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Seize the IoT Opportunity | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

A leading car manufacturer dispensed a spare part even before the customer knew it was needed. A doctor knew precisely when a patient took a vital medication. A metro city police department accelerated crime response time. A retailer designed its offerings based on dynamic in-store customer behavior.

Three in every four enterprises have a similar type of story to share about connecting to the “things” of interest and digital enablement of businesses. Recognized as the next big opportunity, the Internet of Things (IoT) is being embraced by enterprises to generate greater value and achieve their business objectives. Indeed, more than 50 percent have already piloted IoT, and the majority are highly optimistic about its returns.

Despite the high level of optimism, there exist numerous unanswered questions and concerns about IoT. Is it being used to the full potential, or are we just scratching the surface so far? Where is industry adoption headed? What risks should an enterprise take? What should an organization do to extract the most out of this investment?

Everest Group’s recently published PEAK Matrix™ report on IoT Services reveals intriguing industry trends, enterprise adoption patterns, probable future developments, and services expectations based on extensive discussions on all things IoT with 30+ enterprises.

IoT is no longer a buzz term
Currently, organizations are leveraging IoT to achieve agility, flexibility, customer centricity, and cost reduction. We identified four types of IoT adopters, based on the adopting organization’s desired outcomes: Optimizers, Engagers, Integrators, and Innovators. Most enterprises are categorized as Optimizers. That is, they focus on solving their operational issues and on infusing efficiency with IoT. Integrators and Innovators – which collectively equal less than 20 percent of IoT adopters – focus on enterprise growth or invest to seize larger benefits from the opportunity.

IOT Adoption Trends

From an industry perspective, the leading beneficiary of IoT to date has been manufacturing, primarily focused on bringing efficiency to the shop floor. Customer-centric industries such as telecoms and retail are investing to improve ecosystem efficiencies and enhance end-user engagement. Other industries such as agriculture, BFS, and mining are expected to make considerable investments in IoT in the near future.

Substantial hurdles stall rapid adoption
Hype aside, the majority of the enterprises are taking cautious steps and embracing IoT in small, incremental stages only. A multitude of challenges such as data security and privacy, storage and rapid analysis of large volumes of data, and availability of a high-speed network at all locations are impeding large scale investments in IoT. Another major hindrance is change management that necessitates significant investment in talent, infrastructure, and processes.

Enterprises need to collaborate with a variety of partners from the vast IoT ecosystem to design, implement, and manage an IoT system. The service provider landscape itself is segregated at this stage, and players across the value chain are trying to capture a larger share of the pie by expanding their partner ecosystem and their internal delivery capabilities.

But you can’t afford to miss the bus!
Despite the challenges, IoT remains among the top three investment priorities for a majority of organizations. To be front runners in the race, they must strategize their IoT adoption in a phased process for enterprise-wide benefit. And they need a transformational vision, investments in innovation and R&D, and a good partner ecosystem to maximize ROI.

The action is equally intense in the service provider camp. While some have up to 20 partners to complete their portfolio, others have acquired up to as many. Players with expertise in operational technology, engineering capabilities, and industry partnerships are best positioned to define success in the IoT services market. We anticipate large-scale convergence and new partnerships to cater to the services demand, which is expected to double by 2020.

Interested in learning more about IoT? Our PEAK Matrix™ report on IoT Services provides deep insights on IoT market trends, expected service market size, implications for enterprise and the service providers, and a detailed evaluation of 16 major IoT services providers.

Significance of Services Market Consolidating | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

I’ve been blogging about the services market consolidating in the provider/delivery space. We’re seeing it with iGate, Dell and others. We believe that activity will accelerate. Here’s what’s new and significant: we’re also seeing it in the adjacent spaces of sourcing advisory and research.

In the heyday of the sourcing advisory space in the early 2000s, there were literally dozens of competitors in that space. There are now far fewer players, and consolidation is happening again. ISG has been consolidating the benchmarking services, for instance. It acquired Compass in 2011 and in December 2016 acquired Alsbridge as the next large installment in consolidation efforts.

The research space also sits adjacent to the services space, and it is consolidating. Right out of the gate in 2017, research firm Gartner announced it entered into an agreement to acquire Corporate Executive Board (CEB). For years, we’ve seen Gartner grow both organically and inorganically. This recent move represents a big step in market consolidation in the research space.

What does consolidation in these three areas mean for the services industry?

First of all, size matters, particularly for profitability. That applies to all three categories – service providers and the sourcing advisory and research firms. The market doesn’t want a single voice for advice or capabilities in these areas.

In the service provider space, key clients have been moving away from their risks in over-concentration with one provider. We’ve seen Cognizant and TCS and sometimes Infosys suffer from this. After a provider gets to a certain scale within a client, the client is reluctant is give the provider more work and actively starts to seek to find other delivery mechanisms.

In the research space, the market rewards Gartner because of its scale that allows better profitability; however, the market also wants contrary or other opinions, not just one opinion. Hence, companies like Forrester and, arguably, Everest Group, grow as alternate voices.

Yes, there is consolidation today; but there are multiple voices, which the market needs. Consolidation makes sense for the acquiring companies; it’s a substitute for organic growth, and they reap the rewards from scale and profitability. But consolidation results in something even more significant: it gives an opening to boutique firms.

Boutiques have an opening particularly in the large clients that are over-concentrated in one or two service providers. That’s where we see small digital players moving now and doing well. We believe the opening for boutique service provider firms as a result of consolidation also applies for research firms and potentially for sourcing advisory firms as well.

Hot Healthcare Start-ups: Dawn of a New World Order | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

The United States healthcare system suffers from systemic issues of cost, access, and quality, providing significant whitespaces for innovation. The key factor driving disruption is the pressure to contain costs and improve care quality amidst rising healthcare expenditures. (In 2014, The United States’ spending on healthcare was 17.1 percent of its GDP, and in 2022 it is expected to touch 20 percent.)

The transition from defined benefits to defined contribution, employer-based purchasing to the individuals market, and fee-for-care to fee-for-outcome are some of the structural changes that are driving cost optimization and better patient outcomes.

healthcare-start-ups-image

Technology: the harbinger of change
However, with the rising adoption of digital services by healthcare buyers, technology is proving to be the biggest catalyst in transforming the entire healthcare ecosystem. Technology enables both cost reduction and consumerization. Most of the modern healthcare doctrines such as remote healthcare, 24×7 vitals monitoring, seamless claims management, and integrated health records are powered by technology tenets such as Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), mobility, analytics, and cloud computing.

Incumbent players have started providing digital services to meet the demands of customers. However, they are a little hesitant to make huge technology investments as they must balance already thinning bottom-lines, shrinking in-patient volumes, and tightening regulatory controls. Additionally, in-house investments have longer go-to-market cycles, higher risk of failure, and stretched pay-off duration.

Start-ups: catalyzing innovation
Stakeholders have been trying to tackle endemic industry issues through technology use. At the same time, consumer expectations are fundamentally changing from their healthcare experiences. Stakeholders are trying to evolve healthcare’s operating model in the new normal. Start-ups have a fertile ground to reap benefits through innovative solutions that address these challenges.

This is reflected in the differential investment interest in healthcare. While the overall funding climate has begun to show signs of correction, healthcare is witnessing a resurgence in investment activity. Global funding for start-ups went down by more than 20 percent in Q3 2015, whereas funding for digital health companies shot up by nearly 10 percent in 2015.

Healthcare start ups

Uncovering the healthcare start-ups landscape
In order to understand the extent of disruption that start-ups bring to the healthcare market, Everest Group Research conducted an in-depth analysis of start-ups in the healthcare landscape (see Hot-healthcare Start-ups: Dawn of a new world order).

We took a discovery-based approach, and analyzed more than 200 start-ups on three major levers:

  • Technology disruption
    • To what extent has the start-up addressed existing challenges through technology?
    • To what extent has the start-up created new channels via technology?
  • Business disruption
    • To what extent has the start-up transformed existing business functionality?
    • To what extent has the start-up created a new market?
  • Market buzz
    • How much trust have investors shown in the start-up?
    • What kind of market recognition has the start-up received?

Our analysis resulted in five leading investment categories, and five top players in each.

Hot healthcare start ups

Key findings from the study included:

  • Given the valuations and impact they create, start-ups have the potential to unseat some of the incumbent companies. Therefore, it is imperative for payers and providers to partner with them or acquire them to remain relevant in the healthcare value chain.
  • Associations with start-ups will significantly reduce time-to-market as they provide ready-made plug-and-play solutions. This can also convert capital expenditures to operating expenditures and maintain a leaner cost structure.
  • Start-ups have built the agility required to withstand changing industry dynamics, as they have tried and tested multiple use-cases. Hence, association with them will be helpful to mitigating competitive rivalry and adapting to regulatory changes.

Access the full report entitled “Hot-healthcare Start-ups: Dawn of a new world order”.

What Will You Do When Trump Tweets at You | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

For the first time in many years, US companies clearly face a real change in sentiment and political risk in sending or keeping work offshore. It’s clear that the new Trump administration combined with other secular forces (Brexit and the U.S. presidential campaign rhetoric, for example) signals a step back and pause in globalization. I think it’s reasonable to believe that, to a larger extent than before, all directors in companies will be pressured to not use labor arbitrage and potentially pressured to repatriate work that has already been moved offshore. The problem this poses for companies is that executives have a fiduciary responsibility to their company.

So far, president-elect Trump has gone after high-profile consumer goods companies and manufacturing companies. It is clear that Trump is tough on services, so it’s likely that this pressure will show up soon in the services space. What can companies do when they come under this pressure?

Read more at Peter Bendor-Samuel’s Forbes blog

Gazing into Everest Group’s Crystal Ball: Enterprise Technology in 2017 | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

It is that time of the year again when we channel our inner psychic about enterprise technology trends. We expect these secular technology trends to play out over 2017 and into early 2018.

  1. The beginning of scary AI democratization
    2016 seemed like the year Artificial Intelligence (AI), and its subset machine learning, turned the corner. A lot of this has been due to the cloud-enabled ease in advancing computing resources, a pre-requisite for AI/machine learning. Self-learning and “intelligent systems” give rise to a multitude of applications. Technology giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are leading the way through dedicated groups and high-profile hires for advancing the AI mandate. As the technology looks for sizable scale, we are going see the “democratization of AI” help broaden access to its immense potential. For example, Elon Musk’s Open AI alliance released Universe, a software platform for measuring and training an AI’s general intelligence across games, websites, and other applications. Google’s parent Alphabet is putting its entire DeepMind Lab training environment codebase on GitHub. Microsoft is also taking a multi-pronged approach to help make its AI resources available to anyone via the cloud. Although these moves are aimed at catalyzing innovation, only vendors with real skin in the game and an inherent understanding of AI’s potential stand to benefit, limiting the impact system integrators can have via the typical operating model (which is focused on incorporating the latest buzz words in pitch decks and sales collateral). While this democratization will help people accelerate the time-to-value of their AI-enabled initiatives by avoiding the heavy lifting, it will lead to a certain level of commoditization as well. Since every solution will bear the AI tag, enterprises will find it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. The AI market resembles the cloud wave from some years ago where there was a clot of “cloud-washing” versus “true cloud” implementations. Although the buzz around AI and machine learning is visible from the profile of its varied use cases – whether it is a hedge fund streamlining most of its operational tasks using algorithmic model from its employees’ brains or a law firm hiring an AI lawyer for its bankruptcy practice. Even outgoing U.S. president Barack Obama weighed in, reflecting the importance of AI in shaping our future.
  2. Conversational analytics to focus on engagement
    While conventional analytics – which sounds quite like an oxymoron – will still be viewed through the lens of reporting-descriptive-predictive-prescriptive, conversational analytics and engagement solutions will continue to receive a tremendous fillip. We have analytics engines where one can almost talk or query in human language. At an overall level, this theme represents an amalgamation of product design, natural language processing (NLP), AI, and the platform economy for the right user experience. In the consumer world, Amazon has made it a reality with the Alexa-powered Echo speaker/personal assistant, while Google is trying to replicate that through its assistant-enabled speakers. One particular use case – chat bot – is increasing exponentially, and is now beyond the realm of fancy to tangible use cases across multiple industries. While Facebook Messenger is the most mainstream (consumer-facing) example of these phenomena, there are various interesting experiments across Google (Allo), Microsoft (Tay, Xiaoice), Salesforce (NLUI Server Demo), etc. New conversational analytics offerings will take inspiration from chat bots, and also try to become context-aware for greater value tasks.
  3. SaaS mess becomes messier
    The enterprise applications market is going to witness more bloodshed as legacy and SaaS natives continue to battle it out for supremacy, further stepping on each others’ toes. While Workday leads its surge beyond the HCM domain to financial management, SAP and Oracle will put their considerable resources behind their cloud push. As these players (and others) continue to eat into each others’ pie, there will be an increase blurring of lines between segments and dilution of a unique value proposition. Also, large independent software vendors have confused the market by masking their hosted offerings as SaaS (read: more cloud-washing), which has increased the competitive intensity. Additionally, the SaaS-ification of everything has left the enterprise application landscape looking very messy. CIOs have a considerable governance and management issue when it comes to their app portfolio, upgrades, patches, visibility, usage, etc. You get a feeling that something’s gotta give, and there will be more consolidation among SaaS vendors in the race for market dominance and scale.
  4. Workplaces to move the needle on productivity versus just engagement
    The emergence of Facebook at Work and Slack, (among others), represents the true vision of what is often called the “consumerization of IT.” This refers to the confluence of consumer imperatives such as seamless user experience (UX), BYOD/CYOD convenience, and boundary-less communication within an enterprise IT framework. Digital technologies are reshaping the workplace of the future, while enterprise applications tend to be stuck in a bygone era. Slack/Facebook and their ilk aim to redefine this paradigm. Microsoft has also bought the bait, and launched Teams aka “Slack-killer” in November 2016 (selling it as a part of the Office 365 subscription suite). The focus of these changes has largely been on improving employee engagement, while focus on productivity has been diluted. We expect enterprises to focus more on productivity through differential strategies. Buyers tend to approach these policies in wide variance depending on their business and culture. Think Amazon, which abhors meetings and has a ruthless focus on execution, or Apple, which actively encourages meetings as ideation pods, coming from a culture which is obsessed with making the best products. Bringing machine learning into the mix can help coalesce people, organizational resources, and data. True that workplace collaboration and productivity seems almost unrecognizable.
  5. The automation tsunami will begin to gather speed
    Automation dominated headlines (and earnings calls) in 2016, as enterprises and their service partners alike realized the widespread implications of this technology wave. We believe that the impact on the jobs market is just starting as automation takes roots in mature people-intensive processes/functions. The short-medium kerfuffle will be focused on job losses and pricing pressures, with more pertinent questions around the fundamental nature of employment going forward. 2017 will continue to see similar headwinds, with the bulk of the bloodshed still a couple of years away. Beyond the immediate hullabaloo, the automation narrative is much more profound. While machines can already perform many forms of manual labor, the workforce needs to be reskilled/upskilled to remain relevant as the machines move toward more cognitive tasks. Contrary to popular belief, any wave of industrialization such as automation almost invariably leads to a redistribution in the profile of work, with employees focusing on higher value processes/functions. We are just getting started with the immediate pain that precedes an upward shift in the workforce. Unlike others waves of hyper industrialization, e.g., when cars were invented, there are less systemic problems for technology to solve. Riding this wave will require massive social changes in terms of organizational design, training programs, incentive structures, STEM education, demographic policies, etc.

While most of these themes are already playing out in certain shades, they will gather more wind beneath their sails as we dive into 2017. Although Niels Bohr presciently remarked that “prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future,” we would love to hear what you have to say about enterprise technology in 2017 and beyond.

RPA is Free, so Let’s Discuss Cognitive Now | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

In the midst of increasing RPA adoption in global services, WorkFusion, a technology vendor that focuses on delivering smart automation solutions, has taken a bold move to offer RPA for FREE. While trial or community editions of RPA tools are available for free from RPA technology vendors such as UiPath, WorkFusion’s RPA Express is the first ever scalable and enterprise-grade RPA product to be made available for free and for all.

The adoption of RPA has been increasing rapidly, but it has been skewed toward a few industries and large-sized buyers. WorkFusion’s disruptive move of offering RPA for free will make the business case for it extremely favorable, and will significantly accelerate the adoption of RPA across all industries and buyer sizes. It makes RPA accessible to many, and accelerates trials and proofs of concepts by those that have not yet adopted it.

As organizations realize the benefits of RPA, they are likely to turn to cognitive technologies as the next natural step in their enterprise automation maturity. Availability of free RPA will consequently speed up organizations’ journeys to adoption of cognitive automation. WorkFusion is clearly looking to accelerate those journeys, and transition clients from its free RPA to its integrated RPA and cognitive automation platform, while putting commercial pressure on competitors who do not have a fully-fledged cognitive option to offer.

We believe this to be a very smart move. We think the message here is pretty clear that RPA is becoming table stakes, and the real deal is cognitive automation technologies. Also, it’s worth noting that this seems to be happening much faster than many of us would have predicted, and is a clear example of the “law of accelerated returns” and the exponential evolution of technology we talked about earlier this year in our blog: “Artificial Intelligence: How far or how close?”.

It will be exciting to see how WorkFusion RPA Express compares with the leading RPA technologies that are available in the market on a paid basis. Interestingly, we have conducted an in-depth analysis of WorkFusion’s full RPA capabilities, and overall, they stood up very well to relative assessment against better known RPA technology vendors. The technologies assessed included Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, Kofax Kapow, Kryon Systems, NICE, Redwood, Softomotive, Thoughtonomy, and UiPath.

To read our complete assessment and analysis, please see our newly published report, “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Technology Vendor Landscape with FIT Matrix Assessment – Technologies for Building a Virtual Workforce.”

European Service Providers Bet Big on Automation | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

European service providers are betting big on automation. They are systematically including automation in their offerings, taking advantage of both Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and smarter varieties of automation technologies. Here’s a rundown on the key players’ approaches:

Capita: One of the earliest adopters of automation and the one that is the quietest about its initiatives is Capita, the UK behemoth. Examples of its deployment of RPA include Blue Prism in its front-office contracts and open source tools for software testing.

Atos: At its analyst event in Boston in April 2016, Atos announced a strong shift towards automation in its infrastructure services. Partnerships include IPsoft for Amelia, Arago, and Thoughtonomy. Examples of embedding automation in its services include combining it with analytics & cognitive services to transform end user support and reduce call volumes by more than 50%. It is also leveraging automation in its datacenter and cloud-services. Atos is also increasing its focus on Business Process Services (BPS), going beyond the government sector in the UK and possibly growing in other geographies as well. We expect Atos to take advantage of automation to boost competitiveness and opportunities in BPS, too.

Capgemini: The French major has partnered with automation technology providers such as Blue Prism, NICE, and UiPath for RPA and IBM for smart automation. It has been investing in its own automation management capabilities, too.

Sopra Steria: It has developed a new Lean Process Automation (LPA) offering based on a partnership with Blue Prism. Through LPA, Sopra Steria plans to provide clients with a virtual workforce controlled by business users.

Swiss Post Solutions (SPS): At its analyst event in Vietnam on November 16, SPS demonstrated the use of its own smart tools for identifying and processing key information on documents. It is also taking advantage of RPA from UiPath and smart automation from Celaton to automate many different types of processes including the handling of incoming email and claims processing for insurers. SPS is reaping the benefits of automation, reporting that it has more than doubled its productivity. This has enabled it to build capacity and expand its offerings into more business process services such as transactional F&A. Given these achievements, it is unsurprising that SPS has decided to expand its partnership with Celaton. It is going to be one of the first partners to host Celaton’s inSTREAM outside the UK, in Switzerland, and offer it as well as level 1 support for the software to its clients.

European service providers’ automation initiatives will have an impact on services pricing as well as delivery locations. We will continue to cover these and many other aspects of the Service Delivery Automation (SDA) market in our Service Optimization Technologies (SOT) research program.

Services Industry at Inflection Point in 2017 | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

As I recently blogged, 2016 was a disappointing year for the services industry as discretionary spend was not robust and growth in labor arbitrage services is now flat. I see an industry desperate for growth in 2017. Here is what I believe will happen.

I think we’ll see more acceleration in adoption of the new business models associated with digital technologies – cloud and automation especially. We’re already starting to see this. The growth in the services industry will be entirely in this space. At the same time, I believe providers will experience revenue compression in their existing book of business. How much compression? Let’s do the math.

The length of most service contracts is three to five years, so 20 – 30 percent come up for renewal/competition every year. Let’s take the best case – 20 percent of revenue comes up for renewal in 2017. Half of it will be hit with a 30 percent pricing drop due to automation and other digital technologies creating greater efficiencies. That means providers can expect a three percent compression for their existing book of business. And that’s a conservative perspective. Put another way, providers will need to add three percent more business just to keep the same revenues they now have. When you combine this with a fast decelerating growth in new opportunities, the prospects for growth in 2017 become a lot more troubled.

This translates into an industry at an inflection point. The challenging prospects for growth translates into a hyper-competitive environment and intense pricing pressures as providers try to capture each other’s scope. To offset these growth issues, 2017 will find providers increasingly looking to acquisitions to replace organic growth.

On the organic front, providers will attempt to accelerate their move into segments with strong growth such as digital and cloud. Unfortunately, these moves will require increased investments and experimenting with new business models. Not all players will be equally successful, which will create further daylight between the haves and the have-nots, thus accelerating the pressures for further industry consolidation.

All in all, I believe 2017 will be an intense year for the services industry.

Reimagining RPO through the RPA Lens | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

The economic downturn following the financial crisis of 2008 forced companies to look at their internal costs and find ways to rationalize spend on various business activities. Recruitment was quickly identified as an area ripe for significant cost cutting, and in subsequent years Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) was widely adopted by enterprises.

While cost reduction had long been RPO buyers’ main aim, in recent years they’ve been facing another set of problems – talent shortage and hard to fill roles.

Employers are always on the lookout for better candidates with niche capabilities. However, these desirable employees can be hard to find, especially in a timely manner. To fulfill their hiring requirements, many employers hire contract or offshore recruiters. Unfortunately, hiring additional contract recruiters results in additional expenses, and offshoring results in loss of personal touch. And in both cases, the recruiters spend a substantial amount of their time on transactional tasks, rather than on professional recruiting activities.

The answer to this problem is robotic process automation (RPA). RPA is being used to automate a wide variety of repetitive, low touch recruitment-related tasks and processes including data entry and validation, file and data manipulation, multi-format message creation, web scraping, text mining, workflow acceleration, etc. Through RPA, the productivity of the recruitment team can be improved manifold, resulting in better and faster hiring.

Processes where RPA can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of the recruitment process:

RPA - RPO - Recruitment Process Outsourcing

There’s little question that RPA helps reimagine the whole recruitment value chain. RPO providers and buyers that make investments in RPA, and automation in general, thereby enabling their recruiters to handle the professional aspects of recruiting, will differentiate themselves by more quickly and efficiently identifying, securing, and onboarding the most desirable candidates.

For more information on how RPA can improve various recruitment-related processes, please refer to Everest Group’s RPO Annual Report, 2016.

DevOps Driving Digital Initiatives | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

DevOps as a concept has been in the market for some time now, and citations abound from the leadership of various organizations on how they have adopted DevOps successfully as part of their software implementation methodology.

But, every organization that has adopted DevOps has done so partially or almost completely on their own understanding and practice of the concept. Some suggest it as a modified form of agile development methodology, while others claim it as a simple co-location of resources with the traditional processes in place.

Here are some realities about DevOps, both for organizations that have already adopted it, and for those still sitting on the fence.

In the digital age, where faster deployment of products has become all the more important, it is imperative to develop an appropriate DevOps framework that ensures fast and easy deployment of code into the production. This framework should not only ensure a faster time to market but also affirm that the quality of the code meets or exceeds client expectations.

It has become critical for organizations to enhance the customer experience via software that meets individual customer’s expectations. DevOps as a methodology accelerates the release of this software, which is launched in form of a minimum viable product (MVP) and upgraded incrementally based on market demand.

The DevOps framework ideally should consist of the right team structure, where the development and operations teams collaborate from the beginning of the design stage to formulate an ideal system. This framework should solve old issues, such as late involvement of the operations and testing teams, which results in developers moving on to new projects while the code waits for the UAT approval before being handed over to the operations team, which in turn affects the release timing and code quality.

The framework should also incorporate guidelines on the tool stack that will help in faster code deployment while maintaining consistency across multiple environments. There are a variety of tools in the marketplace that automate DevOps testing, configuration, provisioning, and monitoring. It is highly important to choose the right tool stack that can be easily integrated, while ensuring high performance and throughput.

What are the critical DevOps underpinnings? The three pillars of reduced cost, increased quality, and lower effort are the KPIs against which the DevOps strategy should be gauged. Automated deployment of code plays a major role in achieving these objectives, helping ensure that end users get a ready to use product in a short span of time. And with the urgency with which organizations are going digital, time can equal success…or failure.

For more details on DevOps and its application, please see Everest Group’s recently published viewpoint, “DevOps: People, Processes and Products.”