Automation and DevOps Maturity

According to Forrester Research, 95% of organizations are moving to Agile and following suit with DevOps. (Forrester Research: Aligning Agile And DevOps Practices With Business Value).

Likely then, your organization is too.

In his white paper, “Drive business growth with agile processes through DevOps for SAP” Pravas Ranjan Rout of Infosys speaks to the benefits of a DevOps approach for SAP teams and provides a suggested way for SAP IT organizations to progress forward. Dividing the path to maturity into 4 phases, crawl, walk, run and sprint, differing degrees of automation and tooling within each phase are recommended.

Automation DevOps maturity

The goal of a DevOps approach is the delivery of business solutions at the speed and quality customers demand. This means one must increase the volume of change delivered and increase the velocity at which it is delivered. And because quality is important, it means doing so without a reduction in governance or quality control.

It’s easy to increase volume and velocity by throwing governance and QA out the door, but how are all three, volume, velocity and quality, achieved? Especially in an environment where a waterfall process, rigorous testing, and governance audit trails have been a traditional requirement.

This is where Rout is proposing automation as the way forward. A proposal I am in 100% agreement with. From what I have seen and heard, without advanced automation it will not be possible to develop and deliver at the speeds envisaged maintaining adequate quality.

Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Manual transport deployment is time consuming and risky
  • Managing agile parallel developments is also time consuming and risky
  • Managing multiple development streams requires significant transport coordination overhead
  • Enabling collaborative workflow is difficult
  • Testing takes too long
  • Although a one size fits all testing approach is easy, it’s inefficient and time consuming

Where to now?

The advanced automation mentioned by Pravas Ranjan Rout will not be achieved with the one tool, or from the one vendor. To achieve the kind of automation essential to reaching DevOps maturity, a range of tools from several different vendors will be required.

For example, change control and workflow automation, unit testing automation, regression testing automation, and code review automation are crucial tooling considerations.

Of course, Rev-Trac SAP change control automation is a great place to start. Beginning with automating and enforcing process workflow, Rev-Trac provides the platform onto which other automated DevOps tooling can be integrated. The goal, a fully automated DevOps environment delivery change at the volume, speed and quality that DevOps promises.

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