DevOps methodologies are a go-to for software development initiatives but SPR showed here that companies can start to see all tech projects as being best tackled with a DevOps approach — infrastructure projects included.
In this situation, the client wanted a ready-to-go overhaul of their network. To meet their needs, we recommended a solution that used Direct Connect Circuits, connecting the company's on-prem network to their cloud provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS), directly without using the public internet. Part of getting this initiative done quickly meant focusing on high value, critical items first.
SPR helped the business to prioritize by guiding the team to identify all tasks that needed to be completed. We wrapped those tasks up into user stories (how will this impact users) and features (an overarching goal).
Once we identified this list, we divided the project up into three manageable phases:
- Phase 1 (what the business really needs now) addressing everything critical for entering into their buyers' peak season.
- Phase 2 (remediate the current environment) fixing problems that exist from yesterday
- Phase 3 - add new features
The user stories and tasks also helped the company to align internally to meet the aggressive deadlines presented by their peak season constraints. For example, one user story involved setting up hardware, but a particular vendor's warehouses/supply chain options were backed up because of pandemic.
The business used this consideration to realign their existing internal resources and redirect hardware from lower-priority projects to this higher-priority, time-sensitive initiative. This plan and approach provided tangible ways for the efforts to stay on track for the critical timelines in the first phase.
This client engagement showcases how DevOps can be your ally against tech debt, allowing you to plan your best moves first, and delay only the less-critical tasks that can wait for secondary phases. Structuring projects with shorter and easier deployments can help you modernize critical technology needs in an agile way rather than undertaking a larger overhaul. Beyond prioritizing what to do first, DevOps can also help clients avoid delays by modernizing on a more efficient cadence.
SUCCESS STORY 2: APP MODERNIZATION
Modernizing an application faster with DevOps: expanding analytics capabilities and using serverless functions to reduce costs
A professional services firm specializing in highly regulated sectors wanted to transform an existing app and implement a data warehousing strategy so that the analytics tools could use data created and compiled by the system. This would better serve their business by providing a modern, integrated approach to the way applications were used, along with associated data insights, that meet current needs of users.
SPR's cloud technology experts guided this effort through application decoupling: taking an app, breaking it up into logical pieces, and aligning those pieces into Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings offered by their cloud provider. Here, we helped our client move away from monolithic applications to decoupled architectures. To take advantage of the granular PaaS resource pricing model, we helped the client migrate from on-prem servers to managed, serverless SQL instances. This engagement’s approach:
- Helped the business avoid the "always on" costs of consuming cloud resources, paying only for the resources that needed to be executed.
- Enabled our client's operations team to more easily maintain the environment using a visual, "no code" development architecture. This meant they didn't need coding skills, only the ability to read and follow a logical flow.
- Aligned to an agile two-week sprint model — focused on consumable pieces of work -rather than multi-year projects.
- Allowed the DevOps team, using the sprint model, to have granular deliverables (smallest consumable component, like "create a new user") that the business can track progress on a daily basis. This helps companies track progress toward improvement, tracking burndown — how quickly you're completing tasks — regularly and with accuracy, to help the business and DevOps team identify and remove blockers.
As companies grapple with re-energizing delayed projects in the coming year, these two success stories show how embracing DevOps methodologies can help kick start your initiatives. A DevOps approach helped our clients address their time-sensitive cloud infrastructure projects in new ways or establish a manageable development cadence by segmenting efforts for their complex application modernization projects into easy-to-tackle steps.