Agile and DevOps: Motivating Digital Readiness and Transformation

Agile and DevOps Motivating Digital Readiness and Transformation
In modern-day dynamic environments, nothing can afford to remain stagnant. Primordial attachments are strikingly against the rules of survival, and Digital Transformation follows the same principle. Transformation serves as the key to success of any company operating in today’s business landscape, wherein, Agile and DevOps are the essential components for a successful journey. Employing Agile and DevOps practices help companies enhance their deployment speed, overall efficiency, and customer experience.

The business world has become increasingly competitive; therefore, companies are seeking to adapt to the contentious marketplace. Leaders are aiming to be aggressive about driving adoption of Agile and DevOps within their organizations.

The aforementioned is in theory; however, the practical situation is varied. While most organizations commit fully to the adoption of both Agile and DevOps practices, many find struggles with critical challenges and thus miss out on the numerous benefits these practices can provide. CA Technologies’ research found that while “75% of respondents recognize that Agile and DevOps approaches drive significant business success when implemented together, only a relatively small proportion consider the consistency, depth, and breadth of usage of these practices to be high.” This is due to the lack of insight into the lucrative prospect of Agile and DevOps deployment where organizations stick to custom and conventional practices, unmoved by any motivation for a challenging venture.

The study also revealed the characteristics of ‘Agility Masters’ (the top 18 percent), which are organizations that have fully adopted the methodologies and aim to deploy nearly all of the right moves to make Agile and DevOps, an essential part of their business. The 60% higher rate of revenue and profit growth of these organizations is thus no surprise to anyone. “They are 2.4 times more likely to grow their businesses at a rate of over 20% than their mainstream counterparts.”

These organizations make all departments of their organization as flexible as possible when responding to changing customer demands, market expectations, regulatory changes and market opportunities. All the more important, these organizations do not focus on technology and process alone but rather on the most extensive use of whatever is available to them.

While applying Agile and DevOps, organizations face challenges such as culture improvement, skills development, improving management, and relieving the pressure. Agile and DevOps practices do not work in an isolated environment, maintained exclusively for them. Instead, the process demands a significant shift in mindset and behavior itself, while applying these strategies to the same work environment.

Therefore, to implement Agile and DevOps optimally, the organizations must focus on the following:

Improving Culture
The improved organizational culture and implementation of agile and DevOps go hand in hand. A poor company environment cannot expect agility to bloom. The organization needs to appreciate and reward collaboration, foster an environment where teamwork and coordination are natural. This will, in turn, result in an environment that holds agility and DevOps at the core of all operations. Revising current processes, making processes transparent, and accumulating valuable feedback could well serve as environment reforming strategies.

Skill Development
By providing proper and timely training to employees, companies are more likely to witness a better deployment of Agile and DevOps across the organization, which according to the research results, could amount to a 60% higher rate of revenue and profit growth in comparison to those that don’t provide active training.

Management Commitment
Supervising the entire Agile and DevOps deployment, and filling in the gaps and blocking the loopholes in the whole web of processes, is also necessary for optimal results. The implementation may result in an excessive workload and thus create confusion among the employees. Having management, committed solely to Agile and DevOps, would no doubt, improve the results.

Pressure Release
Ensuring that employees focus on their best work influences the frequency of strategic work. When employees no longer have to interplay with allied organizational problems such as competition, salary, issues with other employees, etc., they can focus more accurately on the work assigned to them. The organizations must help employees prioritize their work to adopt these methodologies.

Agility and DevOps now seem to be the fundamentals prerequisites of a Modern IT environment. Although they do not entirely solve software development problems, they are essential in accelerating the development. With the help of Agile and DevOps, organizations, through transformed richer engagement of employer, employee, and work, can compete more readily in the IT world.

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Artificial Intelligence to Make DevOps More Effective

Artificial Intelligence to Make DevOps More Effective
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has found its way into numerous industrial processes. Companies implement AI not just to accelerate production, but also to increase precision and efficiency. Nevertheless, AI used to be a buzzword only a few decades ago, when the developments were not as far reaching as they have become now; it needed particular minds to both develop and operate it. However, now, our modern IT infrastructure has become endowed with talented thinkers that can turn impossibility into reality.

With an increasing emphasis on DevOps, organizations are focusing on efficiency and better reliability. The multi-leveled and interwoven IT strategies require equally sharp eyes and a keen mind to notice and trace critical events that trigger a specific function – this is where real-time and centralized log analytics plays a vital role. AI helps to troubleshoot the main issues quickly and efficiently, while also predicting future problems.

AI has gone from being a buzzing luxury to becoming a necessity of industries today; AI is redefining the entire system of proceedings itself. It is being combined with human knowledge to create breakthroughs and opportunities that would have been impossible without its intervention. Even in IT, where the environment has increasingly become agile and dynamic due to DevOps, the complex methodologies are being simplified through AI implementation. Apart from procedural ease, AI enables IT professionals in gaining insights into the problems that are otherwise so hard to trace.

The immensely complicated DevOps process often falls outside the reach of the human mind. The operations involved need precision, pace and, big data streaming, which are possible only with AI intervention. Thus, AI has become a powerful and essential tool for efficiently analyzing and taking over decision-making processes for better results. AI fills the gaps between human capability and big data through applications of operational intelligence. Additionally, AI speeds up troubleshooting and real-time decision-making.

AI’s Cognitive Insights
One of the most groundbreaking pieces of AI technology is applied in IT operations, namely Cognitive Insights (CI), which utilizes machine-learning algorithms to match human domain knowledge with log data, open source repositories, discussion forums, and social threads. Through this informational repertoire, CI forms relevant insights that contain solutions to a wide range of critical issues faced by DevOps teams on a daily basis. DevOps engineers face numerous challenges, which can be effectively attenuated by integrating AI into log analysis and other concerning operations. There are several applications of Cognitive Insights, which include:

Security
Frequent attacks such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) have become all the more prevalent. Threats which used to be limited to high-profile public websites and multinational organizations are now targeting small-scale servers, SMBs, and mid-sized enterprises. Having a centralized logging architecture to identify and pinpoint potential threats from numerous entries is essential for warding off such attacks. For this purpose, the application of anti-DDoS mitigation through Cognitive Insights has been highly effective. Leading organizations such as Dyn and British Airways had sustained potential damage from DDoS attacks in the past and subsequently installed a full-fledged ELK-based anti-DDoS mitigation strategy to restrict hackers and secure their operations against future attacks.

IT operations
Cognitive Insight can compile logs at a centralized point, with each entry carefully monitored and registered. It also provides the luxury of viewing the process flow clearly and executing queries of records from various applications; this thereby increases overall efficiency. With AI Cognitive Insight it is becoming straightforward to pinpoint the small, yet potentially harmful, issues in vast streams of log data. The core of this program is based on ELK stack and makes it easier to have a clear view of DevOps processes through the help of data simplification and assortment.

Besides these cases, AI integration in DevOps can yield several other useful outcomes including:

• AI-driven log analytics systems efficiently solve issues of identifying and resolving critical issues, which subsequently amplifies management and overall operational pace
• Improved customer success due to better results
• Monitoring and customer support becomes even easier
• Risk reduction and resource optimization
• Maximize efficiency by making logging data easily accessible

In other words, Cognitive Insights and other such Artificial Intelligent integrations can be of great help in data log management and troubleshooting. They can quickly pinpoint the issues from thousands of log entries which are often time consuming and erroneous when a human mind handles them.

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True Business Efficiency Combines the Power of Cloud Computing and DevOps Practices

True Business Efficiency Combines the Power of Cloud Computing and DevOps Practices

True Business Efficiency Combines the Power of Cloud Computing and DevOps

The use of both DevOps and cloud-computing have become a promising combination for companies these days. The blend of practices and implementations provides increased speed and efficiency, as well as higher agility and better end-user experiences. While the Cloud and DevOps are two independent technologies, they become intertwined, resulting in a workflow more efficient than ever before.

The Driving Force of the Cloud and DevOps

Implementation of Cloud computing techniques has rapidly ushered in the use of the DevOps philosophy. Through this trend, enterprises are increasingly making use of agile software to develop and implement administrative IT operations for their customers to enhance their services in the long run.

Through the concept of DevOps, businesses can break down their functional silos and drive discipline between their IT-related processes. Since the process of development is rather elaborate, more companies have to spend a lot of time, effort, and resources to plan and transform their IT infrastructure thoroughly – all to obtain the maximum benefit out of available resources.

The progression of the Cloud and DevOps has been rather sudden, as compared to other technological advancements in the enterprise market. The development of DevOps is aimed at making the approach more Cloud-centric; this means that most public and private Cloud providers are beginning to support the implementation of DevOps within their platforms. These practices will enhance and aid the continuous creation of development tools. Strong integration leaves little or no space for cost inefficiencies, as there is an efficient mode of centralized governance within the processes.

Through effective governance, there is tighter control on developers, since they have a more streamlined process to follow, which is controlled centrally via Cloud services. This way, in a subtle yet efficient manner, companies can bring their differentiated departments under control. Cloud-based DevOps also lessen the need for leveraging resources, thereby providing a usage-based accounting solution. Through such elaborate measures, companies can track their applications and developers related data.

Would it be right to say that the Cloud is running DevOps? The answer is quite merely ‘no.’ Given the interdependence between the two technologies, there is an imminent need for both the technologies to be present to derive maximum functionality. As per RightScale’s 2015 State of the Cloud Report, over 71% of companies have adopted 66% of DevOps within their Cloud Services.

DevOps Leads the way into the Cloud

The Cloud is ruled by DevOps – this fact has been proven time and again. With the powerful combination of the Cloud and DevOps working together, there is a lot of aggregate value for CTOs, who are working to remove technical challenges from the paths of implementation. To gain maximum efficiency out of the partnership between the Cloud and DevOps enterprises need to strive towards the rapid deployment of DevOps practices continually.

Due to the inherent lack of knowledge and deployment techniques, many large enterprises and developers alike fear the implementation, since the concept of utilization comes across as confusing and sometimes, even impossible. If Cloud computing is paving the path towards the future, chances are enterprises and developers will need to take this bull by the horns and make the most out of it. In other words, if the Cloud has to work, one must adequately know how to deploy and implement DevOps for best results. Companies such as Idexcel focus on providing DevOps consulting services which provide reduced development times and operational costs for businesses of all sizes.

Use the Cloud and DevOps to Your Advantage

Budgets need to be focused and modified to utilize the Cloud’s full potential and meet enterprise goals. DevOps is about using the right techniques to mold the Cloud’s functionality to one’s advantage. The better the implementation, the more efficient a process will be created. With the right approach and the proper knowledge, developers and enterprises can go a long way in advancing towards the right direction, especially when it comes to meeting all chalked out goals in the long run.

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Agile & DevOps Conference 2018

Agile & DevOps Conference
Date : 29 Jan, 2018
Location : Dallas-TX, United States
Venue: Homewood Suites by Hilton

Event Details
The conference targets to feature presentation and discussion sessions by recognized thought-leaders addressing the actual developments and trends in Agile & DevOps highlighting implementation challenges and their solutions. The conference presentations by expert speakers will make it easier to understand how Agile & DevOps can successfully bring cross-functional business units together for delivering business results speedily in the Agile environment.

Why Attend
A full day event for professionals to meet their industry peers, exchange knowledge and take away ideas for making best use of Agile & DevOps practice. Based on the conference theme ‘Let’s switch it on’, this conference provides an opportunity to learn from industry experts the concept of Agile & DevOps and how to implement it in your organizations. Get to know critical challenges faced during implementation, and their solutions. This is a great platform to meet top solution providers and industry players in this domain.

[Know more about the Conference]

About Idexcel: Idexcel is a global business that supports Commercial & Public Sector organizations as they Modernize their Information Technology using DevOps methodology and Cloud infrastructure. Idexcel provides Professional Services for the AWS Cloud that includes Program Management, Cloud Strategy, Training, Applications Development, Managed Service, Integration, Migration, DevOps, AWS Optimization and Analytics. As we help our customers modernize their IT, our clients should expect a positive return on their investment in Idexcel, increased IT agility, reduced risk on development projects and improved organizational efficiency.

Allolankandy Anand Sr. Director Technical Sales & Delivery will be attending this event. For further queries, please write to anand@idexcel.com

7 Key Business Benefits of DevOps

In order to be best at what an organization can achieve, there are a ton of things which need to come to the fore. The higher the networking capability between the employees, the higher the efficiency would be of the apps and tools being used within the organization. For this reason, DevOps is the keyword being used regularly these days.

When one talks about DevOps, efficiency plays a pivotal role in the story of success making. Through DevOps, developers can invest in the opportunity to work more closely with operations, stakeholders and other teams who might be responsible for the day to day functioning of the various processes.

Here is a list of the benefits which a business can avail in the long run through the deployment of DevOps.

1. Faster, quicker deployment of new systems and apps: If your business has successfully launched DevOps, it’s getting ready for the next level of deployment. Through the right approaches, an organization can benefit by deploying their new systems in a more enhanced, efficient manner, while keeping the efficiency intact. This way, innovation and continual deployment becomes synonymous with each other, thereby making the deployment easier and quicker.

2. Agility is the key: Agility is needed to bring about transformation within a business. Through DevOps, even the big organizations can achieve scalability required in transforming their business more Agile. In other words, everyone wins.

3. DevOps translates into money: DevOps can help automate repetitive tasks without having to worry too much about errors. For example, regression and performance testing can bring about a small change in a rapid manner. Frequent backups and rollovers help in the development of a more robust and stable process. With such automations in place, an organization benefits by saving manual costs, which mean higher monetary savings.

4. Silos can no longer exist with DevOps: Innovation and silos are a thing of the past. These days, there is a lot more to innovation than what meets the eye. Since there was no link between developers and operations, innovation was carried out in seclusion, making things all the more elusive and secretive. However, as times have changed, so have the methods of performing innovation. With increased interaction levels between teams, which include developers and operations, there is a lot of exposure and transparency between teams, making it a useful collaboration. Exclusivity carried out by agile methodologies has given a new meaning to innovation, making things all the more advantageous for the members of the organizations. In a typical IT world, there can be different barriers, which need to be brought down with the right approach. By the introduction of DevOps, old linear processes can be demolished, while the newer more organized processes can be brought into force.

5. Faster development cycles for the organizations: DevOps rests on two main keywords, namely collaboration and communication. As soon as both these features are enhanced, there is an automatic improvement in the development cycles, making it into a success story it deserves to be.

6. Continuous service delivery: With a quicker turnaround of development cycles, codes are also released into the production cycles quickly. The gaps between requirement gathering and production are reduced significantly, causing a massive shift in the production cycles. Through such methodologies, production cycles are often synchronized with IT mechanisms to make them more streamlined and effective. For this purpose, an effective DevOps mechanism is often needed to create a robust method of efficiency.

7. Adieu defects: In an application production environment, defects are an app’s worst enemy. However, with the intervention of DevOps, defects become next to negligible, making it an instant solution for most problems. Through collaboration, modular programming and iterative development, defects are often minimized, making it a fool proof technique to handle defects. With digital transformation paving the path for minimizing defects, there are endless opportunities being pursued to reduce defects and enable efficiency within each and every organizational vertical.

With so many benefits being achieved through DevOps, there is no denying the fact that DevOps is the future of the production cycles. Given the right implementation, a lot can be achieved in a short span of time, making the production of apps more effective and foolproof.

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What’s Next in DevOps: 5 Trends to Watch

The term “DevOps” is typically credited to this 2008 presentation on agile infrastructure and operations. Now ubiquitous in IT vocabulary, the mashup word is less than 10 years old: We’re still figuring out this modern way of working in IT.

Sure, people who have been “doing DevOps” for years have accrued plenty of wisdom along the way. But most DevOps environments – and the mix of people and culture, process and methodology, and tools and technology – are far from mature.

More change is coming. That’s kind of the whole point. “DevOps is a process, an algorithm,” says Robert Reeves, CTO at Datical. “Its entire purpose is to change and evolve over time.”

What should we expect next? Here are some key trends to watch, according to DevOps experts.

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Doing DevOps Right

DevOps-right
DevOps has become the talk of the town these days. With a lot of organizations beginning to employ the tactics on a day to day basis, there are a lot of options to explore from. While DevOps provides organizations an edge over the competition, the transition is not painless or easy.

How Can a Company Know if They are Doing DevOps Right?

Define Strategies: Strategies related to infrastructure use will help an organization gauge their resource requirements, thereby helping them capitalize on their needs and wants.

Implementation in Stages: In order to make DevOps a success story for your organization to live by, it is best to avoid implementing the techniques in the whole organization in the same go. Do it in pieces to measure the success in a step by step situation.

Cost Management: Define a process which showcases the costs involved in the deployment phase. Expenses need to be mapped to each process, so that there is a detailed costing procedure available to every process, making DevOps clear and concise.

Rapid Release Cycles: Release management encompasses the process of managing, scheduling and controlling software’s production phase and guiding it through the various stages, which includes software testing and software deployment.

Seamless Integration on Different Platforms: Software development is all about seamless integration and deployment. This is not limited to cross platform integration only. This includes maintaining uniformity in all possible stages, from beginning to end, wherein the software has to be tested effectively in order to achieve operational excellence.

Application Life Cycle Management: The software production cycle begins with requirements gathering, and ends with the software hitting the market post production. The whole procedure is dependent on rigorous testing using effective tools, which helps accelerate the operations process.

Performance Monitoring: Through performance testing and monitoring, a product’s functionality can be gauged, to achieve the desired results. Performance monitoring includes making sure no external factors are able to influence the working of the product or software.

Continuous Delivery: The process of continuous delivery can be manual as well as automated. User acceptance testing enables automation, which can ease out the product delivery.

Helping Organizations Develop DevOps the Right Way

Using Social Media: Employees can grasp the various nuances of DevOps through social media, which makes it all the easier to be abreast of the changes and the upcoming trends.

Conference Sessions and Events: DevOps themes can go a long way in educating employees of the trends prevailing in the technical industry. Companies and organizations should concentrate on bringing employees together to make sure the concepts of DevOps are done right.

Leverage Log Analysis: It’s important to notice a trend of failures and follow it to make amends. This trend would often involve a common point between users, decision makers as well as developers and implementers.

Working in Tandem with Operations and Developers: Understand the problem, and develop the solution. This is the key to successful implementation. When operations provide the problems, the developers need to find the solution and make sure it is implemented in the right manner. While ops have the burden of maintaining the up time, their focus can dwindle from the right approach, which is why it’s essential to let the developers work on what’s important.

Use Data for Analysis and Feedback: Log analysis data should be the common point for all people out there in an organization. Since data talks majorly about the loopholes in a process, it can go a long way in simplifying the problems and helping implement the solutions effectively.

Commitment to DevOps can really pay off, if implemented correctly. Since people form the backbone of DevOps strategy, they should be kept in focus at all times. Developers are needed to take onus of their product development so that quality does not take a hit. Once all the strategies are in place, companies and organizations alike can define and measure their DevOps procedures and identify the gaps which need to be plugged in eventually.

5 Ways DevOps and Automation Bolster Software Security


The fusion of DevOps and security goes hand in hand; a well groomed DevOps structure ensures faster and smoother software releases. Multiple releases might have been a farfetched dream 10 to 15 years ago; however, the true reality of today is that many software companies are functioning differently now.

DevOps has changed the very existence of how companies develop apps. However, what is important to note is that in the quest to get the software ready for deployment, the security of the launch should not be compromised. Fortunately, DevOps takes care of all the security nuances, since it has been fine tuned to provide risk free deployment, provided the right measures are taken at all times.

By fusing security measures into the working of DevOps, companies can ensure that maximum security measures are taken at all times. At the same time, it is also important to note that as developers and operations people start working together, there are a lot of security controls which can be affected or compromised in the long run. This show why DevOps tools are often met with resistance during the implementation stages.

When it comes to security, DevOps can be configured to secure all the phases of software development:

  • Security right from the start: Security, as a measure, does not have to be implemented at the last development stage only. It can be embedded from the initial stages itself, since it is a quality requirement. Through DevOps, one can incorporate automated security testing procedures efficiently and effectively to achieve compliance listed norms.
  • Automation security: As more and more tests are automated using DevOps, there are lesser risks of security flaws caused by human errors. With automation in place, the tests are more secure and efficient, making the development process more predictable and consistent.
  • Through security – through and through: DevOps security is implemented at every stage, which makes the process all the more consistent and useful. Right from development and testing to ops and security, everything is taken care of by DevOps, making the process simpler yet efficient.
  • Fix things quickly: Unfortunately, even DevOps implementation is not 100% security breach proof. However, since the deployment accelerates the lead time, it helps reduce the errors, since everything is following a consistent setup approach.
  • Enhanced governance for developers: DevOps is all about securing the governance for the developers involved in the production capabilities. Through consistent development, testing and release practices, developers are able to control the governance policies and provide utmost security to the software development and deployment. When everyone is aligned on the procedures and policies, a strict governance regime can be followed, in order to make the production stream more productive and conclusive.

Through DevOps, there are a lot of opportunities which can be explored with respect to software security. Automation, emphasis on software testing, feedback loops, collaboration and consistent release practices, companies are able to secure their software testing lines and provide faster

DevOps Tools Training Sparks IT productivity

Enterprises have a new weapon to combat the IT skills shortage where new hiring and training practices fall short.

Most IT pros agree the fastest path to IT burnout is what Amazon engineers have termed “undifferentiated heavy lifting,” which is repetitive and uninteresting work that has little potential for wider impact beyond keeping the lights on. DevOps tools training, which involves IT automation practices, can reduce or eliminate such mundane work and can compensate against staff shortages and employee attrition.
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DevOps Jobs: How to win that role

For IT job hunters, some of today’s most desirable jobs are DevOps jobs. A company with a strong commitment to DevOps wants people to run fast, experiment, and iterate their way to success. These organizations prize innovation. But the DevOps methodology and culture turns some old rules about IT job hunting upside down.

For instance, your ability to spot trouble and turn around failures now trumps certifications, says Robert Reeves, CTO at Datical, a database release automation company. For DevOps teams, companies need people who can think on their feet – and communicate clearly to all kinds of people, from marketing team members to engineers. Remember, DevOps is all about cross-functional teams.
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