12 gifts for a digital transformation Christmas

Ensure your DevOps work stays relevant in an ever-changing world.

While many of us experience Christmas Day as one single frenzied session of present-opening delight, the older tradition – as memorialized in song – is to spread our gift-giving out across twelve days.

In that spirit, here are twelve gifts for everyone engaged in the digital transformation.

Gift for Day 1: Unrelenting focus on the customer

Application delivery should never exist for its own sake. All our efforts must serve the business – which usually, by extension, means better serving our customers with digital deliverables they genuinely desire and value. That’s why customer focus is the first and most foundational gift.

Gift for Day 2: Committed, active executive support

For digital transformation to succeed, much has to change in IT – and in the business. These changes can’t be brought about by a handful of gung-ho DevOps practitioners alone. So, one of the greatest gifts you can receive is an executive to champion your efforts and get you the funding you need.

Gift for Day 3: Willing embrace of cultural change

Successful DevOps practitioners agree that cultural change is the most important nut to crack in digital transformation. Technology and process change simply can’t produce tangible results if there’s significant institutional resistance to cultural imperatives such as Agile and non-territorial collaboration.

Gift for Day 4: Aggressive QA shift left

Digital transformation is often threatened by testing/QA measures that must constantly make “goal line stands” as code nears production. Quality must be built in, not bolted on. Your Day 4 gift is therefore continuous testing that shifts QA left to discover issues when they’re cheaper and easier to fix – and that generates less drag on promotion.

Gift for Day 5: Aggressive security shift left

Security shortfalls pose an existential risk to customer relationships and brand value. Security risk mitigation is also a highly specialized technical discipline. The shift-left of security controls is thus its own special gift. And it’s one that should be appropriately valued as both threats and the consequences of breaches continue to escalate.

Gift for Day 6: Fully streamlined CI

Continuous integration(CI) is the fulcrum of continuous delivery, since it allows you to optimally distribute work with confidence that distributed work-product can then be properly assembled into target deliverables. But effective CI requires more than just a Jenkins instance. It requires a DevOps ecosystem that seamlessly interoperates with Jenkins or any other CI engine-of-choice.

Gift for Day 7: Automation-assisted code promotion

Christmas is a great time for football fans. And as fans know, every handoff is an opportunity for a fumble. The same is true with DevOps. Fortunately, you can protect and accelerate code promotion with rules-based workflows, mobile notifications, and other process controls that are part of your Day 7 gift.

Gift for Day 8: Mix-and-match microservices

None of us can accurately predict how the code we write today might best be leveraged tomorrow. But containerized microservices give us the flexibility to re-use our code in whatever ways most benefit us, our customers, and our ever-changing ecosystem of go-to-market partners.

Gift for Day 9: Adaptive infrastructure

With the advent of AWS Lambda, it’s clear that infrastructure innovation continues apace. Your organization might not be ready for serverless architectures. But on-demand compute, storage, and network are essential for ensuring that your digital deliverables perform to spec regardless of load – and that you never pay for more capacity than you need.

Gift for Day 10: Continuous Monitoring

Monitoring is a gift that keeps on giving, which means it shouldn’t be limited to production systems or to the folks that support them. When digital insights are shared earlier in the lifecycle with advanced monitoring, dev teams gain fast feedback on how apps will perform in production and operations is has advance notice on what needs to be tuned and optimized. Remember – the best gifts are those that are shared.

Gift for Day 11: An AI strategy for IoT and Big Data

With IoT, the volume, variety and velocity of data is exploding. But unlike some cheap throwaway Xmas gifts operational big data is useful and you need AI and analytics to gain deep and valuable insights. Use approaches that collect, combine and correlate data at scale – from IoT telemetry to unstructured logs – all backed by strong governance to ensure compliance with mandates like HIPAA and GDPR.

Gift for Day 12: Friends, fortitude, and vision

None of this is easy. It’s rewarding, but not easy. That’s why you’ll need friends to help you stay on-course, fortitude to hang in there despite the inevitable setbacks, and vision to ensure your work stays relevant in an ever-changing world.

It’s a long list for Santa. And if you’ve been naughty, he may not come through for you. But we at CA are happy to help in any way we can. Just give us a call.

And Happy Holidays to all!


Aruna Ravichandran is vice president of DevOps Solution Marketing and Management at CA Technologies, responsible…

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