Automation should simplify how software is developed, delivered and managed. The result should be the faster delivery of reliable software and reduced risk to the business.
Before the 2020 pandemic, there was a desire for automation by most delivery teams, but often little ambition by the business to invest the time and resource to fully adopt DevOps automation.
The pandemic exposed gaps in the ability of many teams who are not maximizing the use of automation in their DevOps pipeline. Common challenges have included the following:
- Manual processes, siloed work and handoffs that have resulted in bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
- Duplication of effort from poor collaboration and communication between teams.
- Security risks from inconsistent tradeoffs.
- Audit and regulatory compliance risks from a lack of visibility and traceability.
The impact on business from these challenges has led to broad acceptance of the need to invest in adopting DevOps automation. In a study on how enterprises are coping with COVID-19, HFS Research found that over half now want to increase their use of automation.
Like many organisations who now want to do things differently and adopt more automation, these enterprises are at a crossroads in deciding how to adopt more automation in their DevOps pipeline.
Given their existing investment — which is generally in a diverse set of tools across multiple pipelines — they see significant costs and a risk of disrupting their delivery pipelines. This is the unseen tax of a multi-tool delivery pipeline. One route to escape the toolchain tax is to standardize on a standard pipeline that has extensions, not just the ability to be extended.
IBM DevOps offers a standardized pipeline that builds on the CI/CD, security testing, source control and single user experience of GitLab with out-of-the-box extensions for service virtualization, integration testing, release orchestration and scalable governance. It also comes with a DevOps ecosystem that provides further niche extensions and builds on the principle of extensions — not just extendibility.
DevOps automation simplifies the development, delivery and management of software solutions and reduces the risk to the business of implementing business change through software. Artificial intelligence (AI) can accelerate this innovation further by making every delivery process more intelligent.