3 Ways to Support DevOps Teams in Remote Work
As we settle into remote work for the long haul, it’s crucial to consider how best to support DevOps teams. While DevOps employees face similar challenges working remotely as any other department, they also face increased pressure to deliver as IT professionals, supporting the entire organization through an ever-changing work environment.
By nature, remote work makes it more difficult for your DevOps team to do their jobs. Team members are working in various environments, but also distributed across geographies. And in this new frontier, DevOps must provide service as usual, continuing their development projects and ensuring communication and alignment among departments when it comes to the organization’s technology and IT needs.
Even more, in a distributed, remote workforce, disruptions to application performance and security issues are more likely to occur and DevOps professionals must be equipped to identify and correct them quickly. For these reasons, it’s critical that these teams have the right tools and support to remain operational, communicate effectively across departments and neutralize threats—keeping applications and the organization running.
How to Support Remote DevOps Teams
Remote success looks different for every DevOps team based on organization size, industry and business need. However, the following strategies can be applied universally and may even serve as building blocks on technological foundations you already have in place:
Continue migrating operations to the cloud. Your cloud infrastructure is the backbone of any remote support plans for DevOps teams. Migrating operations to the cloud is the biggest enabler in making sure your team is not tied to any physical location and can do their jobs without relying on a single data center or headquarters. For example, deploying your open source data infrastructure in public clouds not only makes it easier for team members to access the data but also increases developer and operational velocity, which accelerates application innovation. While most organizations are well into their migration to the cloud, it’s critical to accelerate the process to expand across more operational areas. Traditional work environments likely won’t return to fully in-office experiences. Rather, many organizations will implement a hybrid working model. Refining and expanding your cloud infrastructure will help you make that transition and continue supporting an in-office, remote or hybrid team in the future.
Automate security and performance monitoring. DevOps teams are under pressure to scale solutions for remote work, such as company VPNs for network access and secure application logins. They must also be alerted to and able to track any security issues that arose during the hasty transition to remote work. Automated monitoring of software performance and trends keeps teams ahead of threats and minimizes deployment issues. The software sends alerts and allows teams to view data in real-time. Even more, machine learning technology can analyze the data and identify trends about application performance, the cloud environment and data usage. This level of monitoring and analysis is only possible with automation and makes it much easier for DevOps teams to meet IT service requirements as the remote technology landscape rapidly changes.
Increase communication and collaboration efforts. It’s crucial that DevOps teams are in constant communication with key departments across the organization, including security and executive leadership, as well as with other employees to discuss what’s working and what needs to become a priority for change. To help support knowledge sharing across a remote team, first ensure you communicate all application metrics clearly so every member of the team understands and is aligned on projects and next steps. Dashboards can help in this arena, collecting and converting key data points into visuals. And while you can easily create and host meetings with conference calls and video conferencing software, informal face-to-face conversations are harder to re-create—and that’s where ideas are born. To combat this loss, arrange for non-structured discussions without strict agendas or topics to encourage idea sharing, creativity and inspiration among employees.
Remote work has broken down the traditional DevOps team structure, but this new way of work provides an opportunity to build something better—more time for independent, focused work, a superior work-life balance and modern cloud-based solutions for daily tasks. Supporting DevOps teams as they grapple with the new pressures of remote work is the key to ensuring your organization runs smoothly during the transition—cloud infrastructure, automation and communication are just a few of the strategies to do so.