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What DevOps Means to Cloud Computing

This blog post was created in partnership with Amazon Web Services.

In government, the act of migrating to the cloud is not an immediate fix. Rather, to reap the full benefits of the technology, agencies should look to modify organizational culture at large.

That’s where the concept of DevOps comes in, according to Sri Vasireddy, President and Co-Founder of REAN Cloud. He spoke with Francis Rose, host of Government Matters, about government IT modernization during a recent episode of Government Matters, “Security in the Cloud,” sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“DevOps is a culture of continuous innovation,” Vasireddy said. “It’s customer-centric innovation — innovating in small batches with continuous feedback. It’s what successful companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google have followed to innovate quicker.”

AWS defines DevOps as a combination of philosophies, practices and tools that boosts an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services quickly. From a cultural perspective, the model breaks down team silos, sometimes merging disparate groups into one cohesive unit so that engineers can work together from development and testing phases to deployment.

By nature, the kind of modernization that DevOps enables is trickier to manage in the public sector than in the private. Agencies must navigate difficulties associated with trying to innovate during cloud transitions while also meeting their missions through the systems they’re modernizing.

The biggest challenge comes in meeting compliance and security standards, Vasireddy said. Compliance standards are something of a bottleneck, he explained, because they’re met through a multi-step process with a checklist mindset that’s difficult to automate.

“By applying machines to do this, people can now focus their expertise on what they’re good at, the talent,” Vasireddy said. “And people cannot work 24/7, but machines can. Automation really helps in achieving that efficiency.”

He also discussed what he called the factory model, through which cloud providers can make it easy to store a lot of data without losing the ability to retrieve it quickly. By keeping a holistic view of both application manufacturing and data manufacturing processes, agencies can store large amounts of data but also retrieve it easily and analyze it.

“Let’s say if you take pictures – the good ones that you like, you leave them on your phone,” Vasireddy said. “Some you leave on your laptop or in your house or some on the cloud. So the cloud providers make it very easy to be able to store a lot of data at scale but also retrieve the data that you need so you can be agile about performing these analytics to accomplish a mission.”

In the end, DevOps serves as a more tangible term to describe how agencies need to approach cloud migration — and modernization in general — if they want efficient and effective processes. Cloud, after all, is no magical fix-all. It’s a tool best used in conjunction with an agile and innovative operational mindset.

Agencies should take this tech boom as an opportunity to both upgrade their tools and organizational procedures. For cloud, adopting a DevOps approach is a powerful way to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Due to advancements in cloud services, migration is an easier task for government than it’s been in the past. As data consolidation efforts become more seamless, they’re enabling organizations to take more risks in modernizing applications. These truths all point to a new age in government — one where DevOps will drive innovative approaches to cloud in government.

Want to learn more? Check out the full Security in the Cloud segment on Government Matters here, or watch the full REAN Cloud interview below.

To learn more about REAN Cloud visit: https://www.reancloud.com/

For more information on AWS in the public sector, head here: https://aws.amazon.com/government-education/

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