Cloud driving DevOps transformation, importance

Cloud computing allows developers to get access to compute resources faster, freeing IT operations to build self-service environment and provide software support and security.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor on

Cloud computing has placed additional emphasis on communication and cooperation between enterprise developers and IT operations in order for the DevOps model to work and for business needs to be met effectively, analysts say.

Michael Azoff, principal analyst at Ovum, noted that broadly speaking, DevOps refers to the collaboration, communication, and coordination between developers and IT operations. The DevOps movement first emerged around 2009 and while many companies have already adopted the methodology, there are as many organizations which still find it a new concept, he added.

The importance of DevOps also has grown over time, particularly to catch up with today's commercial landscape which is more competitive, fast-paced, and digitized, added Ray Wang, principal analyst and CEO of Constellation Research.

It now helps in better generating ideas for products and services, reduces the likelihood of errors during development of the software, and increases the ability and time to resolve bugs in the program, Wang said.

Cloud puts spotlight on teamwork
Michael Barnes, vice president and research director at Forrester Research, added the proliferation of cloud computing has changed software development and, consequently, the relationship between developers and IT operations.

Elaborating, Barnes said the instant availability of servers and other compute resources via cloud computing services mean developers can now access these at any time instead of waiting days and months for IT operations to provision what they need.

As such, he stressed that communications and cooperation between developers and IT operations has to improve. For developers, the dynamic, on-demand provisioning of compute resources allows more iterative development and testing which makes their jobs easier and shortens the time to rollout new capabilities and services.

On the IT operations end, on-demand provisioning allows more control and insight into ongoing resource use, which would in turn improve cost savings, he added.

There will be conflicts arising from the closer collaboration between both camps, Azoff noted, but added that support and buy-in from top executives can make a big difference in fostering a collective unity rather than a "us-versus-them" attitude.

Mike Gualtieri, principal analyst at Forrester Research, pointed out that DevOps conflicts occur usually because both departments have differing goals.

"Developers want to deploy code as quickly and frequently as they wish, but often can't get the computing resources from operations. Ops, [on the other hand], is trying to protect the environment from sloppy, buggy code," said Gaultieri.

This is why he suggested that evolving from DevOps, the next iteration could be "NoOps". This entails completely automating the deployment, monitoring, and managing of applications and the infrastructure they run on. Cloud computing makes this possible since developers can provision and manage compute resources on their end without IT operations' involvement, he explained.

This does not mean IT operations get omitted from the picture totally. Gaultieri said while there will be less of routine provisioning and release management steps, operations will focus instead on creating the self-service environment for developers.

They will also continue to monitor the support and security of the apps when deployed into the organization, he added.

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