you remain consistent with your product and services, and deliver effective solutions to enterprises undergoing a DevOps transformation?
We are constantly innovating — customer feedback is key to understanding what works and what doesn’t, and ultimately to drive improved customer experience. We understand an enterprise’s requirement and help the organization align all application development and delivery lifecycle participants on three levels – people, process, and tools. And we recognise that enterprises must deliver robust applications that are secure, available, scalable, intuitive, and resilient in the face of failures. The first step to do is to understand what already works in your organization. Typically, DevOps is initiated to extend agile development efforts with continuous integration (CI) upstream and continuous delivery (CD) downstream, leveraging technologies and automation. Automation of continuous delivery is possible with constant communication and collaboration – saving time, reducing defects, increasing consistency, and enabling self-service. This is where we step in. At Go2Group, we offer DevOps services that drive business teams toward high-performance, empowers teams to seamlessly accelerate delivery, and enables increased efficiency through cross-team collaboration. We help enterprises to establish the foundation for a DevOps transformation. Enterprises can jumpstart their DevOps transformation and tap into Go2Group’s proven track record in DevOps implementation. To enable this, we are also constantly looking at building partnerships with DevOps experts who have significantly invested in their DevOps practices. Our strong and dedicated team of trained and certified technical consultants have extensive and proven experience in deploying our solutions.
What advice do you have for C-Level executives and businesses looking to stay ahead of the DevOps and digital revolution?
Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that DevOps focuses on business outcomes! It is implemented with agile methods with a high degree of automation and technologies while focusing on collaboration and highly visible progress. The key aspect of DevOps implementation is to align it with business requirements and not ‘doing DevOps for the sake of DevOps,’ wherein the methods and tools become more important than what the business and customers need. Launching a DevOps initiative starts with a business reason to do so.
Secondly, many large and established companies worry too soon about how to scale their DevOps efforts. If you focus on how to scale a DevOps initiative before you start the initiative, you run the risk of never actually getting started. A key element in learning to scale is understanding what works in your organization. Common mistakes in large organizations include trying to do too much too quickly and launching a new initiative with a project that is critical to the success of the business. Instead, select a small, less-critical project to prove value and learn from the experience.
Thirdly, with the lack of standard, definition, and framework, successful DevOps organizations define standards for their enterprises and adopt disciplines and tools to build processes fit for people who work across traditional IT silos, such as development or operations. By reducing process rigidity, and emphasizing on agile and dynamic adaptive practices, each implementation continually adjusts and redefines its practices to improve the desired outcome.
Fourth, people are the main ingredient in a successful DevOps initiative. Identify the people who will make the initiative successful. When selecting people for the initial team, emphasize behavior over skills. Set objectives at the team level and align it with the business objectives. DevOps team members must realize that they all have the same objective, and the metrics must reinforce that team success is a prerequisite for individual success.
Lastly, a logical loop would be to scale up DevOps after initial successes — when ready!
What trends in digital transformation and digital business are you keeping an eye on and looking to learn about in 2018?
- We expect the following trends to be impactful for DevOps initiatives:
- Artificial intelligence or machine-assisted analytics will become a dominant part of monitoring and feedback loop crucial to user experience enhancements and customer satisfaction.
- We often hear this term “connecting the data.” The trend is to be able to extract value from the information, both from internal and external sources, without bringing it together into a single place.
- We expect microservices and containers to dominate new product development, and further evolution in infrastructure, information, security and toolchain architectures.
- While we expect in-house data centers and hybrid cloud to continue to dominate enterprise workloads, public cloud services will play an important role in DevOps tools and products.
- Industry interests around DevSecOps are gaining momentum; basically, embedding security into the DevOps development model without reducing agility and speed.
At Go2Group, we have started to address these trends in our offering and we will continue to evolve along with these trends. We are constantly striving to provide seamless support and security for enterprises looking for the right mix of tools, strategies, and integrated teams to direct their DevOps initiatives toward business growth. Go2Group’s DevOps offerings revolve around services, products, and solutions that are indispensable to DevOps implementation within IT and other business teams.
- Assessment, roadmap, cloud strategy, traceability improvements, CI/CD pipeline design, integration, cross-platform migration, continuous test automation, training on DevOps partner tools, and more
- A scalable integration platform, called ConnectALL, which enables your enterprise to function as a cohesive unit, and seamlessly unifying various DevOps systems
- Applications like CAC/PIV Authenticator, RSA Authenticator, and Two-Factor Authenticator, which are built into Atlassian tools to deliver a continuous DevSecOps process
- Complete assistance to adapt to the cloud or migrate applications to the cloud from selecting providers, configuring, and transitioning to the cloud
We’re excited that Go2Group is attending the event this April. Can you give our readers a hint as to what you’ll be showcasing?
We have invited one of our biggest customers — International Game Technology (IGT) — to share their experience and best practices on how they succeeded in enabling their DevOps initiative goals by developing a toolchain. As one of the most recognizable companies in the gaming industry, IGT depends highly on its ability to perform and deliver best-in-class application development and delivery in faster and agiler ways. Working in a heterogeneous environment that includes dozens of non-collaborative tools made the task of automation a technically complex and arduous one. IGT will share how they planned, designed, and implemented a toolchain.
What are the benefits of attending an intimate C-Level event like ours?
This is a very good and meaningful platform, not only for networking, but also engaging with co-leaders in Digital Transformation and examining their IT strategies, understanding industry trends, and getting fresh insights into new technologies.
Maritess helps Go2Group to get its product innovations to those who need them most. She is also the Managing Director of Go2Group’s subsidiary in Hong Kong, Go2Group Asia Limited. Maritess has extensive experience in business management, and software and product development. Her primary focus was on quality engineering and management. She recently served as the principal research analyst of IT at research and advisory firm, Gartner. Maritess was a director of business quality and project management for Philips Electronics in Hong Kong and Singapore. She also led business process improvement initiatives using Designs for Six Sigma (DFSS).
Go2Group, a global provider of IT delivery solutions, helps enterprises achieve business agility. Founded in 2002, the company offers enterprise-level software products and services for ALM (Application Lifecycle Management), DevOps, cloud, and agile practices. It specializes in complex integration projects involving multiple platforms and multiple teams for improved productivity, enhanced collaboration, and accelerated application delivery. Go2Group has a proven track record in DevOps leadership and implementation, providing tools and applications built on latest technology and processes, and a strong and dedicated team of trained and certified technical consultants. www.go2group.com
You can meet Go2Group at our Digital Enterprise Transformation Day New York, and follow along on social media using #MillenniumLive for more insights.
ABOUT DIGITAL ENTERPRISE TRANSFORMATION DAY NEW YORK
Digital Enterprise Transformation Day NY is your chance to meet with experts from across the Tri-State area, in an intimate setting. With high-level content, disruptive solution providers, and enhanced networking opportunities, this one-day event promises to provide you with the knowledge you need to take advantage of new technology in 2018 and beyond.