3 Things to Consider When Migrating to DevOps

DevOps offers businesses the possibility to transform their processes and workflows for the better — but first they have to understand what they’re getting themselves into. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon in the effort to catch up with your competitors, you need to understand exactly what such a migration entails. Below, you’ll find a discussion of three factors that every business should consider before migrating to a DevOps culture: the cost of migration, your existing corporate culture and the necessary time period for implementation.

Cost of Implementation

Of course, before putting any serious cultural shift like DevOps into place, organizations should carefully assess what their return on investment will be. After all, moving to DevOps usually isn’t cheap. You might need to purchase new resources or infrastructure, hire outside consultants and spend money on creating training and education initiatives for your staff. Although a DevOps migration has substantial upfront costs, the long-term effects of such a move tend to recoup these investments. For example, many businesses that have adopted DevOps have been able to deploy applications more quickly while reducing the time spent on bug fixes and maintenance, improving their time to market and efficiency and ultimately increasing their revenue.

Current Culture

Depending on your existing corporate culture, your culture shift to DevOps may be easier or more difficult. Many organizations choose DevOps as a way to break down silos and other artificial barriers that have arisen over time. Businesses in this position, however, will have a bumpier road during their migration to DevOps, requiring all key stakeholders to fully commit to enacting an organization-wide cultural shift. Some of the DevOps cultural practices that you likely have to adopt include:

  • Flat hierarchies: DevOps not only eliminates silos, but also allows work and information to move unimpeded across departments and divisions. Instead of discrete, isolated departments, development is organized around cross-functional teams that unite developers, testers, operations engineers and business team members under common objectives.
  • Continuous innovation: Too many enterprises remain stuck using legacy infrastructure and sequential models of software development because it’s what they’ve been accustomed to using. DevOps instead modifies the development lifecycle, taking advantages of ideas like micro services and infrastructure as code to deliver deployment-ready products on a continuous basis.
  • Automation: DevOps’ focus on agility and speed intersects perfectly with automation’s ability to accelerate your business processes and liberate your employees from menial tasks.

Time Period

It’s important to emphasize that no business, even the most tech-savvy and agile, can move to DevOps overnight. Because it’s a people-driven methodology, the DevOps cultural shift necessarily requires buy-in from all team members, which can be a long and drawn-out process. Although by now it’s perhaps a cliché, it still needs to be said that DevOps is a journey, not a destination. There’s no finish line waiting for you that tells you exactly when you’ve become a DevOps organization. Instead, focus on executing the transition to DevOps well — however long it takes — by showing employees the incentives of doing so.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re already setting off down the path or have just started to hear about DevOps, the thought process behind the methodology is similar to Agile and is hard to ignore: improving cooperation and communication, breaking down organizational barriers, and increasing everyone’s sense of investment in the final product. By following the advice above, you’ll be more likely to successfully transform your corporate culture and pull off a transition to DevOps. We’ll be talking more about DevOps at this year’s DevOps East Event in Orlando. Get a leg up on some of software’s biggest culture challenges with our Culture Hacklist. Download it today! 

First on SmallFootprint.com.