Mobility And DevOps: A Match Made In Heaven

Martin Ashall, UKI CTO for CA Technologies tells TechWeekEurope that a mobility strategy without DevOps at its core is doomed to fail.

Search for DevOps on a list of organisations’ top IT priorities, and you will have a hard time finding it.

Organisational complexity and difficulty of justifying the investment into DevOps from an ROI perspective are just some of the reasons why, for many companies, this concept remains in the realms of ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘must have’.

Yet, ask the same organisations about mobility and it becomes clear that it is a trend that IT departments are taking very seriously. The benefits of injecting mobility into business are generally widely understood and companies across different industries seem increasingly happy to dedicate a significant portion of their IT budgets on mobile solutions.

Enabling mobility

Mobile phone business enterprise mobility management suit © Pressmaster ShutterstockBut organisations that have been investing into mobility for some time often do not realise that they have already taken the first step into DevOps. DevOps and mobility coexist naturally – one is an extension of the other.

However, because many enterprises do not see it that way and do not have a dedicated DevOps strategy in place, their mobility approach can face serious problems down the line – not only from a technological but also organisational point of view.

When companies think about mobility, they often focus on devices. Keeping salesforces active and travelling executives in touch with the business to enable faster decision-making often revolves around the number of tablets and mobiles in an organisation. And while devices have their role to play, it is the applications that need to be at the heart of any mobility strategy.

Without apps that work on many platforms at the same time, are easy to use and intuitive and allow for flexible and remote working, even the most thought-through mobility strategy will fall flat. This is where DevOps, an approach that merges enterprise application development and IT operations, can make all the difference.

Getting results

With mobile, cloud and social media highly-disruptive to the established conventions of enterprise IT, DevOps can help companies move away from a device-based approach to mobility to one that empowers the enterprise and the consumers it serves.

Through the optimisation of the application deployment process, DevOps can make bringing applications to market quicker and much more efficient, freeing up resources necessary elsewhere and injecting agility into the business.

A recent study commissioned by CA Technologies showed that UK companies that have deployed DevOps enjoy significant quantifiable benefits – 23 percent fewer employees working on developing and deploying software and services, 22 percent improvement in the quality and performance of deployed applications, and a 22 percent reduction in time spent fixing and maintaining applications, among others.

Because DevOps are underpinned by the same concepts as mobility: value-stream mapping, Six Sigma, automation and agility, a strategic approach to DevOps deployment will not only help fuel the consumer demand for engaging with businesses through apps but also cater for the increasing appetite on the side of the enterprise, for engaging with business applications and tools through mobile apps.

Whatever approach organisations take to mobility, it is clear that without a focus on DevOps, it will not be able to deliver expected results for the business. By making a conscious decision to include DevOps in their mobility strategy, companies will not only ensure their technological investment pays off but also drive further overall benefits for the entire organisation.

Martin Ashall is the UK CTO for CA Technologies