How does DevOps enable Digital Transformation?

Jason Man 17th October 2016

Digital Transformation is a word on a lot of lips right now. Since customer experience lies at the heart of digital transformation, and 41% of leaders claim to witness direct market share increase due to Digital Transformation efforts, it’s easy to see why.

Although Digital Transformation has become one of the hottest trends today, the term itself means different things to different people. Digital expert, Brian Solis defines it as:

“The realignment of or investment in new technology, business models, and processes to drive value for customers and employees and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.”

Sound familiar? 

If you’ve read our blogs, you’ll be familiar with our thinking around DevOps: that it’s built on the foundations of effective peopleprocesses and tools.

What is it that makes two symbiotic?

Digital Transformation – a company becoming more digital; more mobile consumer-driven (internally or externally, in terms of both products or services) – is not an easy or simple job. Put simply, keeping up with today’s ever-evolving digital consumer requires new ways of working.  Creating a new product or service is only half of the battle. New products and services then need to integrate with existing products and services that a company has engrained in their functionality. In all, it’s a huge job.

Where does DevOps fit in?

Becoming digitally focused, can require significant IT and software changes. 80% of organisations place modernising IT structure and improving operational agility, as a top initiative to succeed in Digital Transformation.

DevOps is a collection of principles, concepts and methodologies that enable a high-performing organisation. It combines the principles of a number of ways of working: agile, continuous delivery, automation (and more) to deliver IT software at speed, quality and at a lower cost.

How, exactly, can DevOps help ease some of the top Digital Transformation challenges?

Budget

62% of organisations state cost (or ‘lack of budget’) as one of the major Digital Transformation challenges.  Cost efficiency is important to all organisations, big or small. It allows them to stay competitive in their marketplace.

DevOps enables companies to make the most of their existing investment in people and technology. When beginning a Digital Transformation journey, a company cannot logically overhaul their entire IT structure and replace it with a new one –justifying the value of doing so would not be possible. It’s not feasible – and any company that tries will very quickly find themselves in deep trouble.

Successful Digital Transformation requires the organisation to embrace and leverage rather than the rip and replace of current technology and processes.

DevOps increases the efficiency of existing IT processes through aligning the current workforce and investing in automation, appropriate tooling and new tech concepts like containerization or micro-services, so that companies can deliver more without extra costs.

Automation

As well as removing the opportunity for errors, automation streamlines business processes. Through automated processes (that can be executed at a push of a button rather than requiring manual input of an entire team), companies can become more effective using their existing workforce.

Automation also enables organisational agilitywhich 63% of organisations list as a challenge to Digital Transformation. Whilst this may seem like a mode 2 concept, it is being increasingly adopted within mode 1  organisations.  We’re seeing more and more traditional organisations adopt techniques and principles such as DevOps and Continuous Delivery.

One recent example from a Forest Technologies (now ECS Digital) project, is where we automated processes around a legacy Oracle Siebel CRM system!

Culture

Last but not least, comes changing organisational culture, which 63% of organisations list as a Digital Transformation challenge.  Many organisations continue to wrestle with the balance of importance between technology and business priorities. Organisational culture has a big role to play in this; ensuring that teams provide a collaborative and productive path toward change.

A DevOps culture promotes collaboration and interdependency between the technology-focused areas, and the business-focused areas of an organisation. Throughout the DevOps journey, processes are transformed through the use of cross functional teams, tech-sharing sessions, blameless cultures and cross-collaboration to make it easier for teams to cooperate.

Where do we come in? 

ECS Digital are leaders in Automation and Digital Transformation. We’ve been helping enterprises deliver software and software-related services faster and at lower cost through the adoption of DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices, since 2003.

Our recent acquisition by IT consultancy, ECSmeans that we are able to work at even greater scale and offer our services to their FTSE100 clients. Digital Transformation has already gone mainstream, and those companies at the top are beginning to realize the value of DevOps as a cost-effective and efficient way of achieving Digital Transformation.

DevOps has truly gone mainstream.

 

Enjoyed this blog? Our founder, Andy Cureton was recently published in Horizon Business Innovation, talking about how DevOps enables CIOs to innovate. View his article here.

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