10 Tips for DevOps Success in 2020

2020 brings a new year, a new decade, and new tips for how your organization can succeed with DevOps. Gene Kim, Author, Researcher, Founder of IT Revolution, and DevOps enthusiast, Derek Langone, CEO, XebiaLabs, and T.j. Randall, Vice President of Customer Success, XebiaLabs come together after a recent webinar to share 10 tips for DevOps success in 2020.

1.) Embrace Cloud Carefully

Cloud adoption has revolutionized the software delivery process and isn’t going away any time soon. No matter the industry or organization size, for businesses that still want to be around next decade, leveraging the cloud is a must. And adherence to business, infosec, and compliance requirements is imperative for doing cloud right.

2.) The CoE is Back!

The Center of Excellence concept is shifting from an approval board model to more of a consultative approach.

High performing DevOps organizations will focus on community of practice, or platform teams, that teach the rest of the organization best practices and how to roll out DevOps in a repeatable way.

3.) DevOps as a Service

DevOps as a Service provides a centralized, standardized template, so each team isn’t doing their own thing.

To reap the benefits, organizations should create a two-to-five person team (sometimes referred to as a platform team) to manage DevOps — monitoring, CI/CD, release automation, orchestration, cloud — as an internal shared service. This also frees up developers, allowing them to focus their energy on solving business problems.

Learn more about DevOps as a Service by watching this recent XebiaLabs webinar.

4.) Let Developers Develop

The demand for developers is on the rise. Keeping developers happy is not only essential for retaining top talent, but it also directly correlates with software delivery and organizational performance.

To foster job satisfaction, leaders must allow developers the freedom to work on the impactful elements of software production, instead of the “plumbing” and maintenance.

5.) Security. Baked in.

DevSecOps has become mainstream over the last year, meaning security can no longer be an option or an afterthought. It needs to be part of the full software delivery pipeline and not added on just before Production.

To help shift security earlier in the process, organizations are starting to implement an Authority to Operate (ATO) process, so that if code passes all the automated control scans, developers no longer have to wait for a stamp of approval to push it into Production.

6.) Your Back-end Needs Love, too.

Don’t ignore back-end operations (e.g. applications and systems that customers don’t see).

Organizations often become preoccupied with the customer-facing features and improvements, but it’s the internal operations platforms that allow the organization to run smoothly.

Leaders should put their best engineers on these internal applications, and not just on building features.

7.) Know Your Value

Data is a significant contributor to the success of Development teams. Determining how to obtain data instantly and use it to make decisions will be big in 2020.

More and more, we see organizations taking advantage of value stream mapping and management to generate data to answer questions around inefficiencies in the software delivery lifecycle and how long it takes to create value for the customers.

8.) Failure is an Option

It’s important to understand how to recover from a failure because it’s not a matter of if something will go wrong, but when it will happen. Teams should deliberately create failures and issues within the software delivery process to figure out a successful strategy for detection and recovery.

We cover the topic of chaos engineering in our recent webinar with Forrester’s Charles Betz.

9.) Safety First

Psychological safety – one of the fives ideals from Gene Kim’s The Unicorn Project – is the biggest component in what makes great teams great.

In 2020, the hallmark of good leadership will be the ability to create a safe space to talk about failures in a non-accusatory way.

Get your copy of The Unicorn Project.

10.) Automate that Audit

What happens to your compliance and audit process when you go from deploying a couple times a year to a couple times a day? Manual processes of pulling data from disparate tools and documenting activities using screenshots no longer hold up.

Organizations should be automating the evidence collection and reporting of the end-to-end software delivery processes, so teams don’t have to take time away from building and releasing software.

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