IT Operations Management (ITOM)

DevOps gives Federal IT organizations the power to accelerate the transition to digital government

DevOps gives Federal IT organizations the power to accelerate the transition to digital government


Speed matters. In the commercial sector, companies have to move at the speed of business to be the market leader—but what about the public sector? What rate does government need to move at to meet its constituent’s demands?


Applications have forever changed the IT landscape and this change applies to government agencies as well. Look at your mobile device, how many applications are you currently using? How often are you notified that there is an update available for these applications? If you are like me, I constantly have that alert at the top of my device. Application and software refresh cycles are now occurring faster than ever with some updates for applications occurring multiple times a month. This is quite a drastic change from the quarterly refresh cycles that were common just a few years ago. Increasingly, we’re seeing mobile application adoption in the government. Whether it’s a mobile app for emergency management, defense logistics, or for basic services in support of your social security identification or benefits, the need for updates and speed of iteration will be no different.


Consumers are driving this speed and expectation of quality (features and functionality, performance and security). They demand responsive applications that work flawlessly. If their demands aren’t met, they abandon applications and the revenue associated with them. Government agencies are not immune to the impacts of these demands and providing services at this rate. In fact, in some ways the repercussions are higher than in the public sector.


Current processes complicating application release cycles


Applications are complex and have to deal with multiple challenges including:

  • Multiple platforms
  • Composite applications
  • Hybrid delivery models
  • Multiple steps
  • Hundreds of Artifacts
  • Potential change to workflow and interaction of the employee or citizen

The current development structure is complex and error-prone. Development, testing and operations teams are siloed which leads to finger pointing and placing blame. Not exactly a cohesive work environment…


DevOps and Bimodal IT to the rescue


All this new technology at edge of the network doesn’t mean it’s all new at its core. Public sector organizations are still plagued by large legacy IT platforms that then to run in parallel with newer platforms fielded in more recent projects. Such an environment is increasingly creating two types of IT: slow, expensive, inflexible, and outdated alongside agile, modern and innovate IT or Bimodal IT as it’s often called.


The DevOps operating model blasts through these silos and allows for a more connected application creation environment. This increased speed of software and application releases requires open communication. Bimodal IT encourages HIGH VELOCITY, FREQUENT, QUALITY Software Releases and a HIGH VELOCITY, FREQUENT Feedback Loops to make sure the software maintains this quality.


DevOps requires sustained effort around people, process and technology which is practically achieved with automation across the IT silos, visibility akin to what the military calls a common operational picture, and low latency. DevOps requires a sustained effort - the cultural and organizational changes are as important to address as are the technology challenges.


I will be presenting with Ro Antao, CIO Consulting Services, PWC about the power of DevOps in the public sector at the HP Software Government Summit in Washington D.C. on April 7.


DevOps is not a product, specification, or resource you can just buy off the shelf – it’s a journey, but one well worth the time and effort. Join us for our session, "DevOps: Bringing parity to service quality and agility between private and public sector organizations" to take a closer examination at how DevOps can help government agencies with collaboration within their environments.


Make sure you register for the event here. And you can follow all of the action on Twitter with the hashtag #HPGS15


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  • operational intelligence
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