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What's needed for DevOps to succeed?

DevOps means fostering stronger communication and collaboration between development and operations, but what's needed for it to succeed?

Discussions around the benefits of DevOps and enterprise adoption of DevOps strategies continue to grow. We recently talked about what DevOps means and how it can help organizations become more productive. More recently, Red Hat also shared a number of posts on how we are collaborating with industry leaders to deliver focused and comprehensive DevOps solutions with OpenShift.

Smoothing the interaction between development and operations is a key goal shared by many enterprises. According to a report published in 2014 by Enterprise Management Associates, research indicated that the companies studiedwere six times more likely to see double-digit growth where "exceptional DevOps synergy" existed. These practices provide a foundation for accelerating the continuous delivery of production-ready code, by removing the 'siloed' development approach that can result in communication and collaboration breakdowns.

For DevOps to be successfully deployed, it is important to focus on some key areas.

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For DevOps to succeed, you need to empower the team with the right tools and technology.

Start small

As with the implementation of most new technologies, it is important to see how something actually works in practice. Companies do proof of concepts (POCs) to determine feasibility; developers download product evaluations to have a hands-on, close-up look at how an application works - the same applies with DevOps.

Find an appropriate project (or even projects) and use them to pilot the way development and operations should work together in a DevOps model.

I recently attended a developer conference where the team from a leading online business showcased how they have been practicing DevOps and now regularly perform hundreds of code deployments in a day. At the same conference, the team from a leading UK bank dismissed the relevance of DevOps, saying they have to comply with heavy regulations in the industry, unlike the 'cowboys of the internet business'.

It is often easy to find reasons for why we should not do something. If you're serious about DevOps, however, then there is opportunity in every organization to identify an appropriate project that you can use to introduce DevOps. Starting with a small project is a great way to understand where (or who!) the roadblocks are and what else is needed for DevOps to succeed in your organization.

Starting with a small project is a great way to understand where (or who!) the roadblocks are and what else is needed for DevOps to succeed in your organization.

Shape the right culture

Organizations also need to ensure they build a culture that supports DevOps. Since culture is exemplified and shaped through behavior, it is essential to identify the right people (or teams) who are equally motivated to make DevOps a success.

As another colleague at Red Hat said, "DevOps is how organizations change the culture and align the right tools with that culture so that they can meet their goals in a seamless manner. There is no point in changing the culture if the tools hold the stakeholders back. Conversely, embracing modern tools doesn't automatically change the culture."

Quite a few books and articles out there that deal with culture in more detail.

Get the right tools

Taking a DevOps approach is going to be a different mode of operations for many companies. It is important to have the tools for success. Stefano Picozzi, senior solution architect, Red Hat said in reference to OpenShift that, "...access [to] the right tech and tools can encourage good decisions, practice, and process."

For DevOps to succeed, you need to empower the team with the right tools and technology. These typically cover the areas of automation and self-service, standardized development environments, monitoring and feedback loops, ability to scale, security and reliability.

Learn more about DevOps and how Red Hat helps you implement this. http://bit.ly/zdnetDevOps