Why is DevOps the way to move forward?
As previously mentioned in our article DevOps as a Culture, DevOps is a philosophy and a mindset shift from the traditional way of managing IT departments. As such, it requires a company culture aligned with this new philosophy. Some telcos and other companies from different sectors already use this DevOps model to combine Development and Operations into a single pipeline. This mentality uses automation and iteration to generate a continuous stream of market-ready features and functionality.
Alvatross aligns with this mentality and promotes DevOps as means to move forward in our strategy. Our team ensures agility across the organization through collaboration, responsible for the quality and timeliness of our projects. By adopting DevOps, we are also able to eliminate unnecessary work overload. Moreover, we allow valuable human resources to focus on creating value and creative work, by delegating certain routine tasks to automation.
Obviously, like in any other field, there Is no miraculous solution or definite method to introduce DevOps. It takes time, effort and a shift in the company’s way of doing things. Every organisation works and is fundamentally different. Although, it is common for professionals in the sector to talk about CALMS as the cornerstones to support every aspect of our projects.
CALMS stands for Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, and Sharing. These are key points particularly useful to analyse the structure of any organisation. CALMS sets the guidelines for all parties involved. It clearly indicates what needs to be implemented. It also provides tools to articulate and integrate processes and automate or optimise them as much as possible. And this is exactly what truly allows us to speak about DevOps in Alvatross.
What are the challenges for Telcos?
DevOps practices have the goal to automate and optimise processes. Yet, it all starts with the international culture of the company and the people involved. Most CSPs are held back by their siloed approach where teams work independently in their own environment, developing standalone scripts. This would not be a problem in a world where being the most agile was unimportant, or partnership and collaboration were not a thing. In our world, the lack of a single platform where all teams cohesively work together avoids real automation and can potentially cause delays.
The challenge of fostering a DevOps culture requires deep changes in the way people work and collaborate. DevOps teams conformed by developers and operations staff should become familiar with each other’s tasks, transforming their job environment and inevitably making their jobs blend and evolve. Therefore, if companies commit to implementing this culture, they will be able to create and facilitate the growth of high-performing teams.
On the other hand, this type of agile environment may become chaotic. Operations could turn complicated if the different software components have not been properly selected and adapted. This could also happen if department roles are not coordinated, or if the staff has not received adequate training. This is the reason why Alvatross recommends analysing the company needs first to ensure that any implementation, or IT infrastructure overhaul or renewal process, responds to their actual demands. By doing so, you can make sure that this contributes to your business development and avoids extra and unnecessary tasks that do not fit your company’s goals.
What are the benefits of adopting this philosophy?
Cloud environments and automation are part of our everyday. The rapid expansion of public cloud environments across all industries have turned DevOps into the perfect solution to prevent developers from waiting for their busy IT teams to provide the infrastructure that they need. In fact, in the latest report conducted by Puppet about DevOps, 2021 State of DevOps report, it becomes clear that DevOps enables better use of cloud capabilities if well-adopted by organisations.
In the same report by Puppet conducted three years earlier (2018), the survey revealed beneficial features. In this section, we have highlighted the following three:
- The total failure recovery of companies using DevOps is dramatically faster, and the period between the introduction of a code change and its production is up to 440 times faster.
- Earlier error detection. This is thanks to the automation of certain tasks: continuous monitoring and testing, making it also possible to automate overlapping redundant tasks between different teams. Additionally, the alvatross team has daily or weekly meetings to share their experiences, exchange opinions, and detect errors so they can be solved before they become an actual problem.
- Faster Time-To-Market: Agility to deliver value-adding products with new features to clients.
The above-mentioned benefits are visible to the team. From the customer side, we can differentiate another two significant benefits to become more competitive in the telco market:
- Improved customer satisfaction: Its rapid feedback loops facilitate the creation and implementation of new adjustments that fit the needs of our customers. Moreover, automation creates reliable and stable applications free of all possible manual errors.
- More frequent releases: Since this process creates agility and faster Time-to-Market, it also simplifies and helps CSPs develop and launch new products and bundles more frequently. Therefore, their key business goals are achieved even twice as often. And, finally, the end-users can enjoy a pleasant experience with more consistent processes and applications.
In the new market, software projects require more coordination among teams. A DevOps mindset will only ease the coordination and communication within development and operations teams. Moreover, it enables collaboration among vendors and CSPs to make new functionalities available, validate its commercial readiness, and monitor how it is used and experienced by customers.
This new agile approach benefits the service provider, the telecom company, and their relationship in the 5G era. Better coordination, communication, and fewer manual errors will result in increased application quality, cost savings and faster Time-to-Market. These features are esential to prepare for the future and leverage the full functionality of the tools and high demands of the new 5G networks. This means that the construction, quality, and production release of our Open APIs at Alvatross must be quick and reliable. And for this same reason, DevOps has become a key factor in digital the transformation processes of our organisation.
The ultra-fast Time-to-Market and related improvements bring real competitive advantages to the early adopters of the new technology and process. If you want to ensure business success both in the present and the future, two things are essential: maximising the profit of the existing software investment, and adopting new technology.
DevOps helps companies organise their operations. Automation is mandatory in the race towards having a faster Time-to-Market and increasing the company’s revenues. To do so, it is also important to have the correct organisation within the company. Trying to simplify the wrong processes is like putting the cart before the horse. As Rod Michael once said, “If you automate a mess, you get an automated mess”. Hence, with the onset of 5G, DevOps tools and pipelines can greatly benefit CSPs to prevent having an automated mess.
Successful DevOps implementation requires a business-oriented strategy and skilled IT resources working collaboratively. That is why telecommunications service providers are some of the most likely companies to benefit from this methodology. Telcos tend to be big and complex companies in need of quality software that provides them with fast applications to keep up with their growth.
Regardless of the nature of CSP’s applications, the IT environment of every business keeps evolving. This means that more challenges need to be addressed to become competitive in the market. And DevOps is a reality to help companies maximise profits and develop software infrastructures faster and better. Are you convinced yet?
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