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A Critical Strategy for the Application Economy By @Aruna13 | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

The Application Economy is here - are you ready?

DevOps - A Critical Strategy for Successfully Leading the Application Economy

These are exciting times to be working in business technology. Now, the convergence of mobile, cloud and social computing has enabled businesses to better connect, engage and capture new customers within their markets from the software applications they develop.

But there's a catch. These very same forces are presenting nimble and adaptive businesses the opportunity to develop completely new and disruptive business models. Models that by exploiting software innovation can create new markets and destroy established brands that have lasted for decades.

Welcome to the Application Economy.

To understand the impact of the Application Economy, CA Technologies commissioned a global survey, which provides some critical insight into the strategies business and IT leaders are adopting. Responding to drivers, organizations are employing strategies that make software a critical business differentiator - or, to put it more simply, businesses are increasingly accepting they're in the software business. Notably, many businesses are actually making moves to become more software-proficient by either making or planning to make software acquisitions.

What's also driving these strategies is the mounting pressure on business executives to drive new digital initiatives. Ninety four percent of executives clearly agreed that they face increasing pressure to release apps more quickly due to customer demand or competitive pressures, and more than half of these companies have released at least four customer-facing apps in the least year.

DevOps in the Application Economy
Organizations recognize the business imperative to rapidly deliver software innovations, with success dependent on the closer collaboration, communication and integration within and across teams, together with the adoption of toolsets designed to drive better business outcomes.

This could explain why the DevOps movement, with its focus on helping businesses rapidly produce software applications and services through closer collaboration between software development and IT operations, is quickly becoming the go-to strategy needed by enterprises today. Twenty four percent of respondents reported they have already adopted DevOps, while an impressive 64 percent intend to adopt the movement in the next three to five years. This combined 88 percent compares to only 66 percent reported just one year ago in our last survey, and confirms DevOps is fast becoming the essential strategy needed to increase application delivery.

What's also exciting is how DevOps is making the crossover to the enterprise. No longer is DevOps regarded as a niche approach for web-based startups and mega scale cloud providers; rather, it's a pragmatic approach that traditional enterprises now view as being essential for business transformation and survival within the Application Economy.

Clearly then, hands-on DevOps experience will become a highly prized skill. Also important will be DevOps consulting practices who can fill the knowledge void for what is still a relatively new methodology -providing pragmatic service offerings and tools to enterprise customers. These new services will support cultural transformation but also be grounded in the realities of managing software development from mobile apps and APIs to mainframe and back-end systems.

Some of the major obstacles impacting DevOps adoption range from perennial concerns around security and compliance, to organizational complexity and culture. Interestingly a large proportion of respondents reported that justification from an ROI standpoint was difficult, suggesting to me that cultural and transformational benefits must be accompanied with solid business cases and metrics; clearly demonstrating how DevOps will positively impact the business - including how improved software quality, faster lead times and an optimum customer experience support profitability, market share and productivity goals.

DevOps as a Differentiator
The old saying "winners are grinners" - or, as I like to put it, "strategy without execution is hallucination" - rings true with DevOps. That's why almost half (49 percent) of the "Leaders" have adopted DevOps methodologies and technologies to speed application delivery, versus only 6 percent of the "Laggards." Furthermore, fifty-eight percent of these fast movers are using business and value-centric metrics, like time-to-value and customer experience as the criteria upon which to measure success and quantify benefits.

Leaders too have also established a linkage between high performance DevOps teams and the business through outcome-driven results. For example, 21% have achieved the agility levels needed to deliver new services not previously possible, 19% report an increase in revenue, while many now  spend less time ‘keeping the IT lights on' by fixing and maintaining applications (21%)

The Application Economy is having a profound impact on businesses everywhere. But with chaos comes opportunity - opportunity that's increasingly being embraced by high-performance DevOps organizations.

More Stories By Aruna Ravichandran

Aruna Ravichandran has over 20 years of experience in building and marketing products in various markets such as IT Operations Management (APM, Infrastructure management, Service Management, Cloud Management, Analytics, Log Management, and Data Center Infrastructure Management), Continuous Delivery, Test Automation, Security and SDN. In her current role, she leads the product and solutions marketing, strategy, market segmentation, messaging, positioning, competitive and sales enablement across CA's DevOps portfolio.

Prior to CA, Aruna worked at Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard where-in she led executive leadership roles in marketing and engineering.

Aruna is co-author of the book, "DevOps for Digital Leaders", which was published in 2016 and was named one of Top 100 The Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley by the San Jose Business Journal as well as 2016 Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award by the National Diversity Council.

Aruna holds a Masters in Computer Engineering and a MBA from Santa Clara University.

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