TLDR; Automate, Dedicated talent, Empower teams, Choose Webscale
Building digital services in an enterprise environment is most of the time depressingly slow and ridiculously expensive. Why? Legacy systems, organizational silos, scattered responsibilities, bad vendor contracts, complex environments, security requirements… it all adds up. A simple web form development project becomes a 1 year, 1 M€ failure.
Solution: a small team of experts to solve all the difficult technical and domain specific issues. The team should include roles like Software architect, Cloud architect, IT-administrator, Network specialist and Developer. Ideally, the team provides the fundamental building blocks for all the development teams as a service. After all, solving all the same issues in every project is irrational and expensive.
Hire the best talent. All the development teams depend on it. Automation is everything. If it can be documented, it can be automated. If it’s automated, it’s definitely documented.
Take for example creating a new DNS record
- A ticket to the IT vendor’s ticketing system: 5 hours?
- Automated IaC (Infrastructure as Code): 0,1 seconds
Assuming no human errors are made during the ticketing process, automation is at least 180,000 times faster.
Power to the edge. Authorize the team and their automated processes to make all the changes they need to on a daily basis. Same goes for the development teams, they should not need anyone’s involvement to do their daily work. Introduce reviews and utilize automation to build trust and consistency.
Don’t make bad contracts. If your IT infrastructure vendor charges you by the number of support tickets and for wasted capacity, is it in their interest to automate and save cost?
High reward. When your developers can focus on building the applications instead of on learning hybrid cloud routing, you can start changing the months into weeks in the release schedule. Less effort, less cost.
What I’ve described here is often referred to as DevOps. We have been building a DevOps function from scratch for a +1 Bn€ enterprise for the past year and the results are great. A team of four per tens of applications. The fastest application went from beginning of development into production in three months. DevOps is one of the things we at Webscale are really talented at.