The Case for Cloud-Based DevOps

Tech Blog / The Case for Cloud-Based DevOps
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Proven to help increase agility, speed time-to-market and grow operational resiliency, many organizations are turning to DevOps methodologies to address increasingly competitive marketplaces and quickly evolving customer needs. Yet, according to the DevOps Institute, DevOps remains challenging for more than half of organizations that begin the journey. Increasingly, cloud is being recognized across enterprises as a key lever to help enterprises achieve DevOps at scale, due to its extreme automation, scalability and inherent elasticity.

Why cloud-based DevOps

Cloud-based DevOps benefits operations, developer and security teams alike, ultimately helping the business reach its goals. Specifically:

  • Operations – DevOps helps operations teams drive the adoption of best practices and standards throughout the organization by making it easy to do the right thing. Moreover, cloud-based DevOps helps reduce the number of tickets by enabling secure self-service options.
  • Developers – The development team achieves greater agility with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) and infrastructure as code (IaC) without having to become DevOps experts.
  • Security – Working with development and operations, security teams can ensure that security standards are proactively built into applications and back-end systems, allowing them to enforce best practices like automated secret management without creating friction.
  • Business – All of these benefits combine to help accelerate IT outcomes which in turn enable greater experimentation, innovation and ultimately improve corporate breakthrough performance.

DevOps at scale

DevOps promises the opportunity to move away from a technically challenging environment to one that is repeatable, secure and streamlined. Yet, organizations struggle to take the required steps to ride this new wave of transformation. To successfully make the transition requires more than new technology and process optimization, but also requires taking decisive steps to shift culture and team structure.

DevOps culture

DevOps is a fundamental shift in the way people and teams interact with one another. To facilitate an effective transition to this new way of working requires the intentional support and attention of senior leadership and a structure that reflects itself through new relationships, habits and culture.

A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) can help achieve these goals by leading by example and providing coaching and training to others. CCOEs can be quite successful in driving critical organizational change, especially when they:

  • Consist of cross-organizational team members that come from within the organization
  • Have a best practice based continuous learning and improvement mindset
  • Are part of the larger organization, and are not viewed as a siloed ivory tower

Cloud-based DevOps at scale

Based on extensive client work, at NTT DATA we have developed a process for successfully enabling cloud-based DevOps. It all begins with a pilot project. It’s important to take the time to choose the right project for this first step because starting with a good-fit use case will make it much easier to tout the business benefits of the project and ultimately use it as the advertisement for future DevOps work.

To choose the best project, we recommend that it be right-sized. That is, don’t try to boil the ocean with the pilot project, but find one that can be used to adopt three or four DevOps principles. The pilot should ideally also address an identified business need. One that can be tied to as large of a business impact as possible.

Once the pilot project has been identified, have a small cross-functional team execute it. In the process, the team should seek to build a pattern of lessons learned that can be applied as cloud DevOps is scaled across the organization. Empower the pilot team while keeping a close eye on the team’s progress; remember that the outcome of the pilot will be the message the broader organization receives about the DevOps initiative.

With a successful pilot under the team’s belt, you can begin to scale out DevOps within the organization. We recommend the following steps:

  • Analysis of the application portfolio to identify common infrastructure and CI/CD patterns among business-critical applications.
  • Deployment of technology to modernize systems using a cloud-based DevOps platform.
  • Development of patterns certified through operations, security and business, including pattern lifecycle management.
  • Documentation of processes for application adoption and the pattern lifecycle that equips development with the knowledge to assemble everything they need to deliver a service.

Cloud-based DevOps is a journey, not a destination. As a result, we strongly advocate that our clients pursue a journey of continuous learning and innovation that will help them deliver on ever-evolving business goals.

Learn more about these steps in “The Case for Cloud-Based DevOps”. Watch the full presentation here.


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Post Date: 11/12/2021

Emily Lewis Pinnell, NTT DATA Services

About the Author:

Emily Lewis-Pinnell

Emily Lewis-Pinnell leads the Cloud Practice as part of the Consulting and Digital Transformation Services organization. Emily has worked with hundreds of clients across a broad range of platforms, technologies and tools, helping them transform their IT environments and successfully plan, migrate and manage their businesses in the cloud. She has 20 years of IT industry experience in software development, operations, marketing, corporate strategy, portfolio management and sales. She has a BS in engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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