Whitepaper Chapter 4: Increasing Productivity

ecs-admin 13th July 2016

Although increasing productivity takes a spot on the annual SIM trends report, “its relative importance has dropped a bit over the last four years”. Organisations are currently concentrating on other issues such as embracing innovation, digital transformation and speed to market.

Why is this a CIO priority?

For many CIOs, productivity is a ‘nice to have’ rather than a key concern. It may be sacrificed in the short term to achieve speed and innovation.

Whilst increased productivity does bring subsequent benefits in operating expense and speed to market, at the end of the day it all goes back to deepening engagement with customers, by creating increasingly useful applications in a more responsive manner.

Where increase in productivity is a business objective, DevOps holds the keys to being able to achieve.

How can DevOps help?

One of the main aims of DevOps is to increase productivity within IT teams. This is engrained in the overall goal of increased agility and efficiency of DevOps.

A 2014 study that compared productivity using the hours spent on activities by traditional and DevOps IT teams, found that traditional IT teams are an average of 0.8 days less productive than DevOps teams, each week.

Whilst DevOps teams spend more time automating tasks, noticeable time reductions are seen in communicating, firefighting and support.

“In the age of consumerisation of IT and IoT, its critical for organisations to respond to customer demand quickly. We believe that DevOps practices, underpinned by automation software, are key enablers for businesses in becoming more agile and ultimately more successful”

Todd DeLaughter, CEO, Automic Software

The more recent 2016 Puppet State of DevOps report supported this study by highlighting the cooperative, risk-sharing, blameless, and quality-focused nature of DevOps practices. High-performing DevOps organisations actually spend 22% less time on unplanned work and rework, allowing 29% more time to be spent on “new work such as new features or code”. With quality built in each step, time is saved correcting issues at the end of the development cycle.

Forest Technologies’ customers have experienced the following improvements, due to increased employee productivity:

  1. A leading European mobile provider completed customer facing business processes 140 times faster
  2. A leading online gambling company saw an 80% reduction in deployment time
  3. A global supermarket chain saw a 73% reduction time in deployments (from weeks to days!)

In order to truly achieve business productivity, CIOs need to understand the business models and processes that they support with technology well enough to be able to improve them. This is something that a limited number of CIOs are able to do. Whilst DevOps is by no means a quick fix, the DevOps culture aims to shed light on IT and business processes, so that all teams can work together with transparency.

Productivity is achieved at a lower level using DevOps, but allows high-level response to customer demands. As today’s technology users increasingly expect software to meet their constantly evolving needs, IT teams need to respond to change and release updates quickly and efficiently, without compromising on quality.

Fail to do so, and they risk driving users to competitors or other alternatives.

This chapter is taken from the Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) Whitepaper, “CIO guide to DevOps: The value behind the hype“, released June 2106. To download the full whitepaper, for free, follow the link below.

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