The right way to combine cloud and devops

Technology and tools are important but by themselves won't provide the value you should get from marrying devops with the cloud

The right way to combine cloud and devops

Cloud and devops are joined at the hip. Indeed, enterprise development shops that use the cloud and devops are knocking it out of the park, delivering huge value. However, other enterprises are struggling when they don't need to.

To take advantage of the cloud-devops combination, enterprises must address a few core objectives -- and the technology ones aren't the most critical.

On the technology side, there should be a continuous process that includes all aspects of development, testing, staging, deployment, and operations. Parts of the process should be fully automated from the get-go, including self- and auto-provisioning target platform resources in the cloud.

Major and minor changes to applications, from development to operations, should typically occur in less than one day. Moreover, the deployment platform should support almost unlimited provisioning of resources via the cloud.

The entire devops process itself can exist on premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid configurations. Moreover, the use of multiple cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft, should be supported, as well as both the public and private cloud models.

But most important, devops is about people, moreso than about tools and technology. You need a plan to hire the right people to augment your staff as you move to devops and the cloud, as well as provide them with the right training.

To do so, create a plan that shows the gap between the skills you have right now in-house and the skills you’ll need. The plan could lead to minor adjustments in more innovative organizations and to major upheavals in others.

Execute your plan fast: It should be like pulling off a Band-Aid. Slow change typically does not work.

Organize around the use of devops in the cloud, which typically means removing organizational layers and simplifying roles. For example, stop separating the development and operations skills; they are tightly coupled and need to be peers. You’ll find this is the hardest part of the process of moving to devops and the cloud.

Most IT organizations don’t think about people as much as they do about technology and tools. Indeed, if you go to a devops conference, you'll see that people and organization changes are never the focus. But they should be if you want to succeed.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

InfoWorld Technology of the Year Awards 2023. Now open for entries!