DevOps in medium-sized companies – Is the hype justified?
- Getting rid of boundaries to become boundless
Getting rid of boundaries to become boundless
ITM: Why should medium-sized companies switch to DevOps?
Dr. Peer Faßnacht: With software products, a short time to market and a good user experience are much more important than with traditional products. To achieve this, companies need a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness in order to react quickly enough to changes in the market and to new customer requirements - or even to be pioneers. We call this “transformability.”
This poses a greater challenge for medium-sized companies than for corporations, because they usually don’t have large departments for software development and market research. With DevOps, they can turn this disadvantage into a strength! The holistic DevOps approach enables them to bring digital products to market quickly and effectively with comparably little personnel effort.
ITM: What requirements do companies have to meet for the introduction of DevOps?
Dr. Peer Faßnacht: First and foremost, corporate management must support the undertaking. Also, everyone must be aware that it can be a long road on which the company is embarking. When it comes to implementation, it is therefore important not to get bogged down in lengthy concepts, but to take a courageous iterative approach and tackle issues step by step. This can be achieved, for example, through working agile.
It is also crucial to bring all employees along with you on this journey. Because DevOps is not just about combining processes, but rather about connecting people and their ways of thinking. Fears and apprehensions must be turned into opportunities and perspectives. This requires open communication about the challenges as well as the successes.
And: A responsive and efficient organization can only be achieved if responsibility is shared. This means that decision-making powers must be handed over to the teams.
ITM: Are there things that mid-sized companies in particular should keep in mind?
Dr. Peer Faßnacht: They should not orient themselves too much to large companies, because their situation is completely different: They usually have fewer staff and resources, but they are also more flexible and have an easier time rebuilding structures. This is because employees often have a broader range of expertise and are used to being involved in several areas of responsibility. This benefits them in the introduction of DevOps. In addition, it is even more important for SMEs to get the entire company in tune with the changes, because lighthouse projects usually have many points of contact with other areas of the company.
ITM: Is the hype around DevOps now justified?
Dr. Peer Faßnacht: From our point of view: Yes! Because DevOps creates reliability through operations-oriented software development as well as speed and short response cycles through automation. The DevOps way of thinking also triggers a change in corporate culture and thus offers much greater potential to ensure success for the next decades than many operational measures of the digital transformation. The goal is to move from an already good state to an even better one. Even DevOps will not be an universal remedy on its own, but it can definitely move companies forward and make them better, as DevOps lays the foundation for an evolving organization.