DevOps – Driving Excellence in Application Support

YASH Blog

Last updated on October 22, 2020

Srikanth Karunam

Srikanth Karunam Program Manager’

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As game-changers like cloud computing, analytics and artificial intelligence take over the business world, the pace of change is reaching breakneck speed. Supporting these frequent application changes often take up a significant chunk of the IT team’s valuable time. The DevOps approach – a blend of ‘development’ and ‘operations’ – has been successful in supporting rapid deployment and efficient support of application software. But first, let us understand the need for DevOps in driving service excellence in application support.

Barriers in enterprise application support

The root cause of friction between the business, IT development and Support teams are:

  • A lack of shared visibility and working in operational siloes
  • Lack of operating framework to manage end to end development and support cycle
  • Lack of usage of tools and technologies in the IT development and support spectrum

This is where DevOps comes into the picture for efficient service delivery of application development and support.

DevOps in AMS – A perspective

The DevOps practices makes deployments automated (predictable) and production environments standardized (governable).

The core tenet of DevOps is continuous delivery which encompasses:

  • Continuous Testing
  • Continuous Integration
  • Continuous Deployment

DevOps allows for the use of automation, as well as uncovering ‘black boxes’ proactively to scale growing IT complexities in the application landscape. It merges development and operational teams via a set of standardized processes so that the IT staff is freed up from routine tasks and become more productive through a faster resolution to problems and fewer complexities to manage. Getting the development teams more involved in the fixing production issues increases operational efficiencies. DevOps enable the usage of tools during development and monitoring making it a reliable framework. It also enables process simplification in application support by providing cross functional visibility, application security, tool-based support governance, monitoring, release management, testing and more importantly automation where applicable in the application development and support lifecycle.

DevOps driving operational excellence in application support

At YASH Next Gen AMS, our teams implement DevOps across all the evolutionary stages and incremental functions of the application development and support lifecycle and some of our key DevOps practices include:

Continuous Integration:

  • Unit test automation using SAP TAO, Worksoft, QTP, Selenium and others
  • Workflow based approval to move changes to quality systems tied to ticketing tool
  • Transport request management tied to ticketing tool

Continuous Testing:

  • Usage of dependency check tool configured to ticketing tool
  • Automated end to end scenario testing including regression testing using testing tools
  • Automated testing using near production environments
  • Workflow based approval for test results

Continuous deployment:

  • Workflow based production approval
  • Automated ticket sequencing in ticketing tool
  • Automation using ticketing tool for production movement

Collaboration:

  • Governance: Tool-based governance ensuring efficiencies measured captured, reported and improvements are continuously focused
  • Resource Management: Tool-based workload management ensuring end to end resource optimization and skill management
  • Organizational Change Management: Establishing a governance structure to ensure trainings, SOP’s, collaborations, cross-functional communication and reporting

DevOps adoption helps IT teams improve flexibilities, user responsiveness and customer-centricity. With this approach, teams can fail fast in new scenarios and learn from errors without exposing the organization to unnecessary risks. They can improve application support due to their ability to:

  • Enabling efficiencies – reduce application support time through quick rectification of issues
  • Stability – Build more stable apps to ensure minimal defects with each release
  • Collaboration – Share a common view and open communication channels for complete control
  • Governance – Gain real-time insights into app IT environments across complexities
  • Optimized cost – spend more time on innovation and less time on support and maintenance

While DevOps has advantages, the right value can be derived when the practices are customized based on organization specific parameters like development frequencies, support requirements, technology landscape and culture specific scenarios.

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