Updated: Feb 17
Digital Transformation is now paving its way through the public sector segment and changing how they offer mission-critical services to the consumers.
Public sector IT has an excellent opportunity to take on the digital transformation journey and close the gap between their pipelines and DevOps methodologies.
In this post, we are going to look at the challenges and opportunities that DevOps offers to public sector entities to transform digitally:
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a combination of two terms viz. Development and Operations. As the name suggests, it is nothing but a software engineering culture that promotes seamless collaboration, continuous integration, sharing, and reviewing between IT operations and the developers’ team of an organization.
DevOps aims to close the gap between the development stage and project delivery stage with its faster and efficient tools and processes. It helps organizations in removing the bottlenecks that usually tend to occur in the pipelines with traditional practices.
Generally, when it comes to the public sector, their programs seem to operate slowly and inefficiently. This is mainly because of the utilization of legacy IT systems. On the other hand, consumers’ expectations in terms of technology, project delivery, and speed seem to increase consistently. This is why DevOps culture appears to be an excellent opportunity for the public sector to enable digital transformation.
Four main factors that will drive public sectors’ DevOps adoption are:
Upgradation of legacy IT systems
Adequate investment for DevOps adoption
Change in employee mindset
Why is DevOps a Huge Opportunity for the Public Sector?
Recently, DevOps is on the verge of being widely employed in the private and public sectors. Many public sector agencies are either in the process of transforming digitally or are planning to employ DevOps practices in their main pipelines.
DevOps brings about several benefits such as on-budget and on-time service delivery, maintaining quality service, and satisfying consumer expectations.
We know government teams generally follow a traditional work approach where the development team writes code considering service requirements and sends it forward to the operations team for final deployment. This approach poses many challenges, especially when both teams are not aware of the real-time impact that their deployed service will have post-deployment. The final deployment could violate security standards, regulations or cause undesirable disruption.
Also, lack of collaborative development might cause problems when the project is in its last stage. Operations teams might review the problems or issues that occur with the developers’ team, but such critical issues take time to get fixed. This may further delay the recovery time and also create bottlenecks for upcoming projects.
That’s when DevOps comes in for public sector!
Adoption of DevOps in the Public Sector:
Adopting DevOps practices in your entire pipeline is more challenging than it sounds. Here are a few factors you need to consider when taking on the DevOps approach:
Consider public sector IT complexity:
Adoption of DevOps tools and processes requires the public sector to change their mindset as well as working culture. An agency’s IT complexity will drive them to take that much-needed step of silo-approach.
Set mission-critical objectives
Break-down your entire pipeline into individual tasks that will support your mission-critical objectives. Keep track of every task’s progress and demonstrate the results to ensure on-time project delivery. This will ensure you stay on the right track and do not delay critical decisions until the last stage of project delivery.
Such an approach will also prevent public sector agencies from last-minute challenges and failure and costs associated with the troubleshooting.
Data is the key
One thing that makes DevOps approach beneficial is the smart use of data. Entities need to make sure the organizational data is easily accessible and measured efficiently to derive invaluable insights.
It has become essential for organizations to make their data accessible remotely so that multiple teams can access and utilize it whenever needed. This will help in faster data analytics, and it also promotes seamless team collaboration.
Challenges to implementing DevOps in the Public Sector:
In truth, there are many challenges that the public sector segment comes across when implementing DevOps culture. And these also make up for the main cause as to why the public sector does not take on digital transformation.
Some of the main challenges are as follows:
Funding: This is one of the most critical challenges that DevOps users face in the public sector. Leveraging significant resources and getting adequate government funding are two key factors to leverage DevOps, which often seems to lack in the public sector.
Legacy IT systems: As we all know, government agencies have legacy IT systems and work with limited resources. But to transform digitally, the organizations need to upgrade these legacy systems. This time-consuming up-gradation procedure requires extra costs, and that is exactly why myriads of public sector entities back away from DevOps.
Cultural Change: DevOps is a software engineering culture that requires agencies to change their mindset and work culture entirely. The public sector’s main problem is that it takes time and patience to switch their work environment and restructure it. Why? Because public sector IT operations are more complex and comprehensive. One needs to strategize steps and take the approach of incremental changes. Employees need to have an optimistic approach towards cultural change, and leaders must consistently keep motivating the teams for the same.
Security and Transparency: DevOps is a form of collaborative development in organizations. But it gets difficult for government agencies to maintain transparency of confidential data while adopting DevOps. Privacy and security of sensitive information is a serious matter of concern of public sector agencies.
DevOps and its Opportunities:
DevOps is being embraced by the private and public sectors across the globe, seeing its remarkable results. Since we have looked at the potential challenges that DevOps culture poses, let’s look at some of the opportunities that it facilitates for government enterprises:
Integrated Toolchain: This approach reduces the risk of leaking sensitive information. Agencies could produce an integrated toolchain and map all the sensitive data requirements that need to be tested. This way, the developers’ team can map the test conditions and send the project forward for production, automation, and amendment of test cases. For this, they can either simulate data or use masking tools for testing purposes, thereby safeguarding the actual sensitive data.
Run virtual performance tests: Simulating applications in the production stage will allow the developers and testing teams to run performance tests in a virtual environment.
Automation: DevOps paves the way for automation so as to offer quicker and quality project delivery. Automated integration across the pipeline will take away the need to manually go through long scripts, thus reducing the risk of exposure to sensitive information.
Gone are the days when DevOps and digital transformation revolved only around private sector companies. Today, government agencies recognize the potential benefits of DevOps culture and step their foot in the game!
Quicker and on-budget project delivery, consumer satisfaction, quality services, seamless team collaboration are just a few key benefits that DevOps brings. Seeing the change in consumers’ mindset and demands, the public sector is not shying away from being a tech whiz by transforming digitally.
Besides, digital transformation processes promote deployment of right technologies and allow you to offer secure and quality services to consumers. Several government entities have already adopted or are in the process of adopting the DevOps for agile workflows, seamless team collaboration, and lesser bottlenecks in their pipeline. DevOps proves to be just the right solution for many!