Small, agile companies tend to lend themselves well to the adoption of DevOps practices as they usually have lightweight governance processes which are easy to automate. However, larger enterprises with deeply rooted governance processes and strict rules can also benefit from DevOps improvements.
Life without DevOps
Most large enterprises live by formal governance processes. These are in place to police the software delivery and ensure that all deliverables follow the organisation’s standards in terms of security, design, architecture, and reusability.
Although these processes are designed to safeguard the business and keep the delivery on track, they do present a series of hoops to jump through – requiring additional time and work for each delivery.
These formal governance processes often include:
- Checklists to be completed at different stages of the project
- Workflow approval on documents – often using collaborative platforms
- Meeting with participants from various teams to discuss one aspect of the delivery in detail
- SOA governance meetings to get formal architect sign-off on the design
Why are these processes needed?
Without any kind of DevOps strategy, businesses need processes like these in order to catch any deviations from slipping through the net. The checkpoints are used to maintain stakeholders’ trust in the delivery process. However, even the strictest governance processes can’t fully prevent issues from occurring.
The illusion of collaboration
In a typical business, collaboration only happens when people from different teams sit down together in a meeting. All other collaboration outside of the meeting room becomes optional. This means that people often rely on these meetings to the point where they are seen as the only opportunity for collaboration and communication across the departmental borders. This can in turn cause team members to treat the meetings as a safety net where any issues get picked up, which means they become less focused on proactive improvement.
How DevOps can help
DevOps often involves automation of large parts of the value chain. This helps the organisation to improve the speed and quality of software delivery while also automating the required governance and control processes along the way.
DevOps makes the right thing to do the easy thing to do.
Automation is a powerful way to reduce risk, ensure compliance, and maintain governance. It can restrict access to certain systems through ‘known-good processes,’ to ensure all activity follows the standards and compliance requirements. It also provides an audit trail for governance and reporting.
With the help of DevOps you will also be able to eliminate any unnecessary processes in the business so that you don’t waste time or effort on governance you don’t need.
Life after DevOps Adoption
Once you have put DevOps processes into practice and established a collaborative culture across the business, your team members will naturally have a much higher level of trust in the delivery process and quality. This will in turn lead to less resistance to change from within and outside the team. The shared goal of all team members becomes the same: to deliver more business value faster.
Fewer hoops means faster delivery
Once you have implemented your DevOps strategy and your value chain has been streamlined, there is very little or no benefit to having the same set of formal governance processes which were previously in place. Any of these extra tasks and meetings would just mean unnecessary admin and overheads, slowing down the overall delivery. With an active DevOps culture, many of the manual, labour intensive governance tasks – such as checklists and formal SOA governance meetings – are simply no longer needed.
The culture shift
You will be able to see a cultural difference in the teams implementing DevOps, compared to those who are not. Teams following DevOps practices generally take on an attitude of proactivity and ownership, without relying on formal processes and checklists to catch any issues. Although this puts more responsibility in the hands of the individual, you will also see that an established DevOps-minded team will have standards in place which make the right thing the easy thing to do.
The cultural change is an important factor. It’s crucial that all team members feel comfortable with the new responsibility and the new processes. To the outside observer, there will be fewer controls, fewer formal approval meetings and fewer hoops to jump through. However, the governance is still very much alive – it has simply been moved under the surface.
Want to know more about how your organisation can remain fully compliant with industry regulations, while adopting a DevOps strategy for faster and better delivery? Download our service brief: The Sandhata DevOps Approach.
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