How to implement Enterprise DevOps: 5 steps

Enterprise DevOps is the perfect mix between traditional IT and DevOps, standardizing the way teams operate within an organization.

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Traditional methods of running an IT shop are outdated, but organizations must be wary of merely swapping this model out for DevOps--particularly if it ends up with dozens of DevOps teams working in their own way.

Under a traditional IT operating model, there are generally too many handoffs between teams, said John Brigden, vice president of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Managed Services, during a Monday session at AWS re:Invent 2018.

"You've got lots of handoffs when a change is made, or any kind of adjustment is made to the environment ... and that can result in loss of innovation, loss of speed, and a lot of other challenges the enterprise faces today," Brigden said during the session.

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The notion of DevOps and DevOps teams in general can also be flawed, he added.

"You might have tens, even hundreds of DevOps teams in your environment, and if these DevOps teams are left to figure everything out for themselves--network configuration, security compliance, compliance with PCI, change management, automation, in addition to writing the application to achieve their business outcome --you can get to a place where you have a lot of non-standardization, a lot of complexity, and perhaps create an environment that could slow down what you're really trying to achieve," Brigden said.

As a result, Brigden recommends an Enterprise DevOps model to his customers and partners, one that sits in between DevOps and traditional IT.

Here are five ways to create an Enterprise DevOps environment in your organization.

1. Begin with "production-ready" migration

"Firstly, it's really about working backwards from the production environment, really thinking about the run-state, not just the migration," Brigden said. "Migration in and of itself is not necessarily an outcome."

Instead, the focus should be on production-ready migration and operations, which is the end-goal and having that goal informing the process from the start, he added.

2. Embrace existing and new best practices

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It isn't always appropriate to remove old ways of working.

"It's about embracing standardization and new processes. The DevOps team shouldn't have to recreate the wheel on how to stand up a compliance environment or minimal secure environment or drive standardization on efficiencies or principles," Brigden said. "There's patterns of success and patterns of frameworks that can be leveraged across environments."

3. Remember DevOps legacy apps, not just cloud-native ones

Similarly, Enterprise DevOps is about operating constructs that support not just net, new cloud-native application stacks, Brigden said.

It's important to include in the process applications that are going through modernization, and not to forget their existence or importance, and move them into a DevOps structure as well, he added.

4. Build a culture of inclusion

A culture of inclusion should be created across the entire organization, Brigden said.

"It's about the people and the culture and building an environment where you're creating a situation where you're bringing people along," he said. "It's not just about the developers--there's multiple players at stake in an enterprise, and how do you get them involved in a migration, what's the right way to get them involved and build a sustained operating environment from that context."

5. Insource value creation

Lastly, Brigden said the idea of Enterprise DevOps is about leveraging what an organization already has at its disposal.

"It's about focusing your precious few resources and capabilities from the cloud on differentiation and really getting leverage from standardisation and best practices in a thoughtful way," he said.

That way, he added, the organization has something that can be provided at scale, across the entire environment.

"These are the principals involved when we talk about Enterprise DevOps ... I use this all the time with our customers and partners and it's a good frame of reference," Brigden said.

"[The Enterprise DevOps] model is recognizing this concept of some set of standardized capability in terms of policy, as well as mechanisms that can drive both preventative upfront protections, as well as detective capabilities."

Disclosure: Asha McLean travelled to AWS re:Invent as a guest of AWS.

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Image: iStockphoto/Vasyl Dolmatov