APM Insights: Beyond the Acronym

Application Performance Management

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APM Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Derek Weeks, XebiaLabs Blog, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog

Related Topics: Continuous Integration, Application Performance Management (APM), DevOps Journal

Blog Post

Domain Specific DevOps Initiatives and Metrics | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #ContinuousDelivery

DevOps is holistic in nature and involves a host of new tools, processes and people

DevOps has  grown exponentially especially during the past three years, in facts it has spread beyond Dev and Ops but some organizations still see DevOps as an extension of the Agile practice. It's because how as an organization perceives DevOps, while the scrum master's objective is to have a two weeks sprint through agile methodology, one should not limit DevOps to simply enable CI/CD because it defeats the purpose.

DevOps is no more a philosophy in terms of behavior and culture. It's holistic in nature and involves a host of new tools, processes and people but in the end the outcomes should be measurable with tangible benefits, which can be improved Q-on-Q, so let me share the industry perspective where DevOps brought significant benefits.

Increase throughput through zero touch release automation, which means no more scripting, reducing human intervention and hand-overs because these are considered the main reasons for delay and injecting defects, a move toward business-driven development so that IT can fulfill business and be nimble to the changing market needs, improve collaboration through real-time dashboards, define the process to direct feedback from production to development, virtualize services and shift left to reduce waiting/ delay time, don't stop with automation rather auto pilot CI/CD process with end to end platform with better work flow, check & measures, automate end user feedback to reduce customer attrition due to UI, latency etc which goes beyond the conventional log reports from commercial APM tools on networking, storage and DB.

Real time dashboard to do metrics analysis are becoming even more critical to show Q-on-Q improvements on cost/quality and time-to-market. Quality improvements are possible only through integrated end-to-end DevOps platforms thay can harmonize and integrate disparate tools sets. Open source DevOps tools sets are growing everyday but certain licensed s/w also can't be ignored because of high ROI and data security aspects in certain segments like banking and finance. End-to-end DevOps should be comprehensive enough to automate environment provisioning and automate testing without limiting it to automating the build and release processes. End-to-end DevOps platform is just the beginning but a detailed portfolio analysis should be conducted on a host of applications on various parameters / weightage to prioritize and do a pareto chart to identify and lift/ shift those low risk / high ROI applications in to CI/CD environment. Before that though enablement on various DevOps tools and processes at the organizational level is a must for a seamless transition to this new way of building applications in the world of DevOps.

DevOps is a highly political subject because of people issues, so certain steps should not be violated to do an organizational wide roll out. To begin with one should ensure that a proper governance structure is established with RACI metrics to streamline those new process implementations. It's important to connect individual state holder's KPI to expect better collaboration among the team.

DevOps advisors are expected to leverage insight and propose initiatives to CxO for budgeting purposes and be more competitive in the market. Nimbleness toward business requirements and deeper customer relationships are  possible by analyzing the production data to enable advanced auto deduct and self-healing in the new world of DevOps, but that needs to overhaul the traditional software development and delivery processes. This is becoming even more critical for product companies to differentiate features than the servicing organization. DevOps also plays a significant role in the seamless transition applications into a cloud environment.

System integrators do have DevOps offerings for specialized services like Forex trading, which is completely different from trading on the web in a etail segment because of its volume, dollar value and the criticality toward the uptime because certain rollbacks on financial transactions can be devastating and will have serious long-term repercussions from regulators. All said and done, it's worth engaging experts to do a "DevOps specific" maturity assessment and define the organization road map.

More Stories By Ramesh Ganapathy

26+ years of IT experience with major IT servicing companies. Done DevOps digital transformation with Fortune 2000 companies. Functional experience includes large account management, technical sales, innovative product development & IP commercialization. Domain experience includes Banking and finance, Auto and Aerospace, TTL, M&E & Energy. Academic Qualifications: Master of Science, Software Systems, BITS, Pilani, India Bachelor of Engineering, Computer science and Engineering, TCE, TN, India Advanced Master’s Program in Management of Global Enterprise (AMPM) IIM Bangalore UCLA, Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) Anderson School of Business Los Angeles, USA, SDA Bocconi-School of Management, Italy Mannheim Business School (MBS) in Germany College of Business, City University of Hong Kong at Hong Kong/ Shenzhen, China.