Business DevOps in today’s environment.
This blog on Business DevOps is based on conferences and meetups the Daysha team attended in the first half of 2018.
In a world where the single biggest impediment to successful transformation is the inability of the business and IT to move in synch, more organisations are progressing on their Business DevOps Journey.
More tier 2 companies are pursuing DevOps and Agile transformation as they see the opportunity to outpace tier 1 players while larger SI’s are now endorsing DevOps but struggle to align existing customer contracts with future DevOps delivery models.
Business DevOps Case
A lot of companies have accepted the business case for DevOps. However if there is to be a company wide acceptance for change, each organisation will need to articulate this – clearly supported by a CxO.
Customer facing changes focus on value whereas the back office change focuses on cost savings
HR will play a vital role as organisational and process re-engineering are required. Outsourcing is an impediment to agile transformation. One Finnish organisation we talked to reduced Operations costs by a factor 4 and improved quality through insourcing. A leading Norwegian financial institution built a business case to insource in 2019 as the outsource contract ends.
There are ways to manage outsource partners with a view to subsequent insource.
- process driven to enforce new agile ways of working
- comes at a cost of renegotiation.
Cloud is here to stay. AWS is the engineers choice while Azure is the business’ choice. SaaS is growing in popularity very quickly and is no longer seen as shadow IT. Many organisations C suite have adopted Office 365 as evidence of their leaderships endorsement for SaaS.
Business DevOps – what does the business think of this ?
Businesses think in terms of Digital Transformation where IT thinks DevOps. They are fundamentally different in that Digital Transformation is an expression of offers via a digital channel and DevOps is the means by which to do this in an agile fashion.
Older established financial brands have woken up and are learning fast. They are embracing business transformation. Driven by a recognition that their processes were designed to suit internal ways of working, and not the way customers wish to engage them. IT is a value add function not a cost .
Older banks are requiring new and younger customers to drive digital engagement learnings. Looking at how Spotify or Airbnb deliver software is not relevant as they do not have legacy and are trying to introduce governance. Millennials compare prices/products online and relationship selling has lost even more relevance. In the space of 12 months legacy brands that last year were asking what is DevOps are this year executing pilots. A key driver for this being the desire to attract new staff and retain existing teams.
Real scale challenges are starting to emerge. Cloud is being seen as a silver bullet (because they don’t exist not because they have a magic answer.)
More than one organisation observed that e-engagements with B2C customers leads to a heightened expectation on the customers part that response will be instant at best or prompt at worst.
One leading insurer printed 260,000,000 pages of paper and sent 20,000 letters in 2017.
These letters are mostly returned as scanned attachments to email. This stresses back office processes which need to be lean and automated to cope with an increased pace and heightened expectation from their customers.
Innovation is being democratised. There is new thinking on innovation and changes to thinking on project funding. Models such as Adobe Kickbox provide anyone in an organisation with increasing levels of funding starting at $1,000 to bring ideas forward. If the $1,000 yields results the individual can apply for the next level of funding which is $5,000 and so on up the funding levels.
With DevOps and innovation models like Kickbox, the business can start thinking differently. Instead of funding one idea at a cost of 100K to bring to market, why not have 20 ideas at a cost of 5K each. This is Minimum Viable Innovation. As organisations de-silo they are more open to sharing with and learning from non competitors. Open for very large organisations (10,000+) means active exploration of what good looks like e.g capital markets business units look to retail or one country looks to another country.
New ways of delivering value to the business are emerging. Feature flag releases mean the business doesn’t have to wait for up to 6 months for what it requires. If there is poor implementation of a feature, that feature can be withdrawn not the entire release. And if the business knows it can have lots of releases .. then it wont get tetchy about what is and is not included or indeed what it can remove .
Fincode primarily attended by Fintech companies including larger organisations like Morgan Stanley, Lloyds and BBVA.
DevOps Summit which was a one day event and included financial and non financial attendees. These events included workshops and panel discussions. Daysha ran one of the workshops at Fincode in partnership with XebiaLabs.
Summary of the Fincode blog for 2017.