The future of your technology business may surprise you

| By:
Arnie Bellini

As a technology solutions provider (TSP), you’ve mastered hardware and that mastery has gotten you this far. So, what’s next? The reality of the world today is that you’re going to have to turn your focus to software.

With everything that’s changed in today’s market, you’re going to bill monthly, access everything through a control panel, and see the need for traditional hardware skills falling by the wayside. So how do you help your business navigate this brave new TSP world? You focus on making a big shift in your skillset to focus on the future: DevOps.

What IS DevOps?

Software is more than just a support system for your business. With the ramp up of the internet and cloud services, software is the vital backbone of every part of your business. With it, you talk to your customers, deliver your services, and access devices and networks every day. You rely on software to deliver a more efficient business, produce reports that help you make business decisions, and run your systems from start to finish.

Per Gartner, 50% of global enterprises will be implementing a DevOps initiative by 2018. Which means now is the time to get onboard, or risk being left behind. Today’s industry makes everyone your competition, so DevOps is the key to staying competitive as the pressure increases.

A compound word that refers to software development and information technology operations, DevOps has become a movement that connects culture, practice, and resources to help businesses increase their velocity and keep their products evolving at the lightning-speed our industry has come to expect. It helps you move faster and updates the old-school infrastructure to something prepared to move in today’s market and tomorrow’s, bringing in cloud-based IT to link data and applications across your environment.

The benefits of DevOps

If you evolve properly, the closest future to what you’re already doing is DevOps. By giving your business the ability to move at ever-faster speeds, you’ll be providing faster customer service and be more competitive than ever.

Teams that practice DevOps deploy 30x more frequently, have 60x fewer failures, and recover 160x faster. — Puppet Labs 2016 State of DevOps Report

Amazon does a great job of breaking down the benefits of embracing the future through DevOps, including:

  • Speed: Innovate faster, adapt better, and drive results sooner.
  • Delivery: Increase the pace of your delivery to solve problems faster.
  • Reliability: Keep your customer experience top notch without slowing speed of service.
  • Scale: Manage complex, changing systems without missing a beat thanks to automation.
  • Collaboration: Build more effective teams with the ownership & accountability prioritized under the DevOps model.
  • Security: Stay in control and compliance with automation, which means keeping things safe without losing speed.
So, what do I do now?

It’s time for a massive secular change from what you’re doing today—touching everything, installing everything, taking on long-term projects and worrying about revenue—to a new model where all of that is handled in a few clicks. What used to take you weeks will be done in minutes.

But what about the money you’re making right now from those weeks of work? Good question. Now you’ll be making that, and more, by doing what you’re doing (but faster!), maintaining it all, and becoming your customers’ go-to technology guru.

Embracing DevOps means a shift in the way you think about your business, and with that shift, the barriers between the different aspects of your organization fall away. Your entire business will come together, with everyone focused on better communication, increased efficiency, and improved service for your customers. No matter how your teams are put together, DevOps will help them all move together toward the same bright future.

DevOps isn't any single person's job. It's everyone's job. — Christophe Capel, Principal Product Manager, JIRA Service Desk

To build a successful future in DevOps, you’ll want to embrace key practices that keep your business moving forward.

  1. Integration – keep innovation coming frequently, focusing on smaller changes faster. That way you’ll find issues and fix them sooner, improve your service quality, and deliver new options to customers sooner.
  2. Microservices – build out continuous small services that focus on the specific needs of your customers, and deliver them both independently and in service packages that add value for customers.
  3. Policy – as the cloud changes the way you manage infrastructures, you’ll be able to monitor and enforce policies as needed, and at scale. Track everything, reconfigure as needed with automation, and govern change without risk.
  4. Monitoring – use your data for better visibility with active monitoring. You’ll have access to specific, hyper-accurate metrics and logs that allow you to anticipate and understand issues, and create alerts and real-time analysis.
  5. Communication – amp up your team’s communication skills with DevOps by automating processes and bringing together workflows across teams. Track, manage, and chat through cloud-capable applications that keep your teams aligned.

So how do you bridge the gap between where you are right now and what you’re aiming for? Business growth powered by ConnectWise CloudConsole™. By centralizing the management of Microsoft Office 365™ and Azure™, allowing you to proactively monitor for issues, and deliver a single bill with perfect accuracy, ConnectWise CloudConsole sets you down the path toward a unified, cloud-based approach to your future success.