This is an exhilarating time in the world of DevOps. A technological revolution is taking place, and driving the practice forward with tremendous speed.
As advances in application workflow orchestration ease the burden on Dev and Ops professionals, the IT department at large gains the ability to positively impact the business more holistically, through innovation and enhancing customer experiences.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with a variety of industry leaders and influential voices who shared their perspectives on what’s coming next and how organizations can get ahead of the curve to take advantage of new opportunities.
The Future of DevOps, According to Industry Experts
Reaching the next level of enterprise technology maturity requires focus and investment across five key initiatives, which we explore in our new guide, FULLY OPERATIONAL: How Application Workflow Orchestration Unlocks IT Agility and Innovation:
- Empowering IT by relieving the burden of manual tasks and complex workflows that can be automated.
- Positioning your operational framework to thrive in increasingly cloud-based and hybrid environment
- Embracing new innovation to accelerate the speed of business, rapidly testing and deploying novel ways to create better customer experiences.
- Rallying around reliability and developing predictive processes that help guard against downtime or failures.
- Integrating these technical underpinnings throughout the organization, making automation and orchestration a cornerstone of the business strategy.
Here’s where top experts are setting their sights.
Driving Innovation through IT
Ronald van Loon, Principal Analyst at Intelligent World, believes that pressures on IT departments “have shifted their role from a peripheral back-office function to an active orchestrator of adoption and strategic innovation.” Though this may present new challenges, it also presents significant opportunity.
“While Ops has consistently evolved in recent years alongside emerging technologies and the increasing focus on digitalization, the pandemic-induced acceleration of digital transformation has rapidly redefined the role of Ops to coincide with the evolving context of the current digital age,” he says. “Future-facing IT departments must be powerful advocates for digital leadership and accelerate digital transformation by acting as partners to other internal departments and assume greater responsibility for improving business performance.”
This means not only rethinking organizational dynamics, but also investing in tech professionals so they are fully enabled to seize these opportunities, according to Jayne Groll, who focuses on helping develop skills and talent as CEO of the DevOps Institute:
“Human transformation drives digital transformation and successful human transformation is nurtured through a culture of continuous learning and innovation. IT leadership should therefore ensure that there is sufficient time and resources allocated for DevOps professionals to learn or groom new human, process and technical skills – whether in formal training, peer to peer mentorship or intelligent experimentation.”
Embracing the Flexibility of a New Environment
The new era of business is defined largely by agility. Not only does an unburdened IT department provide more bandwidth for Dev and Ops to stay innovative and adaptive in a fast-changing environment, but the emergence of cloud-based technology and SaaS delivery further enables a nimble enterprise.
As TMC CEO Rich Tehrani points out, adopting and optimizing around these solutions is proving to be a vital differentiator in our current times.
“Cloud and as-a-Service solutions allow all organizations to become even more agile and efficient,” he says. “COVID-19’s forced work-from-home lockdowns showed us the difference between agile companies and those stuck in the virtual dark ages. Cloud-based companies were able to adapt literally overnight while others struggled to figure out how to make home workers productive.”
For his part, 7wData Yves Mulkers envisions a complete paradigm shift driven by these capabilities, declaring that, “It’s time for a new type of flexible modular enterprise. One that is resilient and agile enough to swiftly adapt to changing markets and economic situations.”
Dev and Ops Redefining the Customer Experience
The trends cited above — empowering IT to play a bigger role, and taking advantage of cloud computing’s transformative potential — are all leading to a point where Dev and Ops can more directly impact innovation, driving enhanced customer experiences. And while the operational efficiencies stemming from the rise of automation and orchestration are certainly welcome, it’s here where the greatest promise for competitive advantage lies in this technological revolution.
“In 2021, IT overall and DevOps teams in particular have a major opportunity to have the largest impact on customer experience and downstream outcomes that they’ve ever had,” says Dion Hinchcliffe, VP and Principal Analyst for Constellation Research. Inc. He calls out three key opportunities:
- Comprehensive integration of touchpoints and applications for a consistent view of the customer
- Enterprise-wide analytics to provide real-time insights for personalization and more
- An organizational emphasis on building trust by keeping the entire customer journey safe, secure, and reliable
The path to making these ambitions a reality? According to Kirk Borne, Principal Data Scientist and Executive Advisor for Booz Allen Hamilton, automation and orchestration of workflows will separate successful modern enterprises from non-successful ones.
“Workflow automation and orchestration is the way to drive greater business value from deep and wide data sources: smarter data-informed business decisions, innovative and faster responses to events, and serving customers with the right solutions at the right time in the right context.”
Activating your people, data, and operations to accomplish more in 2021 and beyond? It’s all about identifying the right tools and knowing how to maximize them.
To find a wealth of additional insight from these and many other leading thinkers, plus practical guidance and eye-opening stats, download FULLY OPERATIONAL: How Application Workflow Orchestration Unlocks IT Agility and Innovation now! You can also check out the infographic below for more context around the current state of business and where to focus next: