Jun 24, 2020

DevOps a Priority for Australian Businesses Coming Out of COVID-19

With COVID-19 and the Australian bushfires creating a myriad of challenges for enterprises across our country, the importance of DevOps, continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), has risen significantly. Australian firms are finding ways to ensure the stability and continuity of a remote working economy, to mitigate risk and uncertainty. Many firms are swiftly realising that old, clunky ways of operating are not going to cut it whilst most employees within enterprises are forced to stay home.

Projects that wouldn’t usually get a lot of air time are now moving to the top of the list as many businesses prioritise continuous integration and continuous delivery solutions (CI/CD) within the DevOps realm.

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) puts in place a structured set of operating principles that allow development teams to distribute code alterations more often and with more reliability, sometimes referred to as ‘CI/CD pipeline’.

Like many elements within an IT environment, most software applications and dedicated teams are required to develop code across multiple platforms, however what is required is an integrated method to make changes quickly whilst having them validated almost instantly, without the need to draw on extra resources.

The goal with continuous integration is to create automated structure that allows for quality of software and collaboration across varying applications. In order to get to this seamless place you need teams committed to making code changes more often, and for employees to make that a priority, you need seamless integration when it comes to building, packaging and testing applications.

A sophisticated CI/CD DevOps practice would have the capability of deploying to production on a consistent cadence of daily or even hourly, bearing in mind that continuous delivery may not be possible at this rate for every business application. Many organisations however, are not at this level of sophistication with the reality being that they are still testing software on premise and behind the firewall.

The installed base may still remain in a data centre, and when developers are working in the office and within the firewall, this is manageable. However in a remote working environment, this proves to be complex because access to the VPN can become an issue. There’s no guarantees access will be there, which creates instability in work flows.

Now, as a matter of urgency, companies across Australia (and the globe), are making the necessary changes to shift workloads to a more comprehensive CI/CD process. The time to push out these projects simply must be condensed to respond to the organisational changes created by COVID-19.

Almost all companies should be finding ways to enable apps to be cloud enabled as soon as possible, it’s a matter of survival. DevOps teams will be busy providing companies with solutions to get to CI/CD in a stable way.

It’s not all doom and gloom, many successful organisations are demonstrating the efficiency of DevOps within the organisation during this global pandemic.  Cloud Infrastructure solutions have made it possible in this COVID-19 initiation, for Software-as-a-Service providers to efficiently and swiftly scale operations. There are examples where AWS has been able to ‘spin up’ tens of thousands of instances rapidly and then to pull them down immediately after, in a seamless fashion. Some enterprises, like AWS, are well prepared for this.

The global economy and shift to the corporate landscape has shifted so rapidly, that organisations will either sink or swim. Innovation is required to keep afloat during these times, and the clear rise in online customer usage with companies going remote and in some cases, exclusively remote, means many enterprises are making the most of cloud-native application development.

Continuous delivery (CD) is a strategy that allows DevOps teams to encourage smooth operations within an enterprise software team, and therefore, a more positive remote work environment.

The rise of importance of DevOps will continue to lessen the complexity and inefficiency of this remote-working time and investing in this way is worth considering for the effective productivity of your software applications. To put it simply, if people are happier in their remote-working environment, business can run more smoothly and DevOps, CI and CD can assist with that.

Many organisations are finding that cloud-based projects forecasted for next year, are now moving forward for completion in next three months. This dramatic shift in deadlines, calls for continuous integration and continuous delivery, perhaps more now than ever. This is the time for DevOps services to rise up to the challenge, to support the continuity and survival of businesses across Australia.