5 challenges when implementing DevOps in your organization

DevOps is now considered mainstream by many, which explains why the "DevOps Engineer" ranks so high on Glassdoor's 50 Best Jobs in America list. But popular doesn't necessarily mean easy to adopt and implement. As more companies and organizations implement common DevOps practices, there is an equal number with the prospect of doing so.

Simply put, DevOps is the pinnacle everyone strives to achieve. However, there are only a few organizations really up to it. Obviously, you will face many challenges and obstacles if you want to implement modern DevOps practices within your organization. Even nearshore software development vendors are working to circumvent DevOps barriers by starting with agile methodologies and discovering new and innovative ways to remotely align organizations. Knowing how and when to adapt and what can be done to fix problems is key to success.

Here are some of the common barriers that you can find along the way and the ideal solution to overcome them:

Overcoming resistance to change

When you finally make the decision to adopt and implement DevOps, the entire process can seem scary to staff, stakeholders, and partners. Stakeholder buy-in is incredibly important to sustaining the momentum of your transformation. Many of these parts are resistant to change, especially in the face of systems and processes currently in operation, even if they are not considered effective. After all, if it ain't broke, why fix it?

It's important that you work your way into DevOps adoption, selecting a small product or application that can be remodeled to work with your existing processes. The idea is that your team and your organization can slowly get used to the new development protocols. Over time, they will learn the many benefits of these systems and can really see first-hand what DevOps can offer. Before you know it, everyone will be on board, and you'll be ready to dive into a full-scale system.

A major and successful switch to DevOps cannot happen overnight, as it needs to be fluid, optimized, and respected by everyone. The best way to get that kind of commitment and support is to make the development process easier, rather than pushing it without warning. Another way to overcome major problems is to implement IT outsourcing and outsourcing strategies for the parts of your work that do not require the expertise of your team or are not an integral part of your product development. This puts the responsibility for certain IT functions on third-party vendors rather than their internal teams, allowing them to focus on implementing DevOps practices. Just make sure that everything you implement will help their future DevOps practices and not hinder them.

Eliminate colliding tools and systems

A common problem with many organizations is that they have established barriers between departments like Ops and Dev. As a result, separate teams may have separate tools and processes to complete work, which can collide when trying to adopt more efficient systems. Multiple legacy metrics platforms can cause some egregious problems when trying to work collaboratively in an organization. This is especially true if your team has been operational for quite some time, with its own proven development methods, tools, and systems.

To make matters worse, when you make radical changes, there are some parts that are more resistant to change and refuse to part with legacy tools. You need to find ways to show how and why legacy tools are inferior. You should also show clear benefits within your current infrastructure.

The solution is to slowly implement DevOps, as described in the previous step. Most importantly, you will need to sit down with your different teams, including Dev and Ops, to extract the tools and functions that are needed. This way, when you finally choose a comprehensive solution, you can be sure that everyone gets what they want or need, and that development will go smoothly.

If you want to see a smooth transition, you'll need to be prepared for the kind of collaboration and teamwork necessary to keep your DevOps processes running. That is why it is incredibly important to help each team member understand the value of understanding the entire lifecycle.

Automation implementation

Essential to DevOps is the potential for automation and streamlined operations. Without it, agile initiatives are more difficult to achieve and develop. It's also one of five key findings shared in the latest State of DevOps Report.

Unfortunately, many of the legacy tools and systems teams use today are not conducive to automation and collaboration. Existing processes can also be crucial because continuous testing and development is necessary for a smooth implementation. Staff can also be resistant to the adoption of newer and automated processes, and many are concerned about their job security and how those automation processes will affect them.

The solution to this can take a lot of patience and time to implement, and understanding that the adoption process may not be smooth or fast. Ongoing testing, integration, communication, delivery, and cross-department collaboration are critical to future success, but they're all concepts you'll want to focus on early on. This includes planning for security and newer processes beforehand, to make sure you're not force-adding anything later. Trying to change things at a later stage is not only a hassle, it can also significantly slow down operations. So it's important to come up with a proper roadmap that takes into account all your sources, processes, and the time you have available. You should be realistic about your expectations and not expect automation to happen overnight.

Be careful with the budget!

Money makes the world work, and it's also what keeps your business and your organization afloat. Any resourceful manager will tell you that it takes money to make money, and this is especially true in a transformative project like the adoption of DevOps. This can be attributed to the pervasive changes such a transformation may require, such as the implementation of new tools, skills and training, structures and processes, and much more.

A sea change can also cause employee performance to decline, at least initially, meaning that productivity throughout your organization will suffer momentarily. This can result in an even bigger financial hit. You need to make sure your team and your organization are prepared for this. In the initial stages, you'll want to be mindful of your budget and refrain from making any other expensive moves. The cost benefits of a DevOps approach are definitely worth it, but keep in mind that the results are not going to be seen any time soon.

The process takes time

As we already said, making the switch to DevOps won't happen overnight, and not everyone is going to be very happy. In fact, you will likely have to deal with resistance for quite some time even after adoption.

You'll hear a lot of questions, disagreements, and possibly even conflicts: why do we need DevOps anyway? We already had agile processes, why do we need something new?

The solution is to continue educating and informing everyone involved. Speak it up and communicate with your teams all the time. Explain why the change is being made and what everyone can hope to achieve once it is complete. Use cases and examples from others on the market show how things worked in the past and how this can be applied to your specific business. You will have to sell it, as a product. If you really want to implement DevOps, you must prepare to invest the time and resources necessary to adopt DevOps and upgrade your equipment.

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