In the spirit of the Innovation Leadership Summit, Andy Cureton, Founder and MD of Forest Technologies, takes a look how DevOps can help CIOs achieve the most prominent 2016 objective: Innovation (up 19% since last year alone).
Why has Innovation become such a high priority to the CIO?
Innovation projects are undertaken by businesses looking to respond to customer demand and drive competitive advantage. This is key as the consumerisation of IT and accessibility of services has increased choice for customers but also eroded customer loyalty. If something is inaccessible, or not available on one brand, it is now trivial to switch to a competitor.
Since most current innovation projects are driven by technology and digital, the CIO is ideally placed to facilitate and lead. With innovation being top of the agenda for organisations, it is a pivotal movement for the modern CIO.
How can DevOps help?
DevOps is an enabler of innovation, helping organisations to be more agile. Through the adoption of DevOps, organisations take on a collection of principles, concepts and methodologies enable them to deliver their business outcomes. These outcomes, like being able to deploy service updates more frequently or reduce time to market, enable the business to innovate.
Just a quick glance at 2016 RackSpace research statistics supports the view that DevOps transforms IT to be more innovative:
- 50% of organisations feel that DevOps gives them the freedom to focus on innovation
- 43% of organisations have seen a noticeable increase in innovation since taking up DevOps
But what exactly is it about DevOps that enables innovation? We believe there are two distinct characteristics of DevOps that facilitate innovation: the optimisation of software delivery processes and their supporting tools and its collaborative culture.
Optimising business processes
DevOps is all about optimising the speed, quality and consistency of processes: not simply within IT, but throughout the organisation. It is through the automation of business processes, that the CIO is able to increase the productivity and speed of their teams, whilst at the same time, reducing errors.
Automation has become a necessity in today’s digital world. Automated processes are a must to simply keep up with competition. The time freed up by automation enables businesses to invest more time creating new products and services to drive innovation and to compete.
It’s important to remember that innovation is not just about technology. News UK publication Raconteur highlighted collaboration as the most important tool for business transformation. And, according to their research, 40% of organisations agree that you need collaboration in order to innovate.
The task of transforming the way that employees work and communicate with one another is being increasingly allocated to the CIO. Work place collaboration brings a huge number of business benefits: increased productivity, better informed decision-making, alignment, increased end-user satisfaction and cost reduction.
DevOps culture promotes collaboration between all stakeholders in the software delivery lifecycle from the business to developers, security, compliance and operations. Throughout the DevOps transformation journey, processes are adapted and enhanced to make it easier for teams to collaborate, and adopt practices such as continuous integration, delivery and testing to ensure fast, consistent and quality software delivery (whilst the customer still wants it!).
Through collaboration, organisations are better placed to innovate. Collaboration is not just about working together, but about thinking, challenging and creating as a group, for better outcomes. It makes sense that teams working with rather than against one another, are able to do so more efficiently and effectively.
You can download the Forest Technologies white paper ‘The CIO guide to DevOps’.
Forest Technologies, recently acquired by leading IT services firm ECS, has helped organisations such as Walmart, Vodafone, RBS and Bet365 deliver software and software-related services faster and at lower cost through the adoption of DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices.