IBM and Red Hat – betting the farm on hybrid cloud

IBM and Red Hat – betting the farm on hybrid cloud

In the largest software acquisition of all time, IBM has completed the purchase of Red Hat for a staggering
$34B.

The drive behind this join up was to create a hybrid cloud company that would support the much slower march of enterprise businesses into the computing modern era, bringing the cloud to the Data Centre instead of the All-In approach traditionally favoured by the likes of Amazon. Having a singular IT environment that spans not only an organisation’s on-premise data centres but multiple public cloud providers too is growing in popularity.

The recent “Enterprise Cloud Index” report by Nutanix shows that 91% of companies believe that hybrid cloud is the ideal IT model with 41% of organisations adopting hybrid cloud within 2 years (up from 18% today). This 23% shift dwarfs the plans to adopt just public cloud offerings.

Indeed, since IBM announced their plans for Red Hat, both AWS (AWS Outposts) and Google Cloud Platform (GKE On-Prem) have release on-premise offerings. Together, with the forward thinking Microsoft Azure Stack, it’s clear where the new battle ground has shifted to.

So what does a combined IBM and Red Hat have in their kitbag to differentiate themselves? How can they grab their share of this $1T dollar hybrid market while they have been flagging at the bottom end of the public cloud market?

Experience turning open source into commercial success

The whole Red Hat business model was built on adding premium value to open source projects and making them worth paying for, all without losing the open source community involvement. The majority of Red Hat’s cloud solutions were open source projects, with Red Hat being one of the largest contributors. All the products were field tested by the community at large, gaining share and traction, before being commercialised by Red Hat.

Synergy between cloud platforms

IBM Cloud is built upon Softlayer (which IBM purchased in 2013) while Red Hat brings OpenStack to the party. IBM has already demonstrated these can interoperate in the public cloud while Red Hat has success in deploying OpenStack inside corporate data centres. Together, IBM has a proven hybrid model with extensive management capability.

Enterprise trust

Both IBM and Red Hat dominate server distributions within enterprise organisations, z/OS, AIX, and Red Hat. Both companies also have a track record with management and integration solutions such as WebSphere and JBOSS, so enterprises are used to dealing and integrating IBM and Red Hat products into the estate.

Only time will tell if IBM made the right choice betting the farm on hybrid cloud but this deal will shake up what was becoming a two horse race within cloud.

*****

You can read the official IBM and Red Hat press release here.

Des TrundleIBM and Red Hat – betting the farm on hybrid cloud
read more
Eight essential summer reads for the agile-minded

Eight essential summer reads for the agile-minded

Summer Reads – booksIt’s a common theme that those leading digital transformations like to focus on new and emerging tools and technology. The problem is, they tend to place too much weight on the ‘DevOps dream’ rather than the steps needed to maximise the potential of the tools they’ve invested in.

Luckily for ECS Digital, we like to do things a little differently.

Rather than get sucked into the endless possibilities of the latest product releases – although our partnerships with some of the leading vendors in the DevOps space does mean we’re exposed to some pretty exciting technology – we balance the tools with the people and the process.

We do this because whilst tools can achieve groundbreaking results, it’s the people who make the tools perform the magic, and it’s the process that enables your team to scale this magic across your enterprise.

This is why all our consultants are trained up in the latest ways of working, soft skills and technology expertise, so when they embed into your teams during an engagement, they can achieve true, sustainable change for your business. Our consultants also have a habit of going above and beyond for our clients – learning from their peers, past engagements and self-teaching to put themselves in the best possible position to solve the problems of today, and put in place solutions that will safeguard and respond to the challenges of tomorrow.

Whilst most turn to YouTube tutorials, books remains a popular choice within the business. Easy to pack, download onto a kindle or pop onto your phone as an eBook, they seem to be the perfect option for when the team are out and about, or recharging their batteries on a white-golden beach with the sea breeze in their hair.

We appreciate that books within the DevOps and agile space aren’t always as riveting as delving waist deep into a classic Sci-Fi or a 19th century romance novel with a strong female protagonist, yet, there is the occasional diamond in the rough. Luckily for you, our team have pulled together their eight favourite titles, from the fundamentals of DevOps to how to apply more creative thinking to problem solving. We hope you find the space to squeeze at least one into your suitcase this summer.

Here we go…

Summer Reads – Phoenix ProjectThe Phoenix Project

In the words of Tyrion Lannister, “there’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story,” and like most things Tyrion says, he is right. In this case, Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford turn a seemingly dry subject (business and IT management) into a relatable narrative by asking you to follow Bill’s journey as he attempts to salvage a very late and over budget IT initiative – code name Phoenix Project.

Whilst the 90-day time frame seems a little unrealistic, the lessons around the relevance of IT in the enterprise and how interconnected everything is within a business are of benefit to all readers. It gives you a better perspective on what is needed to survive and presents agile methodologies in a refreshingly fun way.

For those who already know and love The Phoenix Project, you’ll be excited to learn that Gene Kim already has plans to release the much anticipated follow-up book ‘The Unicorn Project‘ this autumn. If you attended this year’s DevOps Enterprise Summit, you may already have a copy…

 

The DevOps HandbookSummer Reads – DevOps Handbook

Another classic from the rather distinguished Gene Kim – this time joined by Jez Humble, Patrick Debois and John Willis – the DevOps Handbook is a must read for those looking to understand how to implement DevOps culture to achieve high performance development and operations.

Whilst overwhelming in places, due to the sheer density of information and case studies, it truly breaks down the fact that DevOps is more than just a team with some nifty tools dedicated to one cause. DevOps is the transformation of the entire software development process. It is a change to the culture and mindset and this book lays out this philosophy well.

 

Summer Reads – Chimp ParadoxThe Chimp Paradox

Written by psychiatrist Steve Peters, the Chimp Paradox is a refreshing reminder that we are all human. Beings with impulsive behaviour, self-doubt, fears and emotions. Peters takes the physical structure of our brain and builds an illustrative model that explains how each part contributes to the behaviour we exhibit on a daily basis.

Whilst IT initiatives often focus heavily on introducing new tools and technology, this is simply the spark at the beginning of the journey. Soft skills are fundamental to the success of a DevOps implementation and therefore our behaviour and mindset towards change are equally as important. The Chimp Paradox gives readers the opportunity to understand how to manage self-harming behaviour, using examples and exercises to help drive home the learnings and make them applicable to everyday life.

Neither patronising nor boring, this self-help book is a must for anybody looking to better themselves.

 

Ansible: Up and RunningSummer Reads – Up and Running

As far as configuration management tools go, Ansible has some distinct advantages against its competitors. For starters, it’s minimal in nature, you are not required to install anything on your nodes, and it has an easy learning curve.

Considered the ‘Ansible bible’, O’Reilly delivers a no-nonsense introduction to Ansible, looking at everything from practical examples to writing playbooks, to how you can scale your Ansible deployments in terms of complexity and capacity.

Whilst it takes some hands-on work from the reader, there are some great chapters about using Ansible with AWS and Docker – extremely useful in today’s DevOps landscape!

 

First 90 DaysThe First 90 Days

This book does exactly what it says on the tin. Focusing on the first 90 days of any new role, this book identifies what you can do to properly plan your transition and make the right first impressions to greatly improve your chances of success. In short, this book offers a blueprint for finding out what you need to know, how to make contacts and who to make contacts with, how to formulate plans and how to operate in a new culture.

Considering that the majority of technology consultants and engineers spend time jumping between different clients and working environments, having a checklist to work from can be the difference between a successful engagement and one that ends as quickly as it takes to read this sentence. Luckily for you, this book is loaded with practical strategies, lessons, and advice for a smooth transition.

 

The Agile Samurai

Yes, the samurai seems to have been added for showmanship, and yes, a lot of the content within the book has evolved since its first release at the height of the ‘Agile’ fad in 2010, this book does continue to touch upon common frustrations and offers remedies to how you can overcome these challenges and put in place a more sustainable approach to software development.

Whilst no silver bullet, this book does offer helpful tidbits that remind you how to handle certain situations and refresh your skills. An interesting read for those looking to become more agile.

 

 

Summer Reads – Creative ConfidenceCreative Confidence

Who says the ‘creative types’ are the only ones who get to have fun. This book totally debunks the myth that you have to sit in a department with ‘creative’ painted in giant letters above unconventional desks, complete with thought-provoking cactuses and inspirational quotes framed in hot pink wood.

David and Tom Kelley – brothers with a passion for unleashing the creativity that lies within us all – take you a journey, uncovering principles and strategies that enable us to tap in our creative potential. The book is as much about coming up with ideas as it is about how we approach and solve problems. It also focuses on design-led thinking, asking readers to consider the practical application of an idea, rather than just the brilliance of it on paper. A mixture of both inspirational and practical tips, this is a must read for those looking to regain their creative side.

 

The Build Trap

Businesses that live and die by schedule-dependant outputs often fall into what is described as the “build trap”. This means that rather than focusing on meeting customer needs, you find yourself cranking out features to meet a timeline.

Whether you’re a consultancy looking to help your clients improve the CX for their customers, or you’re a business looking to become less output-led, this book considers everything from organisational culture to product management in order to help you shift from an output to an outcome focused organisation. A slightly heavier read, but a good one none-the-less.

 

*****

As we’re not promoting on behalf of any of the authors above (we genuinely like the material!) we’ve deliberately not dropped in any links to the books. However, we have been reassured that you’ll have no trouble finding a copy on Amazon!

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share the list as far and wide as takes your fancy.

If you’ve got any other suggestions for books within the DevOps/agile space that we’ve not mentioned, let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn what you’d add to the list!

 

Eloisa ToveeEight essential summer reads for the agile-minded
read more
Don’t Be a Hero: My Experience with Burnout

Don’t Be a Hero: My Experience with Burnout

Burnout is an issue which is becoming more widely recognised and discussed within the technology industry. The more I have spoken to colleagues openly about this topic, the more I am surprised how common the experience is. A recent statistic identified that a shocking 57% of technology workers suffer from burnout.

Earlier this year, I gave a presentation titled ‘Don’t be a Superhero’ during the the Ministry of Testing’s conference, TestBash Brighton. During my presentation I discussed my own experiences with burnout, how I recovered and what individuals and employers can do to prevent experiencing something similar.

Burnout Talk

If you would like to watch the full presentation, then you can sign-up for a free Ministry of Testing Dojo account and find the video here.

The following is a summary of that talk.

Background

I began my software testing career in January 2014 as a Games Tester. Since I started that particular role with no prior technology experience, I had a deep desire to improve my skills and prove myself.

I moved into my first Agile testing role in May 2016 and began to learn how to code. I knew I was entering the role at a fairly junior level, but I wanted to keep growing my career and began to push myself harder and harder in order to do so. It was this and wanting to improve my testing skills, that eventually led to me burning out.

How did I fall into the burnout trap?

Over time, I used to love being the go to person when a critical situation arose in our production environment. Working late was something I enjoyed doing because it meant I was saving the day. Having people treat me as a fountain of knowledge on the area I was working on was addictive. In hindsight, I simply cared too much about what my colleagues thought of me and compared myself to them.

I wasn’t just focusing my ‘free time’ on work projects, I was self-learning and wanted to learn new technologies, programming languages and skills that would make me a better tester – time I should have spent unwinding and resting. But instead of resting, I was watching YouTube tutorials on the latest technology trends.

Slowly, I began to realise the impact of the hero role I had forged for myself. I became sick of being the hero in the team, but still had managers approaching my desk at 5pm to tell me something in production was on fire. My holidays were routinely interrupted by colleagues asking me how to technical questions. I was even once asked to work on something critical on the same day I had phoned in sick.

As a result, the quality of my work also suffered. I found that even when I was working on a new project, people involved in the previous project were frequently asking me questions. I hadn’t shared my knowledge with anyone else as I was preoccupied with putting out fires and not preventing them.

What was burnout like for me? 

I was stressed. I never felt at ease at work as I felt I had too much work to do and not enough time to complete it. All of the work I had committed to in my ‘hero’ role came to a head at the same time and I began to feel overwhelmed.

I used to be extremely enthusiastic and passionate about my work, but at the point of burning out I couldn’t care less about the work I was doing. Every day, I was simply going through the motions.

My work relationships also suffered. I had previously made a lot of effort to form good working relationships with people in my team, but due to burnout and demotivation I was turning down offers of collaboration indiscriminately.

One of the worst symptoms was physical as well as mental deterioration. I was finding it difficult to sleep some nights because I was worried about how demotivated I was at work. I was no longer performing as well as I should’ve been because I was fatigued. 

Burnout Talk

How did I recover?

It wasn’t until I read a blog I found on Twitter that I realised I was suffering from burnout. It was here that I began to take some actions to improve my work-life balance. Here are three recommendations I hope you takeaway:

  1. Learn to say no

The first thing I did was to learn to say “no” to any excess work which was coming my way. This was a difficult thing to do as my managers were used to me taking on every piece of work, but they mostly understood why I was saying no.

  1. Go back to normal working hours & mute notifications

For the most part, I also stuck to my normal working hours. In our industry, overtime can be a common occurrence. I learned to question the need to do overtime when I didn’t believe it was necessary so that I was working a reasonable number of hours each week.

I also muted Slack and work email notifications on my phone outside of working hours. Having these apps active all the time can really blur the lines between personal and work life. Please don’t be the person whose downtime is on the couch watching TV but also replying to a work email at the same time – it doesn’t help anyone in the long run. 

  1. Prioritise & realistically plan workload

Learning to delegate and share knowledge on a daily basis was difficult but incredibly important. It allowed me to plan my workload, knowing the critical tasks I personally had to tackle each day.

Planning my workload now included any study and research outside of working hours too. I was able to be realistic when it came to setting targets for learning and development.

*****

I’m now fortunate enough to be on the other side of my burnout experience and have found ways of addressing my work/life balance for the better.

A large part of this is that my current employer, ECS Digital, actively plan catch-up weeks once a month. This ensures I have the time and flexibility to upskill and explore new technologies within my contracted hours.

Having the support of a talented team when learning new skills is also extremely important. I don’t feel as if I am learning in isolation as the team is always available to collaborate with me on solving problems.

Why businesses need to take note

According to a recent Kronos study, one of the top causes of burnout in 2017 was unfair compensation packages that lend themselves to employees working too much overtime and having an unreasonable workload. The same survey reported that 46% of HR leaders believed employee burnout was responsible for up to 50% of their annual workforce turnover.

Another aspect is that organisations frequently reward hero behaviour but fail to recognise the consistently good work of their employees who can achieve a high standard of work within their nine ‘til five.

At a time where businesses are struggling with the IT skills shortage and employee engagement is a competitive advantage, businesses can’t afford to ignore burnout within their teams. In the words of Charlie DeWitt, Managing Director of ANZSEA at Kronos:

“Employee burnout has reached epidemic proportions. While many organisations take steps to manage employee fatigue, there are far fewer efforts to proactively manage burnout. Not only can employee burnout sap productivity and fuel absenteeism, it will undermine engagement and cause an organisation’s top performers to leave the business altogether. This creates a never-ending cycle of disruption that makes it difficult to build the high-performing workforce needed to compete in today’s business environment.

Organisations should seek out and implement technology solutions that provide a proactive approach to mitigating burnout, such as the scheduling of rest during rolling periods as long as a year. Workforce analytics can also identify and alert managers to trends in scheduling and absenteeism that may indicate an employee is on the path to burnout so changes can be made.”

Lessons Learned

Since I began to become more aware of my burnout symptoms I have achieved a greater work-life balance and now take a lot more time to relax. I take more time to spend with friends and family. My stress levels have reduced as I don’t work nearly as much as I used to and the self-learning that I now do is something that I’m truly passionate about.

The main thing I took away from the experience is that whilst enjoying what you do at work is extremely important, nothing happens in a vacuum and there are a lot of things in life more important than your career.

Just released!

To see the talk that inspired the blog, head to Ministry of Testing’s website for Ali Hill’s presentation on burn out at this year’s TestBash, Brighton here.

About the author:

Ali Hill is a passionate and motivated software tester at ECS Digital with a specific interest in improving teams’ processes to assist them in delivering quality software. Not only a test consultant, Ali is also heavily involved in the testing and tech community through my co-organising of Edinburgh Ministry of Testing Meetup and public speaking at various conferences – including a recent visit to the Nordic Testing Days conference.

Ali HillDon’t Be a Hero: My Experience with Burnout
read more
Women of Silicon Roundabout: Key Takeaways

Women of Silicon Roundabout: Key Takeaways

This week, Women of Silicon Roundabout opened its doors to over 5,000 incredibly passionate, brilliant and career driven individuals looking to explore all things business – from gender diversity and inclusion, to pushing boundaries and inspirational anecdotes from the rather Marvellous Karren Brady OBE…

And ECS Digital were right in the middle of the buzz! 

Proud to be silver sponsors, we set up shop in the middle of the conference – close enough to the fro-yo but sensibly out of reach of the specially brewed ‘DevHops’ beer on the other side of the room. With tote bags in hand and the DevOps Playground Panda for extra company, the team did an incredible job talking about the unique DNA of ECS Digital and the incredible DevOps / QA culture we have helped create for our clients. 

What was particularly refreshing about this event – other than the vibrant spectacle of business fashion which you never quite seem to get at male-dominated events – was that it solely exists to inspire, up-skill and give individuals the confidence to go out and do great things. Every speaker was rightly celebrated, with rooms packed to resemble the recent Spice Girls gig and audience members cheering like wildings for their admired colleagues. Every talk spoke to either the head or heart, or both. And every person who came by our stand was an absolute pleasure to speak with.

How spectacular is that! In light of all that is currently in flux (Brexit, Gender Pay Gap, Positive Discrimination, the number of CEO’s named David…) this conference boldly pushed through the negative noise and created an event filled to the brim with positivity, determined to set a few things straight. Including giving the audience the knowledge they need to make more informed decisions.

With this in mind, we couldn’t pull together a summary of this great event without drawing attention to the incredible job Marie Cruz and Samer Naqvi did on delivering their own talk on Software Testing Trends in 2019. Both QA and Continuous Delivery Consultants at ECS Digital, their talk looked at delivering less yawn, more Elvis in software testing, focusing on the tools and technology that help create valuable solutions. Here’s a little sneak peek…

 

 

It was also a great opportunity for both to showcase their expertise. In the words of Marie, 

“Speaking at Women of Silicon Roundabout has given me the boost of confidence in my career and I wouldn’t have done it without the support of ECS Digital. Networking with a lot of respectable women in technology and listening to the other speakers talk about their experiences just means that the technology sector is empowering women and we all have a role to play”

Whilst there is a recording on Facebook already, we hope to release the event exclusive version of their talk our YouTube channel very soon.

With so many speaker sessions over the two days, we could only catch a handful of talks, so here’s our Women of Silicon Roundabout key takeaway iceberg – with the hope that others might add some quotes or titbits of what we may have missed. Enjoy! 

Eloisa ToveeWomen of Silicon Roundabout: Key Takeaways
read more
Year in the life at ECS Digital

Year in the life at ECS Digital

  • Ever wondered what our consultants do?
  • Do you have an interest in engineering practices, culture, automation, coding or testing?
  • Are you ready to join our family?

At ECS Digital, we are always looking to grow and diversify our talented team of consultants. We pride ourselves in creating the optimal environment for our team to succeed. This means investing in our people when it matters most to them on their journey.

We also make sure that each day is a new and exciting opportunity for learning – because doing the same thing day in day out just isn’t fun for anyone.

So, if you’re looking to break into the world of Agile, BDD/ATDD, coding, CI and CD, Continuous Testing or DevOps, here’s what you can expect from your first year at ECS Digital:

Month 2

By month two, you should be settling into your new role and starting to learn how ECS Digital really works. You’ll start working towards your first certifications and shadowing on customer sites – which means lots of new faces and names to remember.

To help sharpen your consulting skills, you’ll be asked to conduct a few internal presentations and, seeing as we’re a social bunch, it’s likely you’ll have been invited to attend one of our frequent dinners or seasonal parties too! In addition to food and drinks, we plan regular events such as yoga and team-building sessions.

“ECS Digital has an amazing culture which promotes a good working environment for everyone with plenty of opportunity to progress if you wish to. ECS Digital will support this progression and ensure you have the tools required, but they also understand that sometimes the real world can get in the way and provide you with the flexibility needed too”

“While ECS Digital ensures you have people supporting you so you are not overwhelmed, they also provide you the opportunity to take responsibility if you want it, running an event like DevOps Playground provides a great stepping stone.”

Months 9-12

You should be feeling pretty great about what you have achieved and feeling confident in being responsible for delivering a whole host of tasks, as well as where you see yourself progressing in the coming months with us.

You’ll be encouraged to work towards additional certifications or attend one of a wide variety of courses, all while receiving the support and encouragement you need to succeed. It’s an exciting time, so be open to every opportunity that comes your way and continue to sharpen your skills as much as possible. Training is always available to employees but staying curious as you work towards leading your first client project is hugely important.

“After 12 months, I led my first client project involving two ECS Digital resources to work with the customer, a large UK based bank, on building up its Cloud capability. This involved a wide range of areas, control, security, infrastructure, networking, etc. and my personal focus has been on making all of that align so that project teams can consume AWS in a controlled and secured manner.”

When the time comes, usually after around a year with us, you’ll become responsible for leading a client project – with all of the support of your ECS Digital family around you, of course! Awards dinners and events will also guarantee you celebrate your first 12 months as an ECS Digital Consultant in style.

And that’s it, your first year with ECS Digital! We’re excited for you to start your consulting journey with us. If we’ve piqued your interest, take a look at our vacancies now.

If you missed our recent Year in the Life infographic, you can check it out here.

ECS DigitalYear in the life at ECS Digital
read more
ECS are attending FOSDEM 2018

ECS are attending FOSDEM 2018

This year ECSD are proud to be attending FOSDEM.

FOSDEM (or Free Open Source European Developer’s Meeting) is a massive free-to-attend Free Open Source event held annually at the ULB Solbosch Campus in Brussels, Belgium.

For those of you not familiar with the Open Source software concept, the fundamental principle is the practice of openly developing software in such a way that the source code is publicly available and maintained by a moderated community of developers.

Open Source software projects form the backbone of many supporting technologies of the DevOps toolchain. Interacting with Open Source projects will give a better insight into both the tools themselves and the way in which they function and behave in the background. You may already recognise some of the tools appearing including Docker, Kubernetes and AWS.

An all star line-up

The event’s sponsors include some big names including Google, RedHat, AWS, CISCO as well as many others. This year’s itinerary promises to be as fulfilling as previous conferences; with 653 speakers, 685 events and 57 tracks. Something that is guaranteed to appeal.

Particularly exciting tracks for DevOps-inclined individuals include

‘Identity and Access management’, Containers, ‘Monitoring and Cloud’ and ‘Testing and Automation’.

Alongside thousands of other Developers, we will be taking advantage of the DevRooms (and beer rooms), seeking to understand the focus and drive of the developers behind some of the tools which we use and gain insight into potential emerging industry trends.

The shift to DevOps practices

One thing we’ve witnessed over the years at FOSDEM is the shift into DevOps practices from the practices of old. There are a variety of stands and workshops enabling you to have one-to-one conversations with the developers themselves in order to gain further insight into the background behind the decisions that have led to the tool’s functionality and intended usage.

After this year’s FOSDEM conference has come to a close, we will be reporting back with our thoughts and insights into what we have seen and learnt over this weekend.

Stay tuned!

ECS DigitalECS are attending FOSDEM 2018
read more
“Continuous Innovation” WTF is that about?

“Continuous Innovation” WTF is that about?

For those that haven’t noticed, we recently re-branded. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Following our acquisition by ECS Group, Forest Technologies has become ECS Digital. And with that re-brand, comes a new tagline. You’ve probably seen it: it’s splashed across our homepage, our business cards and our conference swag: Continuous Innovation.

We think it sums up everything we do here at ECS Digital – and why – but what exactly does it mean?

Put simply, continuous innovation is what it says on the tin: It’s a methodology that allows companies to continuously improve in line with customer demand and market expectations, as well as new and existing competitors.

But, why is Continuous Innovation so important?

Nearly 100 years ago, Albert Einstein, himself, said:

“we cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.

This has never been as true as it is today.  Customer expectations have dramatically increased in recent years with the consumerisation of IT. Since the emergence of disruptive industry challengers, web 2.0 companies have begun to establish not only new markets, but new ways of consuming existing or traditional services.

As we head deeper into the digital age, new products, services and features are surfacing all the time, and customers have come to expect these to be delivered to them quickly.  This speed at which the consumer market is moving is forcing companies to innovate at an ever increasing rate.  With the breadth of choice and ease of switching providers eroding customer loyalty, this innovation has to be delivered to the highest standards.

Increasingly, companies are finding that in order to survive – let alone grow – they need to change the way they work.  At the same time, they’re being pushed to do more with less (or at least the same) making it imperative that organisations work smarter, not harder. It is no longer an option to do what’s always been done.

88%.jpeg

Industry disruption is so real nowadays that all businesses face the threat of disruptor companies.

In fact, compared to 1995, only 12% of Fortune 500 firms remain, thanks to the creative destruction that fuels economic prosperity, and the average time companies now spend on the Fortune 500 will shrink to 12 years by 2020 from 60 years back in 1960.

The more agile and able to innovate you are, the easier it is to keep up with changes in consumer trends, and avoid going out of business.

Let’s rewind a few years…

…and remember Blockbuster:  In 2004, the leader in home movies and video game rentals was valued at over $6 billion.   By 2010, Netflix had become a household name for online video streaming services, rendering Blockbuster stores bankrupt.

Picture2.png

Despite Blockbuster’s efforts to send rentals-by-mail and offer streaming services, they were unable to do so soon enough. Blockbuster were beaten to the post by a company that could innovate both continuously and rapidly, and left by fickle consumers demanding convenience at speed and value. Those of us that remember can only reminisce on the Friday nights going to Blockbusters, grabbing some popcorn and renting the latest releases.

If Blockbuster had been capable of innovating and delivering new services to customers faster, could they have competed against Netflix? 

It’s possible: more than simply allowing companies to stay ahead of trends, innovation has become one of the keys to dominating a market. Evolution is no longer enough to win, let alone retain customers:“The light bulb wasn’t invented by continuously improving the candle…it was about understanding what the job to be done was and then stepping back to look for solutions to solve this.”

Picture1-4.pngWho would have thought the adoption of agile principles would allow the world’s biggest online book seller, Amazon, to not only kill the traditional bookstore, the traditional bookstore, but become the world’s biggest cloud provider?

What if Amazon launched a bank…?

How does ECS Digital help companies achieve Continuous Innovation?

Here at ECS Digital, we believe that everything is done with the aim of helping our customer achieve continuous innovation.  As a DevOps and Continuous Delivery consultancy, we help companies of all sizes to adopt the working practices, processes and tools that enable them to deliver the continuous innovation that customers and users demand.

DevOps itself is an enabler of innovation.  As well as improving the speed, failure rates and efficiency of organisations, it encourages businesses to:

  • Collaborate more effectively, making for not only more satisfied and productive employees, but a more rounded view and wider pool of internal ideas. As Adam Jacob, CTO of Chef once said, Happy people make happy products.”

Achieving the above allows companies to continually innovate. At ECS Digital, we transform enterprises through the adoption of DevOps and Continuous Delivery, allowing them to stay ahead of competition and giving them the opportunity to disrupt their markets.

 

To learn more about how DevOps helps organisations to innovate, why not read my article, placed in Horizon Business Innovation: DevOps enables CIOs to create Innovation.”

Andy Cureton“Continuous Innovation” WTF is that about?
read more