Using DevOps to build an antifragile organisation
Starting and scaling DevOps within an organisation may be viewed largely as an IT issue rather than a company-wide initiative but this is changing.
To compete in today’s highly competitive digital economy; organisations must become increasingly agile, flexible and innovative. There is significant business value in the establishment of a culture and environment where software can be developed and delivered faster, more frequently, and more reliably.
More than ever before, the collaboration between an organisation’s business and IT teams is critical to the success of software releases.
In this blog we highlight the message from Solnet's presentation at the New Zealand CIO Summit 2017, which was focused on how to align your teams and processes so that they are both flexible and resilient. Along with how to scale DevOps in the enterprise.
You can check out the video below for a more in-depth discussion of the concept of building an antifragile organisation.
The concept of antifragile
Organisations should aim to be ‘antifragile’ which means they are structured so that they become stronger in a changing external environment. This is based on the concept that to become more resilient and flexible, there has to be openness to change and even failure. It is this receptiveness that will lead to an ‘increase in capability, resilience, or robustness…’ according to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ‘Antifragile - Things that Gain from Disorder.’
The application of DevOps principles can build an antifragile organisation. In Solnet’s view these principles are:
- Enhance collaboration across the organisation
- Enable a faster flow of ideas from the business to the customer.
- Establish effective feedback processes that drive continuous improvement.
By focusing on the key metric of time-to-value, and applying DevOps principles, the business will experience positive changes such as faster delivery, increased responsiveness, improved quality and reduced cost. In addition, staff will be more engaged as more of their work is adding tangible value.
During the presentation, we compared the various software development processes and it is clear that BizDevOps, also known as DevOps2.0, is a lot more collaborative. It’s an approach that encourages developers, operations staff and business teams to work together so the organisation can develop software more efficiently, be more responsive to user demand and ultimately maximise revenue.
During this transformation, it is important to remember that teams need to be empowered if they are to collaborate more effectively. Teams can be formulated to support this higher level of interaction. For instance, product teams can be organised to deliver to production fast, and operations teams structured to create the shared platform to enable this.
Turning barriers into opportunities
In the video we identified the top 10 barriers to DevOps adoption and showed how, with the right responses, these can be overcome.
For instance barriers due to culture, application complexity, and legacy integration can be minimised by selecting the right value stream to begin your DevOps journey.
While budget constraints and a lack of executive support may be considered major obstacles, the business case can be significantly improved by showing both the operational and strategic benefits of a more responsive IT capability.
DevOps: A holistic view
Devops is not just about implementing automation tools, or applying a pre-defined methodology. Successful adoption requires applying the key principles in a way that works for your organisation.
Based on our expertise and background in DevOps we help a number of organisations use these principles in a way that aligns individual structures and processes to deliver time-to-value faster.
As director of Solnet’s Enterprise IT Transformation consulting practice, Nick brings more than 30 years' experience to clients. He excels in creating and leading high performance technical teams to achieve great IT outcomes. His time spent working both in New Zealand and Europe provides him a strong base from which to help clients with their enterprise IT, DevOps and agile strategies. As part of the senior executive team he also assists in bringing these disciplines to Solnet itself.