The DevOps Revolution – Part 1: Transforming the Network
DevOps is now a widespread phenomenon in the networking industry. In recent years, we have seen a growing number of service providers adopting agile methodologies; moving away from rigid processes associated with legacy models. This transformation and revolution is the most critical and important change our industry has ever seen. It represents the shift from the black and white, A to B traditional networking to a dynamic and service-rich environment.
In an era driven by innovation, service providers are being challenged to rethink their strategy. The DevOps revolution we are seeing today is giving developers an opportunity to tear up the rules and push networking to entirely new places. We are all in the business of reimagining this industry and how it influences every aspect of our personal and professional lives.
In reimagining networking, we are reshaping how the world communicates, collaborates and gets connected. That is why I’m glad that we have put DevOps front and centre in our operations at Epsilon. As traditional customer service models fade away, it is DevOps that will differentiate what we do and making the revolution a reality in our business. Having DevOps as part of our long-term strategy is the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk.
In the old days of telecom, developers would build applications then hand them off to systems administrators, leaving a gap between the developers and the delivery of the service. Today, DevOps must become part of the entire lifecycle and to continually evolve applications and services. It is also more than just adopting a set of practices, but also an important culture shift towards agility and collaboration.
Every day at Epsilon, I see DevOps translating our strategic vision into reality and making it real for our partners and customers. So why is DevOps so important today? Why now?
It is simple. Traditional networking models, processes and solutions are not good enough. They no longer match the needs and expectations of today’s businesses or consumers. The legacy approach no longer relevant to their overall ICT objectives. It puts a limit to what users can do and in traditional telecoms, much of the model is about “wishing” things would just stay the same.
When “wishing” that innovation would go away becomes a part of the business strategy, there will be trouble. There were a lot of Brick and Mortar stores that “wish” Amazon did not exist. Taxi drivers that were able to charge what they want “wish” Uber or Lyft did not exist. I am sure record companies “wish” they could still sell billions of CDs for $20 each.
Industries get disrupted and the networking industry is no different. The world has changed and continues to change every day. The key now is to create businesses that can adapt and thrive in a fast-moving market. That is central to DevOps’ role today.
By adopting DevOps, service providers are moving away from legacy models and create next-generation networks that can:
- Deliver new adaptability
- Grow efficiently
- React faster
- Support digital applications and services
- Remove barriers to innovation
Service providers that seize the opportunities in DevOps can seriously become an adaptable, agile business of the future. Those who ignore it will face a steady decline in traditional services and models and worse, becoming irrelevant to their customers and partners. It is impossible to survive and thrive without investing in DevOps and making strategic decisions to do things differently.
The drivers are obvious. The Cloud has changed everything from enterprise applications to consumer services. It is the wake-up call that service providers needed to know that business as usual simply is not going to be good enough anymore. The Cloud has shown that services should be agile, on-demand and elastic.
Transformation requires real concrete steps and investment in a new process to deliver actual results. We now serve hyper-sensitive users who will not tolerate ‘Best Effort’ or diminished performance. How fast will you delete an app on your phone if it is not working? How fast will you close a webpage that is not loading immediately? Exceeding users’ expectation is no longer just a value add but an imperative today.
Looking back at the past few decades, the telco world was not built to serve these kinds of demands. It was built to connect phone calls that worked most of the time. A hyper-sensitive user in 1985 had almost zero options for changing their service. Today, we have a universe of options and competing alternatives. Service providers have to invest in DevOps to keep up and move at a new pace. Customers, partners and end users have made the decision for them.