Cloud & DevOps: An Evolving Relationship for a Better Future


The relationship between Cloud and DevOps has been evolving in response to the drastic societal transformations. Users are primarily giving importance to the overall experience rather than the product itself. Enterprises are, therefore, focusing on the packaging of products with services. Such transformations are strengthening the relationship between Cloud and DevOps. IT is leveraging the advantages of cloud to achieve the DevOps needs. This bonding is getting popular.

The 21st Century Enterprise is all about creating a long-lasting user experience. Focusing on a user experience is not an over-night decision of C-suits; it’s based on the gradual societal transformations and the fast changing user demands. Look at your iPhone,it comes with iCloud and iTunes. Essentially, Apple is not selling standalone products; it’s selling an overall experience to its users. It makes iCloud available to its users and manages the usage fluctuation. Apple makes the newly released music available to users in real time. It is no rocket science to know that Apple manages the development, release and operations of its software fast enough to deliver a user-centric experience that you enjoy. It definitely contributes to Apple’s go-to-market strategy. The change from a product-centric society to a service-centric world is affecting the service delivery.

Today, software development companies manage both development as well as operations on the customer’s behalf. This all has become possible due to DevOps. This is essential because DevOps is not only a productive way of developing software, but also its outcome provides organizations with agility, affordability, and quality. However, the success of DevOps can be multifold in the presence of cloud. On one hand, DevOps within the cloud delivers transparent and standardized access to resources with application programming interfaces that allow essential communication between applications and back-end services. On the other hand, cloud gives more power to the development and the operations teams by enabling automation features. Cloud and DevOps, thus, are the better halves of each other and add value to each other’s life.

Transformational Match

Cloud and DevOps together can help organizations achieve their digital transformational goals. For example, the redesigned Manchester United (MU) digital platform includes multitude of sub-systems working in tandem with various external service providers to provide an enriching end-user experience. The new digital platform is expected to provide greater insight into fan behavior, thus allowing marketers and MU sponsors to monetize the huge fan base. Major components of this new platform such as websites powered through content management system, digital asset management and mobile application backend will be hosted on public cloud. The MU digital platform is a good example of cloud and DevOps working together to increase the enterorise outreach. Cloud is known for its flexibility, agility, simplicity, and cost saving. It’s definitely more popular than DevOps. DevOps combines agile operations and establishes greater level of collaboration between development and operations staff. Deploying DevOps in cloud, thus, has several advantages. Together cloud and DevOps can improve collaboration. When inserted in cloud, DevOps enables strengthened collaboration across business functions, automation, and version control. While it’s a transformational match, the advantages of DevOps in the cloud are yet to be tapped by most organizations seeking for digital transformation. Yet, the future will see the increased usage of DevOps tools with the cloud to achieve digital transformations.

One is Reason for Another’s Accelerated Success

Cloud computing is essential to succeed with DevOps. Within the cloud, DevOps delivers transparent and standardized access to resources with application programming interfaces that allows essential communication between applications and back-end services. In order to achieve the demanding delivery requirements, deployment process from development to production has to be automated and the virtual platforms should be flexible and fluid. Interestingly, Cloud providers are happily getting in to the area of supporting their customers’ DevOps needs. They provide a set of Platform as a Service (PaaS) tools that are attuned to their environments. Cloud platform providers consolidate and integrate automation and management into the cloud environment so that IT organizations can achieve better automation in the same cloud. It would, thus, not be wrong to say that PaaS solutions are going to become the next generation of DevOps tools. Native cloud solutions are being designed and utilized to solve the rapid deployment related issues. Thus, the evolution of cloud in the new direction of DevOps is inevitable. Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services’ Cloud Formation is a couple of such examples of cloud platforms that cater to DevOps’s needs. In the coming years, the industry will see the cloud native absorption of different automation features for DevOps’ needs. Yet, enterprises need to understand the right way of combining cloud and DevOps. For example, parts of the overall development process should be automated. As DevOps process can exist in a hybrid cloud, it needs to support multiple cloud providers. Most importantly, it needs the right talent and needs the resources to be trained accordingly. Simplify roles. For example, encourage resources to master in the combined skills of development and operations. The success lies as much in the technologies as in the talent.

One Brings ‘Harmony’ in another’s World

There’s a connection between DevOps and the cloud deployment. There is a greater acceptance of the fact that DevOps can help significantly with the effective and essential roll out of cloud. DevOps brings harmony in a cloud world. In terms of creating value for the 21st Century Enterprise, both DevOp as well as Cloud aim to achieve flexibility and automation across organizations. Most importantly, together they bring various functions of businesses together. In addition, DevOps helps organizations move towards automation swiftly, it’s a precursor for cloud deployment. However, DevOps comes with its own challenges. For professional developers, the operations skills and discipline are not easy to adopt. As the 21st Century Enterprises believe that siloed organizations need to break down, developers, operations personnel and end-users are required to get together to make it a success. Industry experts, thus, believe that for DevOps professionals, it’s important to master the communications skills rather than just knowing the development and operations work.

A Couple That Has a Win-Win Future

A DevOps strategy can be more powerful and successful in the cloud environment. Together, cloud and DevOps have shifted the IT thoughts and focus from ‘outage-related’ discussions to the discussions related to ‘swift deployment’ and ‘additional functionality’. Together, they both help organizations achieve flexibility and automation. While DevOps and cloud are known for their independent identities, they bring value to other’s existence. Hence, they must be leveraged together for a win-win future.

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