By Alok Uniyal, Vice President – Quality & Head – Agile-DevOps Services, Infosys
The Covid-19 pandemic has put resiliency front and center on the agenda of every business. As they struggle to cope with adapting to remote work, reconfigured physical workspaces, revised logistics and supply networks and their own operating procedures, they have reached a point of no return. These once-in–a-generation circumstances have forced businesses to finally choose the inevitable – change.
For several years now, digital transformation has been sweeping across industries, reshuffling the established order. The seismic shock set off by the pandemic accelerated and intensified trends that were already underway. Organizations that managed to survive the initial purging of unviable businesses with outdated operating models must now reckon with the new normal that has emerged.
Even the most traditional brick and mortar organizations have been forced to experiment with digital channels. The early part of the pandemic’s onset saw a 46% rise in digital payments in India – not just in the usage but in downloads as well, suggesting that the changed consumer behavior is here to stay. Therefore, a fundamental re-evaluation of how businesses operate is required.
Recalibration to the new normal
Since there is no going back to old ways, enterprises should get back to the drawing board on how to become life-like, responsive, and resilient businesses at scale.Any end goal should begin with understanding the consumer and what he/she wants. Already familiar with friction-free, online experiences from the convenience of their smartphones, consumers expect businesses not just to sell them products, but deliver customized and targeted experiences.
Successful businesses are focusing on critical customer journeys and underlying business processes, embracing product mind-set, re-engineering workflows and ways of working. To survive and thrive in this volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world of fleeting customer loyalty, they are reaping significant benefits by embracing agility at scale.
Almost immediate benefits of agile transformation include improvements in customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and operational performance. Consequently, the mutually reinforcing benefits, translate into improved financial performance. Unlike traditional organizations built around a static, siloed, structural hierarchy that develops new products using the waterfall method, agile organizations have a network of teams operating in rapid learning and decision-making cycles.
Next Gen approach
Agile methodologies aim for a minimum viable product that can be released in months, or even weeks. Continuous measurement along the way along with frequent and early feedback from customers, help course correct. Lean-based value stream approach allows agile teams to stay focused on expected business value. Agile teams also find it easier to navigate through external disruptions,like the pandemic, as they are better suited to adapt to sudden changes in their environment. Agile practices alone, however, cannot sustain fast and frequent value delivery. They should be accompanied by a robust DevSecOps practice, which speeds up the development process while ensuring quality, security, and reliability.
DevSecOps (a blend of ‘development’ and ‘operations’) encourages greater collaboration between the development and operations teams. With Continuous Delivery being a core tenet, DevSecOps drives higher automation across the value chain and allows for quick, reliable and repeatable deployment of rapidly developed code.The approach provides an understanding that helps design applications for rapid delivery, moving from a process-based ecosystem into a live enterprise where we believe, a live enterprise is a continuously evolving and learning enterprise with start-up-like agility and the ability to adapt by nurturing data-driven insights, responsive value chains, creative talents, and delivering perceptive experiences.
By integrating security requirements at every stage of the development combined with testing, instead of backloading it at the tail end of the release, this approach avoids delays and minimizes risk and costs associated with security errors. Therefore, businesses could use DevSecOps as a key component in the digital transformation journey, as they look at achieving speed while being resilient.
Digital, or death
The quest for digitization will continue driving businesses to embark on enterprise-scale agile transformations. At the core is an ecosystem-led live enterprise approach that
– re-imagines and orchestrates customer journeys with the help of persistent agile teams having product-mindset
– makes DevSecOps available as a service, using a centralized platform, catering to a heterogenous IT landscape across COTS (SAP, Oracle & others), BI/Big Data, Legacy and Custom S/W
– uses the power of data captured in the underlying Agile ALM & DevSecOps tooling, leveraging AI-ML, in providing persona based actionable insights and predictive analytics to users across Business and IT; thereby enabling a data driven approach to value stream management,geared towards accelerating and amplifying business outcomes
Such an ecosystem unifies the business, engineering, and operations teams to create a business-aligned value stream that not only delivers faster business value with higher reliability at optimal cost but also provides rich insights across the enterprise.This powerful combination can help businesses unlock their own potential and transform delivery. Such journeys are always fraught with complexity and pitfalls but with the right approach, and an expert partner, it can define the future of the enterprise.