As DevOps continues to spread like wildfire in the IT industry, more and more organizations are beginning to adopt its principles. The transition, however, is not without its share of challenges. After all, resistance to change is as common and consistent as change itself.
In this article, let us take a look at some of the common challenges organizations face in shifting to DevOps.
- Breaking existing organizational silos: DevOps aims to bring together the hitherto separate Development and Operations teams. While the Development team focuses on innovation and feedback integration, the Operations team focuses on maintaining good service quality. This causes a clash in the priorities of the two teams. Integrating these two teams and facilitating friction-free collaboration between them is the first and most important challenge while adopting DevOps.
- Adopting new infrastructure: While adopting a fairly new framework such as DevOps, organizations need to be innovative and proactive while adopting new infrastructure. Holding on to traditional infrastructure causes organizations to lose out. Also, remaining on the old infrastructure may lead to functional and stability issues. Also in a highly competitive sphere such as the IT industry, companies that do not open themselves to change and innovation are going to lose out other companies that are quick to adopt new technology and systems. Companies have to focus on automation, configuration management, and continuous delivery to venture into microservices and to stay on top of their game.
- New and unfamiliar tools: The biggest challenge facing the dynamic IT industry is constant change and the introduction of new and shinier tools every day. While this is exciting in terms of the new possibilities new technology unlocks, companies need to overcome the challenge knowledge upgradation. The existing staff should undergo continuous training to be capable of working with the incoming new technology. Another obvious problem is the challenge of integration of this new technology in the existing framework. Companies should also ensure that the new tools are secure. To face these challenges, organizations must shift their focus from tools to people. People should be well-trained and ready to adopt new technology, in order to solve this ever-existing challenge.
- Breaking conventions: Another obvious challenge is resistance to change. As old tools and processes are familiar and comfortable, team members and stakeholders are likely to resist the shift to new processes such as DevOps. One must note here that DevOps is more a shift in culture than process. Therefore, the transition to DevOps must be smooth and happen over a period of time. Organizations can also adopt the DevOps methodology to any one project to demonstrate its benefits to the team. People are more likely to accept this unfamiliar framework when they experience its benefits first-hand.
- Inherent differences between Dev and Ops: As noted above, the Development and Operations teams are inherently different. They work on different tasks and use different tools and processes. They use different metrics to measure success. The collaboration between these two teams is, therefore, a challenge.
Organizations must first find out ways to overcome these challenges to make a smooth transition to the DevOps framework. If all team members accept and appreciate the advantages of adopting DevOps, they are more likely to willingly undergo the discomfort posed by the transition and embrace change.