9 DevOps and DevSecOps best practices in the age of hybrid work

DevOps and digital transformation go hand in hand. DevOps culture and methodology rewards speed, experimentation, and collaboration, all within cross-functional teams. The processes and tools involved in DevOps can accelerate digital transformation work at all levels.

How does this translate into the new reality for many organizations of a hybrid work model, combining remote and office work? In the hybrid age, we all depend more on digital tools and services, so DevOps is generally well suited for this job, some experts say.

For example, you can more easily hire people around the world when you lose the crutch of having a shared location. “A jet lag is even good for some DevOps functions, like testing and quality assurance. Remote and hybrid DevOps teams offer unique advantages, including continuous development cycles, improved throughput, rapidly changing team structures and cost savings, ”said Helmant Elhance, President, Excel.

[ Want a shareable primer on DevSecOps and its benefits? See What is DevSecOps? ]

Heed this advice from IT and DevOps leaders and DevSecOps experts on the challenges they encountered and the best practices to keep in mind to improve strategy in our hybrid world of work:

1. Make documentation a top priority

In a hybrid workplace, CIOs and DevOps leaders need to maintain complete documentation of activities, including project plans, notes, decisions, to-do items, and meeting minutes, to maintain productivity. and keep projects on track. This document acts as a living reference throughout the life of the project and, with exact details codified, holds every team member, no matter where they work, accountable for their responsibilities. As long as communication and collaboration are top priorities, DevOps teams can continue their normal operations even under the most difficult circumstances. “-Hemant Elhance, President, Excel

2. Raising the bar for organizational goals

“The hybrid work environment can become boring and repetitive without the energy of being in a real workplace, working with teammates, meeting new colleagues, and solving unexpected challenges. CIOs need to consciously raise the bar and challenge their teams with new organizational goals that inspire and drive collaborative, cross-functional and creative engagement and results.

“For example, bringing DevOps teams together with their security and application counterparts to push new DevSecOps initiatives for application security will break down silos and energize teams. For architecture and application development teams, bringing modernization and technical debt initiatives to the forefront will connect these teams with their DevOps peers to leverage new CI / CD pipelines, modern observability models and cloud native and container migration initiatives. -Bob Quillin, Ecosystem Manager, vFunction

[ Where is your team’s digital transformation work stalling? Get the eBook: What’s slowing down your Digital Transformation? 8 questions to ask. ]

3. Cultivate informal and free speech environments

“Your DevOps team should be the expert on your operational systems, creating the automated platforms that your developers can rely on and upon which they can rely, and guiding developers on architectural best practices. operational and excellence. One potential consequence of the hybrid workplace is the loss of informal office communication or “water cooler” between DevOps and development teams. This is where project updates, best practices and emerging issues are often communicated or identified.

“One thing CIOs can do to improve their strategy this year is to purposefully cultivate these informal and free environments. Whether it’s scheduling DevOps and development teams to be in the office at the same time or creating cohesive outlets for these interactions (e.g., cross-team stand-ups, lunch and learns, etc. etc.), these interactions can go a long way. ”-Gabe Krambs, VP of Software Engineering, Infosec

4. Ensure transparency in all directions

“You have to be aware of what type of ‘hybrid’ you have and how it affects communication. Hybrid can mean so many things and the complexity of all the different aspects means that there is no simple truth. Maybe you all work mostly remotely, but you get together on certain days for workshops, retrospectives, planning meetings, etc. .

“A common challenge in these situations is that it’s all too easy to fall into small silos where not all information is transparent or readily available to everyone. Discussions and decisions could be made through “easier” communication channels; for example, between people who meet face to face or in private Slack messages. It is therefore important to be aware of the complexity and ensure transparency in all directions. Because you can’t do DevOps without transparency. -Janetta Ekholm, Head of Work Methods – Coach and Agile Advisor, Futurice

5. Integrate tools that enable real human conversations

“In a hybrid workplace, there are a ton of different ways to communicate even if teams aren’t together in person. To keep collaboration and ideas in a natural state, leadership must be consciously protective of the virtual space where teams create, develop, and share ideas. Ideas at the root are thoughts. The best way to articulate and workshop thoughts is to use tools that enable real human conversations.

“To overcome the challenges DevOps faces in a hybrid workplace, it’s important to foster a culture that encourages everyone to use tools like video conferencing and whiteboards. These tools allow everyone to understand each other with greater fidelity as opposed to other mediums like email or messaging where thought and intention can often get lost. -Robert Rosa, Chief DevOps Engineer, Media craft

6. Link business value to technical delivery

“In this new era of remote work and distributed workforces, employees are looking for easier ways to connect. Environments are becoming more and more complex, especially at the enterprise level. DevOps teams work in cloud and on-premises environments, and across multiple cloud applications that serve different business units. It requires new processes and tools to integrate and centrally manage this kind of complexity.

“Start measuring the value your organization delivers. Development teams are often seen as a cost center because there are no clear connections to the value of every job they provide. Tie business value with technical delivery in the form of functionality so you can plan and prioritize work based on tangible added value to the business to prove ROI for development teams. -Gloria Ramchandani, Senior Product Manager, Copado

7. Think like an IT advisor

“CIOs need to think less of an IT gatekeeper than an IT advisor. In today’s hybrid world, it’s easier than ever for different departments to make IT decisions. CIOs and IT managers should be a resource to other departments and be consulted on decisions rather than seen as a potential opposition. Taking this position not only helps IT managers build stronger relationships with other managers, but also gives them a better understanding of the investments being made across their organization, allowing them to ensure that they are in the best position to help maintain and secure those assets. -Alastair Pooley, CIO, Snow software

8. Implement automated security tests and reviews

“As a best practice, it is important for organizations to implement Security security tests and reviews. After all, DevOps is all about streamlining the testing and review processes so that you have continuous monitoring of software development and deployment. These automated processes give managers more visibility and control (essential when working remotely) and enable developers, operations and security teams to automate manual functions in an age when productivity is a challenge and employee availability is uncertain. To help speed up the development process while making less compromise on security, CIOs should seriously consider implementing automated application security testing tools, which give managers significantly better visibility, control over security and faster software development times. –Rhys arkins, Director of Product Management, White source

9. Don’t forget the human impact

“When people think of DevOps, they often think of technical processes: TDD, CI, CD, cloud infrastructure, automation. They forget about the humans who make up this system and the impact they have on success and results.

“In a hybrid working world where people are working remotely and / or in offices, we need to be very mindful of how we create a supportive work culture, connection and collaboration between people and teams.

“We know from reports like Accelerate the State of DevOps 2021 that teams with people who felt included and who belonged to their team were half as likely to experience burnout during the pandemic. We also know that organizations with a generative culture have better organizational performance. My advice to any CIO is that to improve their DevOps transformation in a hybrid world, they need to invest as much in people and culture as in technology. -Suzie Prince, Product Manager for DevOps, Atlassian

[ How can automation free up more staff time for innovation? Get the free eBook: Managing IT with Automation. ]

Margie D. Carlisle