Delivering Value with BizDevOps
May 05, 2015

Gabriel Lowy
TechTonics

Companies are rapidly adopting DevOps practices to create higher-quality software faster and more efficiently to improve customer experience, lower IT costs and enhance productivity. But the key to success for software-driven businesses is delivering value with BizDevOps.

Using both lean and agile methodologies, DevOps brings software development, IT operations and quality assurance (QA) teams together to create a more collaborative process to deliver software and services in a faster and more continuous fashion. DevOps aims to break down IT and organizational data silos by promoting a culture of shared resources that make change and state processes across the entire application delivery chain more transparent. The end result is continuous delivery, an operational concept that is crucial to the software-defined business.

The more performance-oriented a company is, the more successful the business outcomes of its DevOps initiative. But DevOps is more about people than technology. These organizations foster a culture based on communication, collaboration and trust. They tend not to fear failure; instead they embrace it as learning experiences for continuous improvement. Companies that are successful with DevOps are more stable, with higher-performing IT teams that work better together to drive stronger operating results.

More enterprises are demanding that their application development teams be more aligned with business objectives, allowing them to start realizing value from an early stage of the lifecycle. To achieve business agility, enterprises need a strategy that spans the entire value chain – from business requirements to deployment.

BizDevOps and the Common Language of Business Transactions

BizDevOps underscores the need to more closely align IT and business groups with business performance. It strengthens application governance by adding business perspective and accountability to the process. BizDevOps bridges operational data with business data to provide a deeper understanding of how application performance and user experience directly impact business outcomes.

Business transactions are the common language that brings DevOps and business teams into productive collaboration. A business transaction is the interaction between a business and its customers, vendors, partners or employees that provides a desired outcome of mutual benefit.

In a software-defined business, transactions are executed by applications. Depending on the application, transactions can be as simple as users entering information into a database or highly complex, such as online trading that involves multiple systems and applications that are mutually dependent. As a result, the successful completion of business transactions is the most critical metric for IT and business success.

BizDevOps not only brings effective collaboration between business and DevOps teams, but also provides automation and a tight feedback loop. Sharing transactional data with business teams accelerates the feedback loop from all application stakeholders.

Application governance is essential for all constituents to make changes about what capabilities the application should have. The DevOps team can then make adjustments faster and more continuously while maintaining focus on optimizing the user experience. Better communication and collaboration between teams increases business agility, improves efficiency and raises predictability.

A Unified Approach to Transaction Monitoring Assures User Experience

As enterprise applications become more numerous, intertwined and complex, IT organizations are placing more emphasis than ever on finding new approaches to manage applications and optimize their availability and performance. As a result, Application Performance Management (APM) has become an essential part of enterprise IT framework since it directly involves all key stakeholder groups, including application owners, application developers and application users.

Left shifting business transaction monitoring in the development lifecycle alerts DevOps teams to dependencies and operational or quality issues in the pre-production phase to identify potential bottlenecks. Transaction metrics can be used to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) against which the production environment can be measured. This allows the DevOps team, working in concert with the business owners, to build models in accordance with KPIs.

Every business transaction impacts user experience and operating performance. By understand why and where a transaction delay or failure resulted in a missed opportunity or operating loss can help prevent future service outages. Depending on the industry sector, slow responsiveness or complete outage (brownouts or downtime) of a company’s most business critical application can cost between $100,000 and $1 million per hour. The fallout from poor transaction performance can be a loss of customers, regulatory fines and damage to firm reputation.

Whether it’s improving customer satisfaction or operational performance to minimize costly downtime and drive business objectives, business transaction completion is the most relevant metric that all team members can understand. Dynamically tagging and following a business transaction across the entire application delivery chain addresses the needs of BizDevOps.

Unified transaction monitoring with big data scalability and management is the only way IT and business owners can ensure that end-to-end user experience and business objectives are being met. It drives customer satisfaction and improves competitiveness, strengthening financial performance and market valuation.

Gabriel Lowy is the founder of TechTonics Advisors, a research-first investor relations consultancy that helps technology companies maximize value for all stakeholders by bridging vision, strategy, product portfolio and markets with analysts and investors
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