Whenever I attend a software conference, I always like to survey the exhibition floor to discover what the latest trends, fashion or fad is that’s taking over the industry. At the 2017 Gartner Software and Solutions conference, held last week in Las Vegas, the dominant theme was once again DevOps for enterprise development, continuing a craze that has been pervasive at pretty much every software conference I’ve attended this year. But the big shift that seems to be happening in this space is the fact that the top DevOps vendors are finally starting to talk about what it means to deliver better software faster.
Moving beyond software delivery
“Doing DevOps means getting more things to market faster”, said Lance Knight, COO of Go2Group, a DevOps vendor that specializes in software and services that help enterprises deal with DevOps transitions. But DevOps isn’t just about delivering software. Knight is quick to point out the fact that the software applications companies deploy to their clients, and the features they deliver, are key elements that can set them apart from the rest of their competition. “Don’t just think about it as delivering software faster, but think of it as delivering market differentiating factors to the customer faster,” Knight said. Knight uses the ability to deposit a check into your bank account simply by taking a photo of it as an example.
“Doing DevOps means getting more things to market faster.”
Lance Knight, Go2Group COO
Nowadays, it’s a fairly common feature of most mobile apps to be able to use a cell-phone’s on-board camera to take a picture of a check and make an immediate deposit simply by uploading the photo through the bank’s mobile app. In the banking industry, there were leaders who delivered this type of functionality to their clients early, and there are laggards who are still yet to offer this feature. The ones who are using DevOps for enterprise development are able to accelerate the delivery of features and get applications to market faster. That becomes a differentiating factor among competitors.
Empowering digital transformations
IBM’s Eric Minick, a product management lead in the continuous delivery space, was another software professional on the Gartner Software and Solutions conference’s exhibitors floor advocating the DevOps approach to software development. “As organizations undergo digital transformations, they need better business and technical agility, and DevOps provides that,” said Minick. “From recognizing trends to reacting to new technical innovations, organizations that want to work faster, deliver height quality software and take advantage of changes in the industry are adopting DevOps techniques.”
The benefits of differentiating oneself in the market, or empowering an organization to undergo a digital transformation are fairly high level benefits of adopting DevOps for enterprise software delivery. There are certainly a variety of reasons for adopting a DevOps process that might resonate more with the applications developers who are actually delivering the software, with predictability and transparency being two key features of note. “Automating tasks makes software development more predictable,” said Knight. “And when the human element is removed from tasks, the processes become more transparent.”
And of course, there is the fundamental fact that organizations who implement DevOps for the enterprise tend to release software faster and have fewer bugs in their code, and that’s a pretty compelling attribute in itself. Of course, change is never easy, and organizations are still struggling as they try to incorporate DevOps processes into their application lifecycle. But as they struggle, it’s good to know that there are plenty of DevOps vendors out there providing solutions that will make their DevOps transitions easier.
What types of tools do you think would make DevOps for enterprise development easier and more manageable?