What's stopping your business from scaling DevOps?


On Friday the 22nd of November, Avocado Consulting ran a series of six round table discussions with executives and IT practitioners across the Finance, Government and Technology industries, exploring the challenges facing Australian businesses when scaling DevOps across their organisations.

Most participants had already implemented DevOps at some level, launching in the previous 1-3 years.

The common themes explored by the tables looked at culture, leadership, technology, tools, processes and resourcing. The most prevalent concerns seen by the group were around the impact of a lack of visibility and the inability to resolve issues quickly due to a lack of technology investment, tools and automation, which was impacting MTTR, quality and ultimately customer experience.

Below is a list of the key challenges raised on the day, highlighting the complexities and hurdles your businesses are facing as you scale the DevOps model across the enterprise:

Organisation, culture & management

  • Silos, skillsets and isolated roles impact a business’ ability to initiate the change needed to achieve true end-to-end DevOps efficiencies.
  • Cultural challenges are often a result of leadership issues around power, cooperation, responsibility and motivation.
  • There is a lack of uniformity and cohesion when using multi-vendor strategies for cost or risk mitigation.
  • There is a difficulty in managing offshore staff as well as challenges with mixing in-house and external developers.
  • Moving to agile ways of working without the right expertise to lead the transition has been found to be haphazard.
  • Logistic and temporal challenges must be overcome when rolling out change and DevOps across an organisation that has multiple geographic locations.
  • There is growing pressure to swiftly deliver quantifiable and measurable results.

Technology and tooling

  • Significant technical debt exists in many organisations. Tools need to overcome this.
  • Dependency on monolithic applications and outdated tools, stop businesses from using the technological advancements with cloud, containers, infrastructure as a service, PaaS and monitoring. Often this is caused by significant investment having been made in one technology and/or stickiness to a piece of technology that makes it difficult to move to an alternative more modern solution.
  • Consolidation of businesses is driving new services and technologies from mergers and acquisitions into businesses. This triggers extensive reviews, streamlining and integration.

Process & resolution

  • Lack of automation and continued dependency on manual slow processes results in human error and slower development pipelines.
  • Slow MTTR with a lack of visibility and slow resolution of bugs (more than 5 days) is common within businesses.
  • Missed schedules, and code, coming from multiple teams creates errors and difficulties at the integration testing phase.

Budgets and Resourcing

  • Pressure from customers and the business is driving more frequent releases and feature development which is often beyond the available resources and budget assigned.
  • Executive buy in and funding approvals require constant internal narrative as well as upfront demonstration of value (ROI).
  • The value for having tools in place such as monitoring can be overlooked as they are seen as a tool just for development.

External pressures

  • New legislation, Regulators, Royal commissions and groups such as APRA continue putting pressure on businesses to make changes and deliver under new levels of scrutiny.
  • With so many businesses facing similar challenges across culture, leadership, technology, tools, processes and resourcing, there exists a need for Australian businesses to focus on how they tackle these challenges to enable elite DevOps performance. It is essential that businesses embarking on a transition to DevOps assess and benchmark how their organisation performs across Avocado’s five pillars of scaling DevOps.

The five pillars of scaling DevOps

With majority of participants having already launched DevOps within their organisations, the following focus areas were discussed as key focus areas to further scale DevOps effectively across their organisations:

  • Executive buy-in as part of a wider corporate management strategy
  • Resourcing is put in place to ensure the transition is supported appropriately.
  • Education on leadership, culture, automation visibility and technology
  • Technologies to support the delivery pipeline is essential to maximise speed and quality outcomes
  • Experience improvements and tangible user benefits of the transition

With Customer and digital experience driving today’s competitive advantage, a fast and safe approach to delivery with an effective organisational wide DevOps model, will provide overall efficiencies and increased qualities from across the business.

In Avocado, our DevOps Practice leverages the rich capabilities and dedicated subject matter experts of the wider Avocado team. Supported by the wealth of company knowledge in complex organisational environments, our clients benefit from our integrated approach to delivering across all five pillars of DevOps.

To continue the conversation and discover what areas you and your team should focus on, reach out to a member of our team at hello@avocado.com.au.