3 Ways The Cloud Can Complicate DevOps Adoption

3 Ways The Cloud Can Complicate DevOps Adoption

Cloud and DevOps adoption often go hand in hand. DevOps improves the speed and reliability of your development and deployment of applications. The Cloud improves DevOps through better automation and scalability. In combination, the approach can help you deliver high-quality products to market faster and at scale.

The benefits of the DevOps-Cloud relationship are well-defined. However, the Cloud can come with some significant challenges that impact your DevOps practice as well as other systems within your organization.

1 | Cloud Migration Can Be Complex

Migrating to the Cloud can be a challenging, costly, and time-consuming process, especially for larger organizations. Implementing the Cloud requires a change in infrastructure which could change the entire IT landscape, including previous DevOps practices designed for on-premise or hybrid systems.

Sometimes, cloud migration requires rewriting new applications altogether. In a recent report from Forrester and Vitrustream, 41% of respondents said application rewrites cost too much and take too long.Business leaders need to consider the current dependencies of their applications and products before diving into full cloud migration.

While third-party providers often handle cloud deployment, internal teams need to acquire new skills and abilities to maintain and effectively integrate the new infrastructure with their current practices and systems. Acquiring these new skills can require retraining, hiring, or even outsourcing, which can result in higher costs, extended downtime, and costly errors.

2 | Application Performance Can Waiver

According to the report, 89% of organizations "experienced performance issues during and after cloud migration." The top reasons for poor performance included:

  • dependencies on applications not in the Cloud

  • the proximity of the user to the cloud platform

  • applications not designed for the Cloud.

Your DevOps practice should always include performance testing, especially after migrating to the Cloud. If not intentionally monitored, performance issues can go undetected until a user finds them post-release.

Don’t expect your cloud providers to take responsibility for performance issues either. Public cloud providers may even attempt to account for performance issues by adding more resources, leading to a larger bill and continued problems.

3 | Security Practices Will Change

Security models will differ between on-premise systems and cloud-based platforms. While the Cloud offers new means for automated testing in DevOps, your security will need to expand to ensure all processes performed within the Cloud are protected. The Cloud requires security measures to move beyond IT operations into development. Along with automated testing, continuous integration and continuous development processes need to be secured.

While your developers don’t need to become security specialists, they should understand how to “include security and systems considerations in the design and coding of an application.” They should also incorporate testing for security risks as a part of their application development process.

Do You Need the Cloud to Implement DevOps?

As you can see, the Cloud offers some adoption challenges that impact your DevOps processes. While you should aim to leverage the Cloud and DevOps together to maximize the benefits, not all organizations are ready to tackle both.

You don't need to employ a full-cloud environment to adopt healthy DevOps practices. DevOps is a set of practices focused on automating and streamlining the processes between software development, and IT teams to build, test, and release software faster and more reliably. However, it's often mistaken as an overnight solution centered around automation.

At its core, DevOps is an equation of people, systems, and tools, not an overnight solution centered around automation. Collaboration between teams is the key to producing a great product. In this equation, tools and systems play a supporting role in adopting the practice and culture of DevOps.

Related Post: How Design Thinking Could Improve Your DevOps Practice

People and behaviors take the most time to change, so it's better to start implementing DevOps now even if you’re not ready to move to the Cloud. Adopting DevOps now could also help maximize your Cloud benefits in the future. Many of the services available from cloud providers are “DevOps” tools, like the AWS CodePipeline. Getting started with similar tools now can help ensure a smoother transition in the future.

DevOps and the Cloud offer numerous advantages to companies who can adopt them successfully. To ensure your company is one of them, you need to be aware of the potential challenges that come with the Cloud so that you are prepared to address these issues when you make a move towards a full cloud-based DevOps practice.


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DevOpsAllison Davis