Take a DevOps approach to speed up without breaking the business

LessonsfromtheCloudFace_blog_02

More lessons on cloud adoption and management.

As we’ve highlighted before, to realise the compelling benefits of cloud – especially public cloud – it’s not just technology that needs to change. People and processes need to alter to support and exploit faster, more flexible and more agile IT.

For example, a business may want improve time-to-market by speeding up previously month-long release cycles into weekly cycles using public cloud. This needs to happen, however, without losing requisite standards, discipline, compliance and life cycle and financial management. In a nutshell, this means speeding up without breaking the business – finding a balance.

To make this happen, among other key changes:

  • infrastructure people need to pare back normal ITIL-based processes and related standards somewhat to allow faster activity without losing too much risk mitigation and rigour; and
  • developers need to work faster than ever, but wrapped in enough protection and control to avoid disaster.

A key challenge is that there is an historic divide between operations and development people and processes. But to get the most out of cloud, it’s important to integrate these areas as much as possible. That’s why Datacom usually recommends that organisations adopt a DevOps approach, at least to a degree.

And we practise what we preach. Our Managed Cloud Service (DevOps) merges ITIL and Agile methodologies to drive an outcome-based service while maintaining enterprise standards, governance and compliance. Our consulting, infrastructure and development teams use the same tools for many of the jobs we do that are related to cloud.

Find the right mix of cloud support

The dynamic described above – between accelerating without breaking and between developing at pace and maintaining discipline – also manifests in the form of bimodal IT, a typical characteristic of organisations that adopt cloud in a significant way.

In the bimodal model – first described by analysts at Gartner – Mode 1 refers to more traditional IT, in which reliability, security, accuracy and efficiency is emphasised. Support needs may be more traditional as well, and be geared towards continual uptime and static demands on the infrastructure.

Mode 2 emphasises speed and agility, and may be non-sequential. Workloads to manage are more likely to be transient and hyper-scale, such as campaign-based activity and development/testing. Utility pricing and complete flexibility to switch on or off are also typical.

Mode 1 elegantly describes commonplace traits of on premise, legacy IT, and Mode 2 speaks of public cloud.

The implications of running and managing bimodal IT and its attendant cloud services and solutions boil down to this: no ‘one size fits all’ approach will work for any organisation. A balance is needed that must be adjusted as you go. The management needs to reflect the flexibility of the platform while maintaining due process and governance, and be aligned to the ultimate goal of meeting business objectives.

That’s why if you’re adopting or using cloud it’s important to have the right people, processes and technology in place, and/or to look for managed service providers, such as Datacom, who can deliver skilled support that is suitably flexible to account for Mode 1 and 2, and potentially available in long- and short-term engagements.

As a service aggregation partner, we work closely with customers, as well as the various software providers, development teams, cloud providers and operational staff, to provide an end-to-end managed cloud service specific to their business, while bolstering continuous integration/continuous delivery practices, continuous service improvement and innovation practices.

These and other essential lessons on cloud adoption and management, learned by Datacom over years working at the ‘cloud face,’ are contained in a new white paper available for download now. If you would like to talk to us about it, or cloud adoption and management in general, then please get in touch at cloud@datacom.co.nz.

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