Balance in automation

Automation: finding balance between quality and speed

Earlier this fall, Gartner published a list of technologies and predictions for the coming years. Gartner work continuously to explore digital innovations and the effects of the latest innovations on the IT landscape. For example, they predict that 20% of all organizations will abandon their mobile applications, as much suggest that the time required is too much and yields too low return on investment. Another clear trend is the increase in automation.

The dynamic and ever-changing demands being put on organizations today are far from easy to meet. Many still use old infrastructure and systems, making the task even harder. Technologies and markets change, that’s one thing that’s certain. So how should organizations benefit from automation, and in doing so, find the balance between quality and speed?

Balance between quality and speed

In 2012 Facebook announced that they would increase the frequency of releases to two a day. As an organization they were early with following the ship early and ship often mentality, and still do so. The model for fast releases has increased in popularity and is now spreading throughout basically all technologies and industries. The problem lies with shifting towards DevOps, which is more than a walk in the park – especially as it takes time to rally coworkers to your cause. In the case of Facebook, the transformation took three years to complete, simply due to structural and cultural changes.

What often takes a long time to coordinate in this kind of transformation is the cooperation between development and operations. Operations are doing everything they can to ensure a release standard, while development wants to deploy new code and functionality as fast as possible. A well-functioning collaboration can be achieved, but if such collaboration doesn’t work out well the end result can be devastating. Clear examples of such failures are the New York Stock Exchange and the United problems.

Leverage with automation

When you’re looking to find balance in this collaboration, automation matters. By leveraging the powers of automation, the IT department can create processes for build, test, upgrading, configuration and much more. For example, an automated solution can make sure that the build processes are started, which in turn deploy to the test environment. It can then run the tests and in case they’re successful also ship to production. If something instead goes wrong, the solution can make sure that necessary action is taken and notify those who needs to know.

In addition to these kinds of solutions, automation also enables simpler communication between various applications. The result will be a smaller risk of failure and a more continuous value delivery.

However, automation isn’t the solution to all DevOps-related problems. While automation does bring a decreased amount of manual work, leading to fewer delays and errors as well as an improved speed, in order to do DevOps successfully both departments need to do their job. This in turn requires a big amount of trust and coordination.

Eyes ahead

While specific technologies and DevOps details most certainly will change over time, automation will continue to play a critical role in the process. Using automation, you and your organization can focus on what’s important for the company instead of manual processes and spend way too much time with error management. In the end, it’s about finding a balance between quality and speed. When working towards varying market demands, automation becomes an invaluable tool.

 

Have you started automating your processes? How does the collaboration work in your team? Let us know in the comments below!

About the author: Staffan

Happy marketer, contributor and technology enthusiast. Strong believer in transformational processes and sees learning opportunities everywhere.

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