IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Assessing where a business sits on the DevOps maturity scale - NGINX

By Contributor
Tue 30 Jul 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by NGINX product management VP Sidney Rabsatt and A/NZ country manager Anthony Leverington

According to Forrester, 50% of organisations are implementing DevOps, which has now reached “Escape Velocity”.

However, interpreting the phrase ‘implementing DevOps’ depends on where an organisation is in terms of DevOps maturity.

Deloitte states that the firm “expects further benefits to be realised from agile at scale implementations across industries and teams (in Australia).

The journey towards DevOps will continue to be a big focus to ensure that the technical practices, such as automation and cloud-enabled, exist to support enterprise agility.”

This concentration on new and improved services can be linked to general digital transformation and the fact that many companies see the offering of better services as a strategic goal for keeping competition at bay.

The Telsyte Australian Digital Workplace Study 2017, which surveyed 420 CIOs and IT decision-makers, found that Australian enterprises are spending more of their IT budgets on product development, making it their number one priority compared to two years ago when their focus was on reducing operational costs.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi says, “A critical tipping point has been reached with Australian organisations rapidly adopting emerging technologies, developing new products and services and looking to ICT to build competitive advantage in the face of increased global competition, and driving an intelligent automation revolution.”

DevOps is crucial to this drive towards emerging technologies, and Australian companies are responding to demand.

In many cases, adding microservices and digital elements to their public-facing assets.

NGINX has observed that Australia can be, in general, more open to accepting and adapting new technologies than many other parts of the world, including the US.

However, as always with organisational change, there are different levels of DevOps maturity.

When looking at current trends towards adopting these emerging technologies; who is adopting them, and how far down the path towards full DevOps maturity that organisation sits - three patterns emerge: DevOps Lite, Ops-Centric DevOps, and Dev-Centric DevOps.

It is important to assess where the organisation currently sits, and where it wants to go with DevOps initiatives, based on how important digital transformation is for the company.

If digital transformation will rapidly enable the organisation to achieve scale, increase revenues, and stay ahead of the competition, then it will need well-developed DevOps practices, tools, and a culture that are commensurate with overall digital investments.

On the other hand, if it is more a matter of testing the waters to see if DevOps is the right path, it will require a different approach.

Taking on too much too quickly is a recipe for failure, especially if it is out of line with business priorities.

What is required to help a company assess its DevOps requirements?

It boils down to culture, tools and skillsets, plus budget.  

Culture

Culture is one of the most important elements when an organisation undertakes DevOps initiatives.

A DevOps culture entails the following: increased collaboration between development and operations teams, a sense of shared responsibility for application development and operations, no silos between these teams, and a high degree of team autonomy.

As mentioned previously, Australia is often more receptive to new technologies than other nations, which seems to indicate a general willingness to be agile.

DevOps Lite organisations are just dipping their toes to see if DevOps will work for them.

These customers are typically adopting a DevOps approach for one or two low-risk applications. DevOps culture is typically not so mature in these organisations; while development and operations teams involved with these applications certainly collaborate, their instincts and approach still lead them to operate in a siloed fashion.

No fundamental reorganisation has taken place.

Decision-making around deployment and change management is process-centric, resulting in less autonomy.

People who adopt an Ops-Centric DevOps approach go a step further, wherein infrastructure and operations (I&O) staff with strong infrastructure backgrounds are leading the DevOps effort. I&O staff engage development teams to share the responsibility of looking after a system over the course of its lifetime.

Siloes slowly begin to break down and these teams have higher autonomy to roll out new changes or fix any issues very quickly.

An Ops-Centric DevOps culture is very focused on automation but tends to value reliability and availability of applications as the main endstate of a fully-automated environment.

Dev-Centric DevOps organisations are those where there is robust collaboration between development and operations teams.

Here the DevOps team is often found as part of the larger application team, and thus adopts cultural viewpoints from developers.

This DevOps pattern does involve I&O teams early on in the development process.

They provide input into deployment and maintenance related requirements.

These customers have embraced continuous delivery – an approach that ensures software can be released to production at any time – as well as continuous integration – an approach that ensures an application is not broken whenever a new piece of code is introduced.

Development teams share the responsibility of operating their applications and help identify ways to simplify deployment and maintenance as they get more visibility from monitoring applications in production.

To net it out, Dev-Centric and Ops-Centric DevOps both have a culture of automation, but the DevCentric pattern tends to value rapid application deployment as the main endstate of a fully-automated environment. 

Tools and skillset

Automation is key to the success of DevOps.

Automation eliminates friction by reducing manual handovers and sign-offs between development and operations.

Enterprises achieve automation by employing tools for provisioning and configuring infrastructure, configuration integration, software testing as well as monitoring infrastructure and applications.

Enterprises also use tools to rapidly deploy applications for specific environments such as staging, production and test.

DevOps Lite companies typically do not use a lot of DevOps-specific tools.

Instead, they use existing tools’ capabilities to achieve basic automation/orchestration capabilities.

Their staff are usually novices in using these tools.

For example, they may favour existing VMware tools, IT operations tools from vendors like IBM and CA, or dabble with the basic tools that come with Docker.

Ops-Centric DevOps organisations have started to leverage advanced automation and orchestration techniques, but still rely heavily on legacy tools and technology to manage a wide variety of applications.

They also experiment with open source editions in order to quickly come up to speed with these tools.

Here you’ll find Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and a host of other automation and provisioning tools as the backbone of the DevOps operations.

Dev-Centric DevOps organisations employ a variety of tools to achieve automation.

They have developed a repeatable and reliable process for releasing and deploying software. They use enterprise editions that have advanced features and premium support from the vendor.

Like the more Ops-Centric pattern, Dev-Centric DevOps are skilled at infrastructure automation tools such as Puppet and Ansible, as well as monitoring tools such as Nagios.

However, they add to these configuration-oriented tools a host of more CI/CD-related automation tools like GitHub, GitLab, and Jenkins.

They have standardised on-the-set of tools that meet their specific needs.

They are able to quickly build new applications, rapidly deploy these by using appropriately configured infrastructure, and ensure these applications work as expected on an ongoing basis.

Budget

The level of commitment and investment for DevOps varies across these patterns. 

Since DevOps Lite companies are trying out this approach only for a few applications and reusing existing solutions, they generally don’t have a dedicated budget for DevOps tools and practices.

They are in the very early stages of DevOps and primarily invest manpower and time only.

Again referencing Telsyte’s Australian Digital Workplace Study 2017, it is reported that ‘IT spend is spreading outside of traditional IT departments and more than half of CIOs believe line-of-business IT spending will exceed IT department spending within five years.’

This seems to indicate that adopters of a Devops Lite mentality are likely to evolve away from this course over the next few years, and mature towards Ops-Centric DevOps anyway.

Ops-Centric DevOps companies have started to invest in advanced automation and orchestration techniques, especially in tools that enable I&O staff to automate all aspects of infrastructure operations including deployment, configuration, and monitoring.

Dev-Centric DevOps companies have a dedicated budget to invest in enterprise-grade processes, tooling, and team structures.

They also spend money on training their staff to ensure they are up to date with the latest technology and have the right skill set to operate an efficient DevOps environment.

Dev-Centric DevOps often have a budget that falls outside of traditional application and I&O budgets.

Even though the team may report (directly or dotted line) to a broader apps team, the value stands on its own and, thus, has a dedicated budget 

Map your DevOps pattern to your appetite for transformation

As the organisation reviews these patterns, it is most important to consider the goals it has for modernising and digital initiatives.

If digital transformation is a crucial game-changer for the business, then DevOps models must reflect the magnitude and characteristics of that transformation when it comes to talent, processes, and tools.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
SOTI
Australian consumers loyal to retailers who deliver speed and visibility
SOTI finds extensive order visibility and speed are the most important factors for turning one-off customers into loyal, long-term buyers.
Story image
Digital
Ivanti puts spotlight on power of employee digital experiences
The report revealed that 49% of employees are frustrated by the tech and tools their organisation provides and 64% believe this impacts morale.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Online shopping
Consumers want speed, visibility in return for brand loyalty
72% of Australian shoppers want complete online order visibility and 63% are loyal to retailers who deliver goods the fastest.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Story image
Infrastructure
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure expands distributed cloud services
“Distributed cloud is the next evolution of cloud computing, and provides customers with more flexibility and control in how they deploy cloud resources."
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
MarTech
Martech experts reveal the “buzz” on personalisation
In the digital age, innovative technology must be leveraged to power an efficient and effective relationship marketing strategy.
Story image
MSP
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Story image
Cloudian
Cloudian, Vertica to deliver on-premise data warehouse platform
"We’re enabling our customers to capitalise on a leading object storage platform and maximise the value of their digital assets.”
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
How organisations can prepare for a post-pandemic workforce
The so-called 'new normal' office looks different to how it did pre-pandemic, and organisations need to take steps to better manage their post-pandemic workforce. 
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
Oracle Cloud
Commvault, Oracle to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service
"We are excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data."
Story image
Cryptocurrency
NOWPayments launches new service to analyse cryptocurrency fees
NOWPayments has launched a new network fee optimisation solution that analyses current network fees and picks the most profitable option out of the client's payout wallets.
Story image
Sustainability
Vertiv releases updates on ESG initiatives, sets sights on future
Vertiv has released its inaugural environmental, social and governance (ESG) report, the company’s first public report of its ESG activities.
Story image
Infrastructure
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Cybersecurity
FIDO Alliance releases guidelines for optimising UX with FIDO Security Keys
The new guidelines aim to accelerate multi-factor authentication deployment and adoption with FIDO security keys.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Awards
Microsoft names A/NZ Partner of the Year award winners
The awards recognise partners across the globe for their innovative use of Microsoft technologies to help customers succeed.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Vendor
Forescout reveals top vulnerabilities impacting OT vendors
Forescout’s Vedere Labs has disclosed OT: ICEFALL, naming 56 vulnerabilities affecting devices from 10 operational technology vendors.
Story image
Metaverse
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
SAS acquires Kamakura to propel risk technology innovation
Underscoring SAS growth in the domain-specific solutions space, the acquisition will enable SAS to greatly enhance the breadth of its risk solutions portfolio. 
Story image
Research
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Cloud Security
Palo Alto Networks bolsters cloud native security offerings
Latest Prisma Cloud platform updates help organisations continuously monitor and secure web applications with maximum flexibility.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Microsoft
ASI Solutions named finalist of Microsoft Surface Partner of the Year
"ASI Solutions has a strong Microsoft focus, building value by helping customers maximise investment in modern workplace solutions."
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.