DevOps: Digital and Cloud
In our age of constant change – largely thanks to digital transformation – there’s an increased risk of unreliable services and potential budget overrun for public sector organisations. No one can afford to simply stand still, and so both local and national bodies must familiarise themselves with modern features that can prevent application stagnation, without incurring these pitfalls. Indeed, cost-saving benefits are an integral component of all modern service deliveries.
What Is DevOps
DevOps – a coming together of ‘development’ and ‘operations’ within an IT world that increasingly centres around business – aims to deliver a progressive, flexible, agile, and swift delivery of new solutions. Crucially, this enables IT departments to develop a more responsive digital culture, facilitating the improvement of public services. However, it’s important to note that DevOps is neither a single tool nor a suite of solutions. Rather, DevOps is a philosophy with the principal purpose of minimising the space between software development and IT operations, prioritising agility.
DevOps: Digital And Cloud
In order to best serve this philosophy, a cloud environment is essential, as the infrastructure connotes agility. Computational power can be augmented or scaled in response to operational demands – or lack thereof. In turn, this saves an organisation both time and money, thanks to the automation of previously manual tasks such as building infrastructure, network configuration and data protection.
Previously, these processes had been carried out manually, meaning they were time-consuming, high-risk and costly. Nowadays, by underpinning all of this activity with automation, both predictability and repeatability can be delivered successfully, reducing the risks that can often accompany such change. Tools comprised of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) software – such as Terraform, Ansible, Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and Selenium – provide automation capabilities at different levels.
This stands in stark contrast to traditional development cycles. For example, the beginning of a delivery pipeline traditionally began with each developer possessing a local copy of the code. A developer implemented a new feature or fixed a bug locally, which meant that multiple individuals could be following this same process and accidentally break another developer’s code. Conflicts were solved manually, which could take days, depending on the complexity – and often led to errors.
DevOps And Automation
By implementing continuous integration, delivery, and deployment through automating all elements of the development cycle, the pipeline becomes standard and repeatable, resulting in a reduction in the likelihood of human error. This is particularly pertinent for public sector organisations, as they frequently handle sensitive data that’s often time-critical, meaning governance and control are absolutely paramount. Some organisations may still harbour concerns that adopting a DevOps philosophy may lead to a loss of control, but this is very much not the case, with DevOps complementing the rigorous processes described by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.
Finally, by creating a more responsive development environment, located in the cloud and closely aligned to business requirements, DevOps enables organisations to not only save money on maintenance and upgrades but also increase productivity. This is partly thanks to the minimisation of human error, but also courtesy of the time reduction of new services implementation from months to minutes. This helps to increase the success rate for digital strategy and government transformation projects, optimising all system components.
The bottom line? In our brave new big data world, money invested in cloud infrastructure, analytics, and data management is never wasted.