Business today is an increasingly heated battle for consumers and market share—not exactly a news flash. Business leaders, therefore, must be increasingly agile.
A key component to success is the ability to introduce new and innovative features.
DevOps is essential to our efforts helping clients with this “first-achiever” advantage. Through Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, companies can stay nimble and introduce change when needed, without compromising quality of products and services.
Tackling the challenges
A major North American company we recently worked with offers a good example of transformation.
As a large enterprise, the company faced the typical software development lifecycle challenges, further complicated by siloed, geographically distributed teams struggling to keep pace with product and service demands.
The organization was not able to effectively control, maintain and re-use its software assets. Building, packaging and testing the applications was a highly manual and error prone process with very limited validation or feedback for improvement. Releases were inconsistent, sporadic and caused major service outages, requiring a large team to manage go-lives. The outages often spilled into business hours, denting customer experience and perception. The quality of the Go-Live’s was also slipping down with ever rising defect backlogs.
Additionally, exposure to cloud was bloated and growing costlier to maintain.
Delivering a solution
At Accenture, our approach to DevOps is centered around “culture first,” augmented by tools, processes and technologies to increase speed to market. We initiated this engagement concentrating on phase wise wins and proof of concepts to garner interest from stakeholders, meanwhile constantly coaching, building and projecting the DevOps culture into client teams.
The results we achieved from initial phases were highly successful and helped us drive confidence in an enterprise level transition to DevOps and stitching it as part of the DNA. We implemented DevOps best practices using best-of-breed, industry standard DevOps tools and proven practices. All the while, we checked and validated our progress through focused key performance indicators. We helped automate and orchestrate all phases of SDLC with stage gates and continuous feedback looping back to the teams involved helping the client teams achieve true continuous improvement.
During the initial stages of this transformation, development teams relied heavily on the dedicated DevOps team for assistance when problems arose. Along time, we mitigated this reliance by introducing self-service systems and educating and empowering the user base to address the problems at hand. We introduce the ability to innovate and experiment without fear through redundant and repetitive automated testing cycles which ensured the product passes stringent quality assurances before propagation to production.
We also introduced blue/green deployments to mitigate the service outages and significantly reduced the downtime for production.
Arriving at a desired outcome
The client’s results illustrate the kind of value that DevOps, and a strong DevOps partnership, can generate: reducing time to market, optimizing environment costs, forming strongly connected teams and much more.