The rapid emergence of Digital Businesses, coming close on the heels of the shift to Cloud, Mobile, Social and Analytics, has been catalyzed by sensor technology and data streams, the Internet of Many Things, and the nascent API Economy. For businesses to execute successfully the accelerating transformation to Digital Business, whether Cloud IT industry players or emerging Boundary-free Enterprises, many of which have usually been on the customer side of this equation, this challenge is significant: how to retool and keep pace with the ongoing pace of change.

New platforms for development and operational management and for the discipline of DevOps are essential, but there are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. Digital Transformation demands continuous development/integration, quality assurance and deployment/operations
  2. More pieces means more management challenges across the organization
  3. Sharing is efficient, but coordination is essential
  4. The use of APIs (or Web Services) provides innovation leverage
  5. DevOps is more than just an idea.

This need for continuous development and deployment of software, which continues to accelerate, drives the need for DevOps, the coordination of developers and operations teams to benefit the business. Developers are driven by business and technology innovation, while operations teams focus using technology to keep the business Cloud running smoothly. In one view, their approaches can seem almost in conflict; yet DevOps reframes the challenge as the continuous delivery of business value.
Cloud providers from Expedia to Etsy, financial firms and manufacturers alike, are embracing DevOps because in the ultra-competitive environments where companies are racing each other to release the next big thing, innovation is never enough. Speed-to-market and software quality are also essential for Digital Businesses in achieving their business goals and in creating and sustaining differentiation. Digital Business also means increasing your responsiveness to customers through the Cloud. However, technical problems may cost you customers permanently. Should the Website go down in the middle of a transaction, you are not only not serving your customer, you are creating frustration at best and at worst doing damage to your brand.

Managing this transformation will not be an easy task, and twice as hard without the support of platforms and methodology. Development discipline is simply not optional, not is the natural antagonism between innovative code wranglers and their more deliberate operations colleagues. Yet in implementing DevOps there are many challenges easy to overlook. These are five things you really shouldn’t forget, if you want a successful transformation to Digital Business. It’s a Digital Business imperative: retooling and keeping pace with the ongoing pace of change.

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This blog was originally published at Saugatuck's Lens360 blog on March 24, 2014. Published with permission.


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