DevOps transformation challenges
May 16, 2017 DevOps, Mainframe Agility

The Four Greatest DevOps Transformation Challenges to Overcome

Most people know the story: Compuware was a 40-plus-year-old company in a struggling mainframe industry, using entrenched waterfall release cycles and practices that yielded about one release of new technology each year. The status-quo was widely accepted throughout the company, revenue was suffering and true innovation was almost non-existent.

Meanwhile, the pace of digital transformation was increasing, and customer demands were becoming more frequent and more specific. Compuware couldn’t keep up.

To stay relevant in the market, the company needed to transform into an innovative market leader. A change in leadership, together with a renewed focus on providing industry-leading software with innovative features to customers using Agile and DevOps practices, helped Compuware transform into the revitalized company it is today.

Four DevOps Transformation Challenges

Changing was no easy task, however. It forced Compuware to overcome the following DevOps transformation challenges, many of which your company is probably facing or will face as it embarks on its own transformation journey:

  1. Changing Practices
    It’s common for the very experienced, long-tenured workforces of large enterprises, and especially their mainframe teams, to be attached to a certain set of tools, processes and responsibilities. Convincing those people to change the ways they’ve accomplished things for decades can seem impossible, but it’s doable.
  2. Lack of Innovation
    When companies do things a certain way for a long time, they can lose sight of progress. A lack of innovative ideas can lead to stagnation, for both the company and its customers who rely on its products or services. Overcome this stagnation and reinvigorate your enterprise workforce to dream up big ideas that differentiate your company from competitors.
  3. Culture of Apathy
    One of the most dangerous challenges enterprises face is apathy. Like a virus, apathy can spread throughout an organization, creating a culture where people accept the status quo of declining revenue and lack of innovation. Instead of pushing for progress, your workforce begins managing its downfall. You need to extinguish apathy and re-inspire your enterprise.
  4. Pervasive Fear
    This last challenge is the most difficult. Fear of change, fear of the unknown and fear of failure will prevent even the smallest transformation from being successful. Fear underlies all the above.

But how can your company overcome these DevOps transformation challenges? To start, you may want to read our “10 Steps to True Mainframe Agility” eBook, where we give you the path, tools and performance goals you need to excel.

Another option is to join us at DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) in London this June.

DevOps Enterprise Summit – London 2017

At DOES London 2017, Compuware Vice President of Product Development David Rizzo presented the above challenges in detail as well as ways to overcome them based on Compuware’s experience. Rizzo presented alongside IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for DevOps for Enterprise Systems Rosalind Radcliffe. Watch the recording of the presentation.

The duo discussed how Compuware, a well-established mainframe software company with entrenched waterfall processes, transformed into an Agile company with a strong focus on innovation. The transformation from a traditional, slow-moving waterfall environment to a fast-paced, start-up-like DevOps environment serves as a real-life example for any enterprise.

DOES describes itself as “a conference for the leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps principles and practices. The event programming emphasizes both evolving technical and architectural practices and the methods needed to lead widespread change efforts in large organizations. The goal is to give leaders the tools and practices they need to develop and deploy software faster and to win in the marketplace.”

Recently, we’ve written a lot about the benefits of joining the broader DevOps community and engaging with like-minded people from a range of industries who are leading their companies through digital transformation with the DevOps philosophy. DOES is perhaps the crown jewel of the many international forums and conferences available to DevOps evangelists, with 2017 featured speakers such as noted DevOps leaders Gene Kim and Jez Humble.

For us, the most exciting part of this year’s DOES was sharing our story as a mainframe software company doing Agile-DevOps and helping our customers achieve the same agility and cross-platform collaboration. The mainframe has come far in the last few years, and with Agile and DevOps we can advance it even further.

You can also read an older version this post on LinkedIn.