When is it ok to fail?

|July 18, 2017 0
Something lies beyond faster product delivery and better service quality when you are dealing with DevOps

Sholom Weglein

With a history going back to 2008, DevOps has been around for a while. And this movement is now making considerable inroads within the communications industry – with good reason.

DevOps promises service providers the ability to deliver new products to market at a greater speed and higher quality than ever thought possible. But like all promises that sound too good to be true, faster product delivery and better service quality may elude certain aspects of your business.

The communications environment is highly complex, with service providers dealing with hundreds of systems spanning multiple vendors and technologies, all of which must be synced to efficiently bring a new feature to market. Implementing DevOps in a single area may not be enough to see positive results, so here are some tips to help guide you through the DevOps process.

DevOps do’s and don’ts

DO begin planning on how you can begin your DevOps transformation. DevOps is not a destination, but a journey and must be planned for like any other journey you embark on. To begin you need to know your starting point, as well as your destination so that steps needed can be planned.

DON’T lose sight of who your real competition is. While you may aspire to reach the levels of Netflix or Amazon and turn out thousands of releases a day, viewing over-the-top (OTT) players as your competition is counterproductive. Your goal is to learn to act more like them to stay ahead of your true competition, and bring new and better products to market faster. Learn from DevOps leaders in other industries, but remember they are not your target.

DO find the right partner to help guide you through your journey. You need an experienced guide who can help you successfully navigate each and every step. A knowledgeable guide, with relevant industry experience, can help you travel around potential service-provider-specific pitfalls and ensure you find the right opportunities.

DON’T expect immediate results during your transformation. The transition takes time and measurable benefits may only be seen at the end of the process. When done correctly you will see progress along the way, such as improved quality metrics and the ability to demo new features faster and more efficiently. Once you reach your desired end state, you will be able to look back and see quantitative and qualitative improvements in all aspects of your product delivery

DO choose an ‘easy’ starting point. Look for a project or system that is relatively isolated and can be managed by a single vendor. In addition, look for a dynamic line of business that has the most to gain from a DevOps environment. From this vantage point you can expand outwards, while applying lessons learned, to the larger organization.

Keep the big picture in mind

DON’T assume that you need to transform your entire organisation. Only select parts of your business that need to be fully DevOps enabled. Areas where growth is slow (or nonexistent) and new features are rare can continue their current development and operations practices. Your primary focus should be on areas of rapid and dynamic change.

Finally, DO it with the knowledge that there will be failures along the journey. DevOps is all about continuous improvement in both the process and the final product. The time is now to begin your DevOps journey, capture results and learn from them. And remember, it’s okay to fail. The key to DevOps success is to learn from the past and not to repeat the same mistake twice.

(Sholom Weglein leads marketing for DevOps at Amdocs. Views expressed here are of the author and CyberMedia does not necessarily endorse them.)

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