Cloud computing and its many forms have an impact on the way companies respond to events and do business. In a 2015 survey of 452 high-level IT executives from around the world, the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 71 percent of respondents view business agility as the number-one reason for cloud adoption.
For similar reasons, DevOps adoption is on the rise. More organizations are starting to invest in DevOps methodologies to enhance operations and create business agility within their IT departments. A 2014 Puppet Labs survey found that organizations using DevOps capabilities are able to deploy code 30 times more frequently than their traditional waterfall counterparts - and experienced 50 percent fewer failures.
DevOps in the cloud isn't a new concept, and some say it's the "key to enterprise cloud." Shifting application development to cloud-based testing environments allows for a more streamlined process, as it's easy to create cloud instances and examine how the code performs in a sandbox-type replica. With these kinds of testing environments, developers can easily fix problems that arise before deployment.
What does DevOps in the cloud mean for enterprises? What do these kinds of deployments need to succeed? Part of the answer lies, strangely enough, in the human resources department.
"Some say DevOps is the key to enterprise cloud."
Inhibitors for adoption
DevOps can be defined as the set of processes and methodologies that strive to give software and applications faster time-to-market with as few mistakes as possible. Traditional waterfall development was set up like an assembly line, with each step in the process taking place linearly after the previous. However, with DevOps, application development takes a more nonlinear, exploratory approach, with processes taking place simultaneously so as to facilitate speedy deployment.
It is this clash between traditional and innovative, between mode 1 and mode 2 IT infrastructures, that has been the main inhibitor of DevOps, according to Wired. As we continue to move through 2016, it will be integral to see how the relationship between the two modes of IT plays out.
The need for expertise to enhance agility
Cloud and DevOps adoption both continue to increase at a startling rate, with 69 percent of enterprises now using the cloud to reengineer business processes and thus enhance agility, according to a recent report from Verizon. However, a problem has surfaced: There aren't enough qualified employees to orchestrate the shift from legacy IT to cloud-based processes.
According to ZDNet contributor Joe McKendrick, bimodal IT structures aren't quite working for companies in the way that they want because more time is being spent on the second mode: the side that maintains legacy infrastructure and makes sure older systems are working in tandem with the newer tools of the first mode.
McKendrick cited a study recently conducted by NetEnrich, which found that despite the fact that 68 percent of respondents were using DevOps methodologies in their legacy systems, IT managers were still having trouble with backlogs of user demands.
"IT still spends too much time on day-to-day systems maintenance. As a result, close to one in four admit that business demands have become too fast and too big to handle, causing IT to say 'no,'" McKendrick wrote.
This means there is an increased need for IT professionals with expertise in the areas of cloud management and DevOps.
Bringing the two together
Operating seamlessly between mode 1 and mode 2 IT infrastructure requires patience, professionals with cloud and DevOps expertise and the right technology solutions to get the job done. CloudShell from Quali brings mode 1 and mode 2 IT together and can eliminate much of the headache associated with the transition from legacy systems to the cloud.
The takeaway: Cloud-based DevOps deployments are on the rise, but IT departments have a distinct need for more employees with knowledge of both fields. It continues to be important for organizations to invest in the personnel necessary to bring success to their DevOps strategies.