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App-first: Simplicity for Customers, Complexity for IT

Break Glass in Emergency

Mobile devices have fast become the most important screen for consumers, to the point that firefighters are weighing in on our digital addictions, imploring people to not to leave their phones charging under their pillows for fear they may spark fires.

Sleeping habits aside, there is no doubt that demand for mobile devices and apps continues to skyrocket.  App Annie research shows that time spent in apps grew by more than 60% last year, a figure that is likely to increase further when the installed base of mobile devices surpasses 3 billion by the end of 2016.

Customers demand apps to interact with Businesses

For businesses this means one thing; keep pace with mobile-first, app-first consumers or risk being left behind as competitors swoop in on your customers and revenue.  Businesses, large and small, are waking up to that fact that an effective app strategy is non-negotiable. However, accepting this is one thing, creating an environment that prioritises mobile and app innovation is quite another.

Clash of Cultures 

At the heart of the challenge lies a historical battleground  between two key players in the app development process. In the red corner are developers, charged with bringing mobile ambitions to life through rapidly coding new apps. In the blue corner are Infrastructure and Operations (I&O), focused on ensuring that apps deploy without impacting stability or uptime. The faster apps are created and iterated, the less time I&O have to manage the deployment process. I&O complain that stability is risked but at the same time, developers become frustrated when mission critical apps are delayed.

In response to these tensions DevOps has emerged as a way to help developers and operations work together more effectively. At its heart, DevOps seeks to bring both teams together into a collaborative process, working together to deliver on fast-paced mobile and app innovation.

While it provides an important step forward, the reality is that a move to DevOps is anything but simple. It involves a radical shift in culture, new processes and often new technology. However, just because it is difficult it cannot be ignored. DevOps will be essential to helping businesses deliver on mobile and app focused demands from digitally-native customers. In fact, Gartner research shows that 31% of organisations are already using DevOps in some form, and this trend is expected to continue growing.

Moving to a DevOpps model

If you are one of the many organisations planning a transition to DevOps then it’s worth a read of our new eBook, App-first: Simplicity for customers, complexity for IT’. It explores the DevOps movement in more detail as well as providing insight on DevOps transition from businesses including Facebook and Uber. Have an opinion on the topic?  Please share it.

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