Can enterprises do better with DevOps? Vilas Patil (Head of DevOps at Cognizant) and Theresa Lanowitz (Industry Analyst & Co-founder of voke Inc.) share a preview of their upcoming discussion about DevOps at CA World 2016. Register today!
Question: What challenges do you see companies running into with DevOps?
Vilas: Many of our clients start with high hopes and high expectations for DevOps and they immediately realize it’s harder and a longer term effort than they expected. They run into major challenges. For example, DevOps requires organizations to create cross-functional teams for application development and testing. But for any large enterprise, restructuring the way they develop is a massive endeavor. The lines between functions don’t blur easily. The hierarchies go all the way to senior management. In reality, it can be very difficult to put these teams together.
Theresa: For an enterprise that operates in a regulated industry, you have a clear separation of duties due to regulation and compliance. The notion that everyone does everything in the development context is not realistic for organizations in industries like financial services, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Sarbanes-Oxley specifies separation of duties. There are controls that have to be put in place, and they can affect your plans to adopt practices that non-regulated companies may be able to.
Since software runs business today, organizations have to be very careful. Anything they do with that software has to advance the well-being and delight of the customer. Is your user experiencing fatigue from too many releases? There must be a clear business mandate for release frequency. Software teams and the line of business must grapple with the question of “are you releasing fast or are you releasing right?” You have to understand why you are releasing software and what impact it may or may not have on your customer, your business, and your brand.
Question: Which is more important in application development – quality or time to market?
Theresa: We just released new research on the topic of release management, and for the first time, our research shows people want quality over time to market. Time to market used to be leading the charge. Now we are seeing that shift where more importance is placed on quality over release.
Vilas: Cognizant’s view does not prioritize time or quality. It’s not about ‘or,’ but ‘and’. We must embrace the ‘and’ by creating a road map to get there. We think about the development process end to end and prioritize what is right for customer experience for specific applications.
There are dozens of such techniques like service virtualization that can help. But you have to know how to properly sequence the use of these solutions. You can’t do everything at once. You need to create a road map that makes sense. That can be a big challenge to shuffle many things at once.
Road mapping is a strategic exercise. We’ve seen that a few organizations start several smaller DevOps pilots in various parts of the organization with little coordination. The pilots are helpful but often fail to meet broader executive expectations.
Question: What are the benefits of service virtualization and lifecycle virtualization?
Theresa: Automation across service virtualization and lifecycle virtualization are technologies you should be using to protect your brand and your business. Service virtualization allows you to simulate or emulate services or components that are incomplete or unavailable. It also allows testers to keep pace with developers.
Lifecycle virtualization brings virtualization technology to the pre-production portion of the software lifecycle, and helps alleviate constraints associated with lack of environments, services, components, APIs and data. By having adequate environments for testing and development, teams are able to test in an environment as close to production as possible, reproduce defects quickly, and determine how to move forward.
To dive deeper into this discussion, register for our session at CA World ‘16 on Wednesday November 16, 2016 at 3:00pm (Session ID: D05T58S). Also visit Booth #5001 for an exclusive Meet & Greet with Theresa at the Cognizant stand!
Vilas Patil heads Cognizant’s DevOps practice.
Theresa Lanowitz is an industry analyst and co-founder of voke inc.