The Essential Guide to DevOps Maturity in Organizations

Emerging Technologies

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DevOps Maturity

DevOps is a hot topic in the world of software development, and organizations are starting to realize that this is not just a passing trend. DevOps can help improve your company’s agility, speed up releases, and lower costs by reducing the need for human intervention. This blog post will get you started on your journey towards becoming a more mature organization with DevOps practices.

What is DevOps?

Put simply, DevOps is an approach that unifies software development and IT operations. This means that the teams responsible for developing new features and those who need to roll them out are working together on an ongoing basis so they can collaborate on everything from feature design through to release and support.

DevOps is a mindset that fosters greater communication and collaboration across these teams — and others — inside a business in its broadest sense. DevOps is defined as the use of iterative software development, automation, and programmable infrastructure deployment and maintenance in its most basic form. Building trust and harmony between developers and systems administrators, as well as aligning technology projects to business requirements, are all part of the phrase. The software delivery chain, services, job roles, IT tools, and best practices can all be affected by DevOps.

While DevOps is not a technology, the approaches used in DevOps environments are generally the same. The following are some of them:

  • Tools for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), with a focus on task automation
  • DevOps-supporting products, such as real-time monitoring and incident management systems, configuration management, and collaboration platforms
  • Cloud computing, microservices, and containers used in tandem with DevOps methodologies

How Does DevOps Work?

In a DevOps environment, developers push code to their source control management (SCM) system. The SCM will typically be connected to a continuous integration (CI) or continuous delivery (CD) platform that automatically performs tests and notifies the team of any issues.

Developers then collaborate with operations employees who are responsible for building and deploying the code onto test servers. The operations team is able to check that the new code is compatible with existing infrastructure and applications before it goes live on the production (live) servers.

What is DevOps Maturity?

The phrase “DevOps maturity” relates to how far a business has progressed in their DevOps journey and how far they still have to go. Enterprises can assess their DevOps maturity in four categories. These are as follows:

Culture and Strategy: DevOps is a cultural revolution since it blurs the lines between development and operations teams. If such a change is to be effective in the long run, it must be well planned.

Automation: Automation integrates tools so that they may be shared across teams. Automation, for example, allows for continuous delivery and deployment in DevOps. It also allows teams to be more creative rather than wasting time on the same duties over and over.

Structure and Processes: Everything in a modern corporation has a procedure, from incident response systems to communication tools. It’s no surprise, then, that processes play an important role in DevOps.

Collaboration and Sharing: Employees may be located all over the world, but they must be able to collaborate in order to sustain a DevOps culture. Employees must synchronize their tools and resources in order to collaborate effectively.

These factors interact within each stage of DevOps maturity. In general, organizations are likely to find themselves in one of four stages of maturity.

Stages of DevOps Maturity

Unconscious Incompetence: Organizations at this level have no idea what DevOps is and so are unable to appreciate its business benefits. As a result, none of the elements are present in this manifestation.

Conscious Incompetence: Organizations often use many of DevOps’ automation components to try to automate their processes within 12 to 18 months of commencing their DevOps journey. Nonetheless, much of this work is still done in silos by most teams. There is little to no teamwork and resource sharing going on.

Conscious Competence: Organizations have accomplished what they seek with automation within four years of starting their DevOps journey. They then begin to work on increasing communication across all platforms and developing a platform that would allow development and operations teams to share resources and tools more efficiently.

Unconscious Competence: With the help of a structured framework and real protocols for exchanging tools and resources, organizations have established a robust DevOps culture that allows in-depth cooperation between teams.

What are the Challenges that Organizations Face?

Without proper preparation, organizations may unwittingly fall into ‘Commitment Drift’. This is where an organization commits to certain goals but doesn’t follow through on the effort required to meet them.

The lack of team cohesion in DevOps can lead to a skills gap. Without collaboration and knowledge sharing, new employees may not be able to get up to speed quickly enough, and more experienced employees may become bored if their existing roles aren’t being challenged.

What are the Five Key Success Factors?

The five key success factors in an organization’s DevOps journey are as follows:

Planning and communication: It is very important for organizations to define a clear path that will allow them to meet their goals. Organizations must also regularly communicate this plan with employees from different teams.

Automation: Organizations need automation tools that can be disseminated across teams. They also need metrics to measure the impact of these new processes.

Skills: Organizations must seek employees with skills in software development, operations, and security. Without these teams, DevOps cannot be sustained.

Customer collaboration: Customer collaboration is critical both for gathering requirements and feedback on implementation plans. Enterprise architecture teams should then translate this into workable solutions.

Collaboration: Successful DevOps requires a high degree of collaboration across teams and organizations. Organizations must find ways to promote open communication and resource sharing in order to achieve the best results possible.

Where do you begin?

DevOps training (preferably a DevOps certification course) will ensure that all your staff at the same level of knowledge required to embark on the DevOps Maturity journey. It ensures they have the skill, knowledge and hands-on experience required when they’re working with state-of-the-art technology. It also ensures that you have a pool of potential skilled and certified employees from which to draw upon in future.

There are many DevOps short training courses out there, that range from tool or vendor specific training (where you are locked into a specific tool or technology platform) or developed by professional with varying degrees of quality, credibility and worthiness. There is no single global body responsible for certifying software professionals in this field as we have in established project management practices such as PRINCE2 and Agile. There are many different certifications to choose from, which include the Certified DevOps Specialist course we offer.

The Certified DevOps Specialist track is comprised of three (vendor neutral) comprehensive courses that develop skills in DevOps practices, processes, metrics, and models. The final course module consists of a series of lab exercises that require participants to apply their knowledge of the preceding courses in order to fulfil project requirements and solve real world problems.

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