Emerging from the COVID pandemic and getting back on track was not easy. But the IT industry made the transition look smooth for organizations which chose to embrace digital transformation at the right time.
One such aid that changed the entire style and face of operations across various industries is DevOps.
Call it a methodology or a combination or a process, DevOps (development + operations) is typically an engineering technique that includes shared responsibility, practices, tools and above all a cultural philosophy. Its goal is to bring together the work of these two groups to enhance an organization’s ability to deliver at a faster pace.
DevOps improves and evolves products more effectively than traditional methods for infrastructure management processes and software or application development, while transitioning operations to cloud. It thereby brings in automation, shortens systems development lifecycle, identifies bugs before they can do harm and incorporates fortified security measures.
Many IT organizations, like HCLTech, focus on these improvised security practices. Therefore, the practice, methodology and the entire process is called DevSecOps where ‘Sec’ stands for security, which is a shared responsibility throughout the entire IT lifecycle.
Since its inception in 2007-2008, DevOps has proven highly valuable across industries. It has changed the siloed work culture in the banking, manufacturing, insurance, warehouse management, media and streaming, hospitality and notably, the healthcare sector. Leaders, including Amazon, Meta, Netflix, Target, Etsy, HP and Adobe have also embraced DevOps virtually.
However, a perennial debate revolves around DevOps vs Agile, regarding which approach is more suitable for streamlining operations. DevOps needs less upfront planning than Agile methods (scrum, for example). DevOps also holds track records of being successful in much complex and large environment, while introducing new features faster into production.
The global market size of DevOps is expected to reach $25.5 billion by 2028 from $10.4 billion in 2023, rising at 19.7% CAGR.
DevOps in healthcare
Healthcare is one of the most difficult and complex industries that faces daily challenges as lots of manually driven activities are involved.
From slow time-to-market and efficiencies to long release cycles due to developing new drug features and market access through customer engagement portals, manual processes lack the leverage of guiding and defining criteria for the minimum viable product.
These trigger high operational costs due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders and bring in the picture other challenges like a siloed quality auditing, time-to-market, lack of visibility for end users, track orders and low-quality output.
Additionally, confusion among end users, ownership culture, user-centric solutions, very less governance and insufficient monitoring leading to probable security risks.
How a DevOps model changes everything?
This is where a DevOps transformation model is the right choice for a healthcare organization. A partner like HCLTech can deliver the best framework, transforming the existing work culture and brining in ease of work with automation and connectivity while securing the model early in development.
An ideal DevOps model hits the market faster than its competitors, reduces the release cycle of new drugs or new features, improves end-customer experience by providing them with the right treatment at the right time and also reduces the cost of operations and improves ROI.
“To improve application performances, DevOps practices include a lot of continuous steps. For example, development, testing, integration, delivery, deployment and monitoring, besides using infrastructure as code,” says Shahnawaz Khan, FinOps Principal Lead at HCLTech.
“However, when it comes to the healthcare industry, the steps change, allowing more automated measures, such as continuous planning, code repository with version control, continuous integration, automated build, automated release through continuous deployment and constant feedback and monitoring, thus providing a more efficient and resilient healthcare software,” adds Khan.
An automated HCLTech model — powered by continuous integration and continuous delivery — for a healthcare provider creates better applications into an existing healthcare system and secures the software development process by integrating security at an early stage and throughout the software development lifecycle.
The standardized DevOps processes effectively manage resources, automate software delivery pipelines, reduces man-hours, increases efficiency and reduces cost, satisfying service-level agreements and making sure that the deployment is smooth and quick, speeding up the time-to-market.
For example, a global pharma company wanted to expand its market for vaccine products by penetrating different populations, offering complete dosage bundles and enhancing the user-friendly experiences of its customer portal.
As new vaccination programs emerged in the wake of the pandemic, the existing online portals could not push the timely release of new features and impacted critical business outcomes and the end-user experience.
HCLTech collaborated with the client to architect and implement a product-based DevOps model, consolidating multiple teams into a unified integrated model. This involved conducting a current state analysis, addressing gaps in people, processes, tools, automation framework and holding role-based training workshops to ensure knowledge transfer and alignment.
Among the benefits, the DevOps adoption resulted in making it 100% more efficient and resilient, reducing total cost of ownership by 35% and making it 100% compliant to the quality and security standards.
Also, there was a 100% real-time DevOps feedback loop, an 80% increase in automation from build to deployment, 66% reduction in release cycle time from more than six months to approximately eight weeks, 90% reduction in preparing the test or UAT environment from three weeks to 1.5 days, 30% reduction in rework or issue resolution, 35% increased efficiency in the testing cycle and 75% reduction in product deployment time from two hours to 10 minutes.
HCLTech DevOps expertise
HCLTech DevOps or DevSecOps engineering services, including in-house frameworks and solution accelerators, help customers address their business needs.
Its subject matter experts and R&D teams leverage DevOps engineering Center of Excellence to build future-proof IT solutions for customers.
The robust ecosystem of partners includes Amazon Web Services (AWS) and HCLTech has completed multiple transitions with AWS DevOps tools for automation and agile application lifecycle management.
In 2022, HCLTech also launched its Design-to-DevOps framework that automates the journey from conceptualization to implementation and operations, enabling agility in design and implementation and aligning product and development teams to bring value, consistency, efficiency and productivity.
This framework is part of its ADvantage Experience platform, a one-of-a-kind ecosystem that provides automation from experience definition to implementation and operations for experiences built on the Adobe Experience Cloud.
The SAP makeover
As SAP teams are transitioning toward agile delivery, can an organization realize DevOps when SAP is a large portion of the system landscape? SAP Digital Platforms Lead at HCLTech, Ray Gardner, says yes and guides you on SAP’s latest realization of business application delivery.
“As you approach DevOps as a concept, you can first take small initial steps, adopting a few key methods and tools, and then progress to full cloud-native options. DevOps can be realized within a hybrid environment where SAP on-prem and/or cloud solutions are a core component of your landscape.
“To help customers take this journey, HCLTech has identified typical DevOps principles that can be challenging for those more used to historic SAP approaches. HCLTech outlines tactical and strategic options and recommends that organizations fundamentally assess how they will align any current DevOps practices with SAP focus,” adds Gardner.