Transform Your IT To DevOps and ITaaS

Philippe Abdoulaye

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Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Agile Digital Transformation, DevOps Journal

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DevOps Transformation vs Cloud Migration By @PhilAbdoulaye | @DevOpsSummit #Cloud #DevOps

Why CIOs should urgently consider DevOps for their digital transformation

The Case for Opting for DevOps Transformation versus Cloud Migration

With all due respect to techies, digital transformation isn't only a technology matter; it can't be narrowed to integrating new data streams for Internet of Things (IOT), machine learning, like the major IT vendors and consulting firms have been pushing for.

There's a consensus among all serious and independent subject experts that digital transformation is primarily a transformation of your business model, not just your IT. The bottom line is to help your business lines meet the digital economy's competitive challenges. Howard King in the UK's serious The Guardian, wrote a very informative article on the issue, "What is digital transformation?"

In his masterpiece, Howard reminds us that the priority for business lines is to get clear and actionable solutions to the competitive challenges raised by the digital economy. Indeed, in a business context where a large percentage of industries are being reshuffled with the proliferation of startups threatening established businesses and the propagation of digital services substituting traditional services, the question for business lines isn't the integration of new data streams for IoT and machine learning but "How are we going to transform our business models to keep up the pace imposed by Uber, Google, Apple, alike?"

Howard rightly argues that, "transformation is a whole scale change to the foundational components of a business: from its operating model to its infrastructure. What it sells, to whom and how it goes to market."

Let's say things straight, urging businesses to migrate their IT to cloud is an answer that completely misses the point; complex matters like transforming a business model  to address issues as complex as establishing innovation mindset, being responsive to market opportunities, and generating timely revenue aren't achieved by deploying sophisticated cloud solutions.
Things aren't that simplistic, one can understand that making money is vital for IT vendors, but making money at this expense of its own clients by purposely selling erroneous solutions raises ethical issues. That's another story.

As an IT leader you must be aware of this: adjusting their business model to the digital economy's competitive challenges is what matters to your business lines, although taking your IT to cloud is essential, it's not enough; it doesn't address the disruption issues raised by the digital transformation. Opting for DevOps and ITaaS are better options.

In this article, I'll explain why implementing and recommending DevOps allows my clients to anticipate the inevitable disruptions of the digital wave.

Think twice before opting for cloud for your digital transformation
The question isn't the cloud benefits – they're real and undeniable – the problem is IT vendors' notion that cloud solutions are what businesses need to meet the competitive challenges of the digital economy.

Pretending that cloud solutions on their own will help business lines absorb the digital transformation disruptions is erroneous. As a matter of fact, the cloud's direct benefits include substantial IT cost reduction and accelerated IT resources (e.g., virtual server, storage and networking) provisioning. They result from the cloud's virtualization and auto-scaling mechanisms which significantly cut the time wasted talking to your purchase department, negotiating with vendors and dealing with their delivery time. Your business need more than low IT costs and accelerated IT resources provisioning to keep up the pace imposed by Uber, Apple, Google, alike.

Invest in DevOps, it has direct impacts on business agility and market responsiveness
What's not said enough is, DevOps brings more effective and concrete answers to the issues raised by the digital transformation including the need for agility, cross-functional collaboration and market responsiveness.

Concretely speaking, DevOps is a set of principles, practices, organizational roles and tools specifically arranged to accelerate application delivery. The idea is to take advantage of agile software practices across the development life cycle to increase collaboration between development and operations folks so as to break down organizational silos, increasing cross-functional collaboration, accelerate problem solving and decision-making and in turn make the business responsive to market opportunities.

The following model (credit to ITaaS Now LLC) illustrates DevOps as I've been recommending and implementing it:

What's the model shows is, implementing DevOps restructures two fundamentals things of your IT organization: the operating model and the continuous delivery pipeline (CDP).

How DevOps optimizes your operating model to enable agility and responsiveness
The operating model reflects your working environment, a central notion ignored by a very large percentage of IT professionals. It's where the interactions underpinning application development and deployment activities take place, it's where the workflows with your Development-to-Production value stream are optimized to enable cross-functional collaboration, fast problem solving and decision-making as well as business agility and accelerated time-to-market.

The operating model is often referred to as the DevOps non-technological piece, it addresses the organizational and operational issues therefore the business agility and responsiveness issues raised by digital transformation. In cloud implementations, these fundamental notions of optimizing workflows and fixing organizational and operational dysfunctions are ignored; it's erroneously assumed that business agility and market responsiveness result "magically" from the deployment of vendor solutions.

How the CDP automates your software development life cycle to accelerate application delivery
The continuous delivery pipeline (CDP) is the software and technology stack supporting application development and deployment activities. It's the DevOps' technological piece.

It structures your application deployment life cycle in four stages including development, continuous integration, acceptance test and production.
Each stage builds specific principles practices, roles and continuous testing, integration, and deployment tools intended to increase cross-functional collaboration, make your IT processes agile, speed up your applications delivery therefore make your business responsive to market opportunities.

DevOps leverages agile software methodologies to speed up development and testing

In the development stage, agile software methodologies such as ScrumBehavior-Driven Development (BDD), and Test-Driven Development (TDD)and associated tools are leveraged to increase cross-functional collaboration and accelerate application development and testing. The adoption of agile practices by your IT staff will be required.

DevOps takes advantage of continuous integration and deployment tools to speed up release deployments

In the continuous integration stage, software under development across your organization are integrated into pre-releases ready for acceptance tests and deployment to production. The idea in the continuous integration is to get releases ready for deployment as needed.

Wrapping up
Adjusting your organization to the requirements of the digital economy's competitive challenges is what your business lines are (or will be) concerned about, innovation, market responsiveness and timely revenue are the competitive advantages they need to keep up the pace imposed by tech companies e.g., Apple, Uber, Google, alike.

Transforming your IT to DevOps is definitely the way to go, it'll transform your business operating model and IT infrastructure and in turn make your business lines agile and responsive to market opportunities.

The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ - ITaaS and DevOps as Never Illustrated

The vision, principles, logic, methodologies, and tools discussed in this article reflect my digital transformation practices as part of my CIO advisory activity with ITaaS Now LLC (...) , the leading digital transformation research and advisory startup. They're illustrated in my book The Complete ITaaS Delivery ModelTM.

A must-read to anyone wanting to understand the whys and wherefores as well as the do's and don'ts about aligning your with the competitive challenges of the digital era. Cloud, DevOps, and ITaaS transformations are explained step by step through a real-world project.

The numerous hypes and myths surrounding cloud, DevOps and ITaaS are brilliantly demystified and the best practices to reengineer both your operating model and IT infrastructure are illustrated through several case studies.

To book very honestly worth reading, you can get it here at Amazon (...)

More Stories By Philippe Abdoulaye

Philippe Abdoulaye is a highly experienced IT strategist with a 25-year background leading IT transformation projects in areas as varied as cloud computing, DevOps, Enterprise Architecture and ITIL. He is Founder, CEO, and VP of DevOps and IT as a Service (ITaaS) practices at ITaaS Now, LLC a Raleigh, NC based startup specializing in IT transformation.

He is the author of several books on cloud computing and ITaaS and a top ranked CIO advisor. He is the originator of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™, a framework guiding IT organization transformations to DevOps.

He has been leading projects and CIO advisory consulting works around Enterprise Architecture, Cloud, DevOps and IT as a Service (ITaaS) for global firms like Credit Suisse, American Express, Ralph Lauren Polo, Educational Testing Service (ETS), McKinsey Company, alike.

He has an established reputation for:
• Building executive consensus on the business benefits of your DevOps platform
• Auditing IT operating Model and application deployment infrastructures
• Aligning IT organizations with DevOps operating model and continuous delivery pipeline