Is NoOps Achievable?
NoOps, short for “No Operations”, is the idea that automation can remove the need for IT teams to manage the operations of any cloud platform or environment. It’s commonly viewed as the latest evolution in DevOps. DevOps, a collaboration between development and operations teams, reduces the friction between the two groups. The goal of that collaboration is to deliver higher-quality improvements faster. In theory, at least, NoOps eradicates the need for collaboration, making operations functions irrelevant. In essence, it represents a frictionless state between the two groups.
Nice idea, but is it realistic? Few believe true NoOps is achievable, but agree that it exists on a continuum as DevOps teams mature and evolve. In its current form, “LessOps” is a more accurate name than NoOps; some operations tasks may become redundant, but operational roles won’t disappear.
However, DevOps teams continue to make progress toward NoOps, and that progress is being enabled through AI, serverless tech and automation. Those steps may one day make NoOps a reality, and is something to aim for, but it’s not here yet. If you’re part of a DevOps team trying to reduce the friction between operations and development, here’s some insight into how to move forward, and predictions for how NoOps will keep improving.
Engage Managed Services. If zero friction and reducing busy-work for ops teams are your goals, part of the NoOps solution may include managed services. Outsourcing operations and infrastructure management can remove burdens from your IT team, letting them focus instead on growing your business. Operations still exist, but they are no longer a burden shouldered entirely by your internal teams.
Use Cloud Services, But In a Smart Way. The ability to scale up and down on demand makes cloud platforms appealing to developers and enterprises alike. The automation of that process helps enable NoOps in the enterprise. However, adopters of cloud technology are often surprised by the costs of storing data and moving it between cloud environments.
To truly support NoOps, businesses need to choose network providers that can help with seamless, adaptive connections to any cloud, anywhere, while also helping control costs. The smart use of cloud services can help organizations shrink configuration, administration and deployment tasks.
Push the Limits of Automation and AI. The goal of DevOps is to increase the speed and efficiency of software deployment through automation. NoOps has a similar aim, but is more focused on automation and speed of monitoring and administration, as well as infrastructure deployment. Much of NoOps automation has focused on the scaling up and down of cloud environments, yet more mature practitioners seek to apply AI and machine learning to predictive infrastructure monitoring, operations diagnostics and metadata processing. Real-time insights derived from machine learning can help automate on-the-go and just-in-time infrastructure adjustments. The end result can be reduced operating costs, as well as improved customer experience by achieving expected service levels at all times and reducing latency and lag.
Help Your Operations Teams Shine. Understandably, the term “NoOps” might strike fear in your operations team. It shouldn’t. Just as DevOps helps free the time of developers to do what they do best, NoOps can do the same for operations. Reframe the focus of your operations teams to project management, talent acquisition, asset management and process improvement.
See NoOps as a Continuous Journey. There is no single technology, action or platform that will magically transform your business into a NoOps enterprise. Much like cloud transitions and digital business transformations, this too will be a continuous process that requires the use of multiple technologies. Just as DevOps meant reworking processes and workflows, so does NoOps. Your goal should be to use technology to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, freeing your workforce to do higher-level tasks that deliver greater business value.
Is your DevOps team evolving toward NoOps? Discover if managed services from CenturyLink can help your enterprise achieve that goal.
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