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Three DevOps challenges all IT teams face

DevOps is all the rage, but because it's new, businesses are making the same mistakes over and over again. Learn from these DevOps challenges to make your project a success.

DevOps is emerging as a more efficient way to develop and deploy cloud applications -- but it's still in its early days. Implementing DevOps removes the barrier between development and operational teams, which reduces enterprise application backlogs and accelerates software delivery. But despite its benefits, DevOps is easier said than done.

Enterprises implementing DevOps processes and tools often discover too late that they have made mistakes -- many of which require them to stop, back up and start again.

So, what DevOps challenges are enterprises facing? While mistakes vary from one organization to another, there are some common patterns when it comes to DevOps failure.

Here are three common mistakes organizations make when implementing DevOps.

Putting technology before people

The core purpose of implementing DevOps is to remove the barrier that exists between developers and IT operations staff. One common mistake enterprises make when implementing DevOps is focusing too early and too often on technology rather than people and processes. This can lead to organizations choosing DevOps tools they may need to replace later. Neglecting to change IT processes and train your staff is fatal. Invest in training programs that focus on the use of the technology, and how to adopt continuous development, testing, integration, deployment and operations. While your DevOps tools are likely to change, your people and processes most likely won't.

Overlooking security and governance

Another common DevOps challenge is ensuring security and governance are systemic to your applications. You can no longer separate security from the application. Include security in every process, including continuous testing and continuous deployment. The days of building walls around applications and data are over. Governance needs to be systemic to cloud application development and built into every step of DevOps processes, including policies that place limits on the use of services or APIs, as well as service discovery and service dependencies.

Busting common DevOps challenges

With DevOps, organizations can more quickly develop and deploy enterprise applications. A large part of the process calls for an increase in communication between developers and IT operations teams. However, DevOps is still relatively new, so implementing DevOps is no easy task. Two experts, Stephen Hendrick and Chris Riley, bust common DevOps myths and share advice to alleviate common DevOps challenges in this podcast.

Being unwilling to change

Implementing DevOps means always questioning the way you develop, test, deploy and operate applications. The process, technology and tools need to change, and organizations should gather metrics to determine if the changes made actually increase productivity. Do not set it and forget it; DevOps needs to change and evolve to keep up with emerging ideas and technology. Always design your DevOps process with change in mind.

Whether you're a vendor or an enterprise development shop, DevOps is still a work-in-progress. The lessons we learn from implementing DevOps in the next few years will allow us to improve the process and release better applications as a result.

Next Steps

Master these DevOps interview questions

Explore the relationship between DevOps and cloud

Reshape your IT team for DevOps success

This was first published in March 2016

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