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Use tried-and-true DevOps practices to beat analysis paralysis

If your company feels stuck, the principles behind DevOps can help. Expert David Savage explains why companies need to roll out DevOps ideas everywhere.

Analysis paralysis is one of the greatest challenges business leaders currently face. An organization spending money on a technology or service provider understandably wants results. But you end up flooded with data, and it can be a challenge to make sense of it all. What do you need to unlock this value? It starts with DevOps practices.

Tools only work with planning

Simon DouglassSimon Douglass

I recently published a podcast with Simon Douglass, founder of Curated Digital. Douglass is a traditional marketing professional, but market pressure is forcing him to provide a product rather than a service. With more and more technology-driven tools available, organizations want to pool tools seamlessly into a portfolio. On the surface, that might seem like a good thing; tools provide metrics the board may be keen to see in relation to a set of goals.

But Douglass encounters two common problems. First, a company's board often doesn't have clear goals in place before it starts a project, and secondly, if you track the wrong data, everything is wasted.

This suggests you need a really detailed planning period before implementing new tools, products and cloud-based offerings. If you approach projects using the traditional methods, though, you simply won't keep up with your competition. You have to be agile -- or Agile -- and build quickly to get ROI from your investment. That's where DevOps practices can help.

It's time to regularly exercise

You should view projects and working with partners as regular exercise.

You should view projects and working with partners as regular exercise. The more you exercise, the stronger you get, especially with core muscle groups. DevOps practices can be your core muscle for business change.

If you avoid the traditional approaches to deploying tools and services, you and your core DevOps muscle can fail quickly and ultimately change course with better efficiency. We already know that cloud-based services and tools are attractive because of the cost reduction they offer, but DevOps practices, like CI/CD, save organizations time as well. DevOps practices enable your business to pivot, assess your original goals and respond to the data you produce. It will make you less susceptible to analysis paralysis.

Quite simply, without strong DevOps practices, a business won't be in line with a change and transformation strategy. A board needs to have clear goals in place from the start, but the technology leaders need to respond to data and ensure they allow projects to track the right information. Therefore, build and deploy all the time or -- to think of it another way -- exercise and sweat!

I'm sure Douglass would feel far more at ease if he knew he was dealing with organizations with the structure to make his offering a success.

This was last published in March 2018

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How would DevOps practices help make your organization better at decision-making?