DevOps is a great enabler for enterprises to deliver change more efficiently. However, human and machine orchestration is required to safely achieve key strategic business goals and initiatives. There needs to be support for the strategic IT goals of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) with the clear belief that enterprise-level Continuous Transformation (CT) is the real goal.
However, to achieve this, enterprises first have to successfully adopt DevOps across their organization, and find the right balance between automation and work done by people. Enterprises can face a number of challenges when moving to DevOps and making the most out of both automation and people. These are just a few:
1) You can’t go from 0-100% automation overnight
DevOps seeks to automate everything that can be automated, but you can’t automate what you can’t see. First, you need to know what activities are happening across the enterprise in order to see where the opportunities for automation are. This can be a difficult middle step between fully manual and fully automated when information is siloed and hidden in spreadsheets, documents and individual expert knowledge. Legacy architecture, both proprietary and vendor, can also limit the opportunities for automation, which can lead to an increased need for change within the organization in order to move towards more modern technologies.
2) There will always be a need for people
Although increasing automation for repetitive tasks is great for productivity and accuracy, not everything can (or should) be automated. Some tasks are just better done by humans, and you will always need people to be in control of and accountable for any change, even if all the processes are automated. However, handoffs between human and automated tasks can slow things down and reduce the advantages of automation if these handoffs are not managed properly. Once everything that can be automated has been automated, and people have full visibility and control over the entire process, they are freed up to do more valuable work and the change is more likely to be a success.
3) Dealing with the increased volume of change
DevOps CI and CD can lead to an increased volume of change through high-speed technical delivery. However, simply focusing on IT releases creates an abstraction between delivery and business enablement, making it harder to keep track of how IT delivery correlates to the realization of business benefits. This leads to a need for greater visibility of the entire landscape of enterprise change in order to link the delivery of individual updates or new technologies back to their purpose within the business.
4) Too much focus on “Dev”, not enough focus on “Ops”
Organizations have invested millions of dollars in best-in-class tooling to accelerate and automate testing and software release. So far, the focus has been on the “Dev” and not the “Ops”. Software Developers and Test Analysts typically only make up 25-30% of the overall IT community and it is therefore inconceivable that the successful delivery of IT change is not going to require human interaction in terms of internal and external client engagement and achieving the required levels of operational resilience. This is why a “Human and Machine Orchestration at Pace” response will always be required even when DevOps is fully implemented.
Most enterprises are less than 10% of the way through their automation journey and many will struggle to make the most out of both DevOps automation and human expertise and experience, without the work orchestration and observability provided by Cutover. Download the fact sheet for more information on the Cutover platform.
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