DevOps Automation: Why It’s a Necessity for IoT
The “always-on” nature of the Internet of Things means that organizations can continuously update software based on feedback from connected devices. It just so happens, that’s exactly what DevOps facilitates. However, DevOps automation isn’t just complementary to an IoT initiative — it’s critical to its success.
“DevOps is essentially the automation of agile, and the ability to get to something close to zero latency development time,” said David Linthicum, chief cloud strategy officer for Deloitte Consulting. “DevOps is especially beneficial to the IoT because we need to get fixes out there that are critical to things people are doing every day,”
On a daily basis, people are using connected thermostats, vehicles and robotics, to name just a few. “If there’s some issue, the ability to do continuous integration deployment — fixing things as they come along and improving the system — is absolutely critical,” Linthicum says.
“If there’s an issue, you can fix it in a year-and-a-half versus right away,” Linthicum said using a car as an example. “That’s the difference between waterfall and DevOps. Unless you provide the fix right away, you’re going to go out of business.”
Michael Rowe, IBM Watson IoT program director for strategy and portfolio planning, also used a car as an example. Today, if your car starts making a strange noise, you have to take it to a repair shop. A mechanic must perform tests in an attempt to find the same noise, and then debug the problem and decide how to solve it. Compare that to a modern, highly instrumented vehicle with sensors throughout it and a communications device that can send information to the repair shop or a mobile app. The car can alert you to the problem and notify the repair shop so that the mechanic knows what the problem is and can have the part ready.
“It goes from reactive behavior to instrumented, proactive behavior,” Rowe said.
DevOps and IoT: A Competitive Differentiator
As customers become more accustomed to this type of service, they’ll come to demand it — and that’s why DevOps is necessary. “For a business to survive and thrive in a competitive market, it is crucial to constantly execute and update. The pressure on teams to make things work, to do new kinds of tech work, to provide solutions is a massive responsibility. Managing projects is just the beginning. Today, enterprise technology is both intelligent and deep. DevOps automation is able to execute on this better and deliver faster,” said Gerardus Blokdyk, chief executive officer of The Art of Service.
But it’s not just about meeting customers’ expectations. There’s business value in using DevOps’ methodologies to support IoT initiatives. “Continuous deployment allows me to continuously engage with users and add incremental value over time, thereby allowing me to change from selling a product to selling a service,” said Rowe.