Technology is the single most significant factor for the speed within which our planet continues to change. However, the approach organizations take to manage this continual change has taken some time to catch up.
Even today, when the idea that you can increase throughput whilst simultaneously improving the resilience of a system is no longer new, and the results of implementing a DevOps approach speak for themselves, organizations are still operating in an isolated manner and with little exposure to the impact their work has on the business as a whole.
Often, it’s a lack of direction rather than desire that discourages organizations from taking the first step.
This blog post offers insight into the critical stages of DevOps evolution and how Occam’s ETS platform provides the foundation for rolling out a DevOps methodology.
What is DevOps
DevOps is a software development methodology that combines software development with information technology operations. The goal of DevOps is to shorten the systems development life cycle while also delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives.
Where to start?
DevOps is more a mindset and cultural shift rather than anything tangible, so it’s unreasonable to expect organizations to be able to adopt that mindset overnight, but small steps, such as improved collaboration and shared results across one critical functional boundary can set the ripple in the pond effect out across organizations of any size.
Why start with the contact center?
Successful implementors of a DevOps mentality have found that by focusing initial efforts on foundational operations, those areas of the business where continual change delivers the most significant value, makes it far easier to recognize the net result of change. The positive results justify the approach and help validate the decision to deploy a DevOps methodology to other areas of the business.
Contact center operations are one such area as they are usually the first interaction a customer can have with the organization. The success of subtle changes to procedures can be easily identified through the continual monitoring that is already in place (FCR, AHT, NPS etc).
“ETS helps streamline the movement of code through the development, test and deployment phases, eliminating manual tasks which simultaneously reduces the potential for human error.”
The successful implementation of ETS provides organizations with the building blocks, patterns and strategies that enable an organization to take a DevOps centric approach to the development and deployment of their CX initiatives. This not only drives and delivers continual improvements but also allows companies to take advantage of ever-evolving technologies as they become available and efficiently respond to the ever-changing demands and expectations of their customers.
The Key Stages of DevOps Evolution
Build the Foundation
With its PureCloud Premium app status and VXML ingestion tool, development and operations teams (and frequently other stakeholders, such as testing or security) can rapidly employ ETS as the foundation of their new collaboration and sharing methodology, providing instant access to current configurations, files, knowledge, pain points and technologies.
Normalize the Technology Stack
ETS provides a centralized repository that allows users to ingest information, execute tests, validate current documentation and easily export findings through a variety of channels. With this information in place, organizations can begin to realize the efficiencies of a centralized repository and start to eliminate redundant, disparate systems used by individual teams and make a coordinated move to a single platform.
Standardize and reduce variability
Unlimited access to ETS allows dev and ops teams to work together and initiate a standard CX testing process.
This standardization coupled with the automated testing capabilities allows changes and improvements to be delivered faster while eradicating human error and reducing errors that arise from inconsistency.
Expand DevOps Practices
Once ETS has been deployed and teams fully trained on the platform they can begin to fine-tune their testing process. Using ETS as the conduit for the DevOps approach, developers can ingest the required changes either manually or automatically using the IVR discovery feature, QA and testing teams can execute the required tests across the appropriate environment and present the validated changes to a development team for deployment to the production environment.
Enable Self-help capabilities
When an issue is identified in the live environment through ETS monitoring, all teams can be immediately alerted to the problem and quickly ascertain who is best placed to resolve the issue.
With the confidence that the pre-production environment is fully documented and mirroring the live setting, a hotfix required by the development team can be thoroughly tested without having to wait or rely on the QA or operations team.
The results are then documented and immediately available to the operations team to act upon.
To learn more about how ETS can provide the foundation and help catapult your DevOps strategies, please contact Gregg Lander.