“Digital transformation” is the buzzword on everyone’s lips these days, as organizations seek to resolve their traditional challenges using cutting-edge digital technologies. IT market intelligence firm IDC estimates that companies will spend more than $2 trillion on digital transformation in 2019 — 40 percent of their entire technology budgets.
Cloud computing and DevOps are two of the key innovations underpinning digital transformation initiatives. When used in combination, both ideas can benefit from each other, letting you do more than can be achieved with either one alone.
Why DevOps and the cloud are perfect partners
Cloud computing and DevOps naturally complement each other. Both innovations seek to make developers more efficient and productive while reducing your dependency on the traditional internal IT department. 68 percent of IT professionals say that they see a “strong need” for a dedicated cloud and DevOps center of excellence within their organization.
For example, automation is central to the practice of DevOps: it enables teams to massively speed up their development, testing, and deployment cycles, improving accuracy while cutting costs. The cloud provides a standardized, centralized platform for DevOps teams to automate their processes, solving many of the challenges of distributed software development. Popular configuration management tools such as Chef and Puppet make it easier for businesses to manage their applications and infrastructure and extend quite easily into the cloud.
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Traditionally, software development has been impeded by two major roadblocks: the waterfall development model, which can be slow and inflexible, and the time required to make new capital investments in hardware and software tools. DevOps solves the first challenge by emphasizing continuous deployment, while cloud computing removes the need to support and maintain costly IT resources on-premises.
Agility is perhaps the preeminent concern of DevOps practitioners, as organizations seek to release software more quickly and efficiently. The cloud helps facilitate this agility: you can easily expand your compute instances and storage within minutes, instead of having to request new resources and wait for them to become available.
How companies are using the cloud with DevOps
Countless organizations are discovering that, when DevOps and the cloud come together, the combination is highly potent and effective.
Telecommunications as a service (TaaS) company Whispir, for example, uses DevOps to get employees collaborating and to get its products into customers’ hands faster. The company recently migrated from a colocation data center to the Amazon Web Services public cloud, giving it more flexibility and scalability. During peak times of use such as the Christmas holidays, Whispir can scale up its infrastructure in the cloud, making the company more responsive to current market conditions.
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Meanwhile, major tech companies such as PayPal are seeing massive benefits from using DevOps with their private cloud. For example, PayPal’s build time has shrunk from 2.5 hours to just 5 minutes after building their own cloud environment. The company is currently investigating the use of containers, which would further simplify the testing and shipping process for developers.
DevOps and the cloud represent two of the most important business technology innovations in recent years — and they’re even more powerful when leveraged in combination. While achieving this synergy won’t happen overnight and requires a great deal of expertise, the benefits to your business are well worth the investment.
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