Overcoming Barriers to Enterprise Level Introduction of DevOps

Category: DevOps Posted:Nov 06, 2017 By: Serena Josh

Overcoming-Barriers-to-Enterprise-Level-Introduction-of-DevOpsEvery company in existence wants to execute tasks quicker, smarter and more efficiently to grow Business into a bigger entity. This change can be brought about by adopting a DevOps Friendly Workplace. This means higher and deeper levels of agility alongside enhanced collaboration between Developer and Operations Panacea.

DevOps: Tools and People

Every new process or ideology introduced into the company is bound to experience teething problems initially. This is even more so in the case of DevOps implementation in organizations. Relevant tools will help ease the transition into DevOps without much collateral damage. Such tools may include Vagrant tool for local development, use Chef for configuration management and employ Jenkins for continuous integration purposes, and so forth.

In the end the effectiveness of the transition aiding tools lie solely in the hands of the people implementing said change.  The tools mentioned above are the keys to accelerate the implementation process while offering self-service, enhanced agility and collaboration within the enterprise.DevOps tools and peopleFor example, Agile methodology adopted in companies through Agile tools don’t ensure that the entire company is driven by Agile processes. Successful Agile adoption here is achieved when agile is taken into every level of the enterprise as a methodology and not just as an individual tool.

It is evident from the discussion above that DevOps refers to cultural shift and not a technology shift. People, with their inherent and hard-to-change behavioural traits and pre-dispositions pose the largest barriers to DevOps introduction and implementation within an organization. Listed below are five common barriers to DevOps introduction and ways to overcome them.

1. People within the organization always follow convention and are resistant to change

Most people will question the very concept of DevOps, and the need for the same.  These are the most common roadblocks with respect to any change within the organization. The simplest and most effective response to this problem is constantly educating the folks in the company about this ideology. DevOps advocates need to walk the sceptics through the process involved and also compare notes with other organizations trying the same transition. It will take a considerable amount of time for people to come around to this ideology, as one would usually take with anything new conceptually. One would have to package DevOps in a way that appeals to the individuals in the audience, pointing out the benefits that each one will receive by adopting processes.People within the organization always follow convention and are resistant to change

2. Opposition from individuals who feel existing process methodologies are sufficient

As the old saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – there will always be a significant number of individuals who will prefer a status quo in terms of organizational processes. While it is sound logic, if people had stuck to status quo then we would still be using landlines instead of cell phones! It is in-keeping with the law of nature that states that only the fittest will survive in any condition. Evolve or die.

While change takes effort, there still has to be someone to take on the mantle of a change agent. You as a change agent will have to rally support for the cause of DevOps adoption and push things towards speedy progress. Enterprises in turn will have to foster an environment conducive to change – by accepting and rewarding fresh ideas.Opposition-from-individuals-who-feel-existing-process-methodologies-are-sufficient

As a law of physics states, a body in motion in a straight line continues to be in motion until acted upon by an external unbalanced force. In the context of DevOps adoption within the enterprise, this means that there will always be people to stick to manual methods of task execution, even when opportunities for task automation are provided. In light of the recent downsizing in India due to automation, one can understand the insecurity it may cause in some people who worry that part of their responsibilities and hence pay will be taken away.

In this particular kind of scenario, one can reach out to team member fearing job loss and assure them that automation will not take their job away in any way. Educating them about automation that it is not for replacing employees, but for freeing up employee time to pursue other tasks and even take on a little RnR. Automation means you can have more time to do other things and be more productive in your job. It doesn’t mean it will be eliminated.

4. The Development-Operations Divide

There is a distinct disconnect that comes across as discord and dislike between Developer and Ops teams. Since their goals seem worlds apart, aligning them towards a common objective is hard, to say the least.The-Development-Operations-Divide

Developers and Ops need to put in the time to learn about each other’s job profile and the varied tasks it entails. This will in turn seal the communication gap between both teams and helps in understanding each other tasks, and challenges faced by them.

 5. Being the One-man army

It is up to whoever sees the potential within DevOps to bring it into their organization. This may mean the one person convincing an entire team, and then rallying team support to grow their influence exponentially across departments. The main challenge and objective here is to recognize and empower those who see the light in terms of DevOps enterprise and individual benefits. You can serve as the chief evangelist for DevOps methodologies and canvas and campaign for transition to DevOps from current setups in enterprise processes.

Group discussions, mailing lists and sponsored lunches all are great ways to seed interest in your subject of interest- DevOps adoption.

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The common string that threads through all these points are to learn, comprehend and communicate. It is advisable to know the ins and outs of DevOps and serve as a methodology evangelist to team members and employees of all levels.  DevOps finally boils down to a specific mind-set and work culture which requires us to think on the lines of people and not only tools.Got any questions for us? Please mention it in the comments section and we will return it to you.

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