Pandemic Proof Your Agile And DevOps
DevOps and agile, characterized by accelerated deployment and efficient IT operations, are new ways of software development that have gained popularity in retail and other industries. DevOps grew out of the agile movement which was focused on applying streamlined business organization practices to software development. It then extended agile processes by combining development and operations into a single unified set of practices. Agile and DevOps can together accelerate digital transformation and impact how work gets done.
What is Agile and DevOps?
Agile is a project management and software development approach that is essentially iterative in nature. It helps teams provide value to their customers faster by delivering work in small, but consumable, increments. DevOps is a software development methodology that removes the barriers between two traditionally siloed teams, development and operations. In some companies, there may not even be separate development and operations teams with engineers carrying out both the functions. With DevOps, the two teams work in tandem, optimizing the productivity of developers and the reliability of operations.
The Agile methodology begins with clients clarifying to the project team the details of how the end product will be used and what problem it will solve. Once work begins teams cycle through a process of planning, executing and evaluating the work being done. This continuous collaboration is key to team members as well as stakeholders to make decisions in the right direction. Whereas DevOps is a combination of practices and tools that increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at higher velocities. This methodology is definitely favored over the traditional software development and infrastructure management processes of the yesteryears
Business Continuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
The responsiveness of DevOps during this pandemic is being put to test as retailers scramble to adapt to drastic changes in consumer behaviors and buying patterns. Besides these, organizations are also trying their best to handle remote workforces, COVID-19 related phishing scams, limitations in supply chain and so on. A recent survey titled, Critical Gaps in Business Continuity Plans: Exclusive Survey Results, reported that while 62% of businesses had business continuity plans, 48% of those respondents said that those plans cannot sustain beyond 2 or 3 weeks.
Organizations unprepared for this kind of pandemic have been subject to disruptions such as network outages, data loss, security breaches and revenue loss. Some of them have learnt the hard way that software no longer merely supports their business; but is an integral component of every part of the business, and this is exactly why DevOps matters.
SARS, Ebola, Swine flu and now the COVID-19. Even when the current pandemic fades out, the threat of a new virus is real and establishing a pandemic proof business continuity plan cannot be seen as unnecessary.
DevOps in Pandemic Situations
DevOps can be implemented in various areas to ensure smooth operations during crisis such as a pandemic.
- Cloud Computing
If your company has been considering managed cloud services, now is the time to explore the options and make strategic moves. Cloud computing can increase business capacity and facilitate remote access to vital business functions especially now since redundancy and scalability are important. DevOps links with cloud computing provides a standard and centralized platform for testing deployment and production.
- Redundancy in the Form of Backup
System failures are not an option in critical environments such as during the current pandemic. Redundancy in the form of a backup increases the reliability of systems. Organizations need to think whether they have back up resources that can continue to process data without interruption.
- Monitoring of Data Centers
This would be the time to monitor IT operations closely in order to spot extremes and help with scalability and capacity planning. Enterprise application support systems need to be at their optimum performance levels.
DevOps in Retail
As discussed, DevOps in retail are important because they improve the software delivery and operational performance.
Consumers today demand personalized services and delivery from online to mobile to instore, all integrated into one shopping experience. Based on current customer trends, there are three ingredients for success in the retail industry today
- Adoption of DevOps in retail
- Technology (With support for cloud and application programming interface(API))
- Process (This would involve adopting agile and lean methods to support experimentation, collaboration and learning)
The most effective DevOps transformations take a holistic approach which means taking care of the organization in all aspects. The impact of cloud computing on retail business by means of digital transformation has been well documented. Similarly, the impact of IoT on enterprises such as transportation, travel, hospitality and so on is out there for everyone to see. DevOps teams in software companies have been accelerating the software development life cycle (SDLC) by embedding agile processes in the workflow.
Efficiency and managing large scale infrastructures and traffic spikes with smaller teams will remain a top priority for enterprises during the current pandemic. An organization’s IT infrastructure and data security cannot be compromised in times such as this. Consequently making DevOps pandemic proof is essential for business continuity.