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It’s Only Cloud Computing (but I like it) (David Collins)

A rolling stone gathers no moss, and a half-hearted move to the cloud delivers no value; it can even increase costs.

Moving to the cloud provides a catalyst for change and enables new possibilities in technology adoption but only if an organisation is prepared to truly transform how it operates. Half measures won’t cut it here.

Simply moving applications is not enough. Without changing the architecture and design of applications, or the way they are built and maintained, limited value will be gained. The best outcomes are achieved when applications are designed specifically to take advantage of the cloud, and organisations change the way they work to fully embrace the value of elastic compute and DevOps.

And it’s not just us saying it, according to a report from IT analyst firm Freeform Dynamics, using cloud and DevOps together achieves an acceleration of software delivery of 81 percent.

Sympathy For The DevOp

To understand where an organisation is on its path towards fully adopting a DevOps environment, ask when its latest release was. An answer in hours or minutes signifies a company that has fully embraced the transformative benefits that DevOps can bring.

Yet adopting such a release schedule can seem like an anathema to the financial services sector. Decades of release pain have seen banks respond to the reality of poor code releases by fortifying their production environments with bureaucratic control frameworks to limit their exposure.

But the more releases the better it gets, and when you get to the premier league of measuring release gaps in hours or minutes good things start happening.

You can always get what you want

The hardest part of moving to DevOps is to change the process and control environment, hence the need to fully embrace a shift to the cloud as a catalyst for change.  By radically transforming the architecture and design of applications, how they are built and maintained, significant benefits can be achieved.

Firstly, the relationship between the business and IT can be transformed.  The business gives up their shadow IT, it’s no longer necessary and IT is seen as an enabler. Business agility and rate of change increases dramatically, making the firm more competitive allowing the business to experiment more freely. 

Secondly, more technology change means faster response times, greater agility and reduced issues. We advise clients to expect IT operating costs to fall by 20-35% by adopting this approach.

Hey You, Get On To My Cloud

Of course, there are considerations that need to be in place to make a move to DevOps a success – such as having the right microservices architecture. This allows for the development of applications to be broken down into functional components that can be built, tested, maintained, and corrected in parallel with each other. This not only saves time but also allows for the most appropriate platforms, tools and coding languages to be used while fostering a culture of agility.

Which brings us back neatly to the cloud and choosing the right partner. As you would expect, there are advantages and compromises with each. The existing development platform – .Net for example – might make one vendor the obvious choice, vendor lock-in and approach to open source is another key consideration.

But regardless of vendor, the case for embracing DevOps in the move to the cloud is a strong one. True, you can achieve much of what has been outlined without the cloud, but that rather misses the point. As a catalyst for change and a means to achieving true business agility, adopting the cloud opens up a whole range of possibilities.

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