What does NoOps mean for the enterprise?

As automation sweeps through the enterprise, some organisations are toying with taking it to the extreme by swapping out DevOps for NoOps

NoOps? But we’re still smoothing out our DevOps?

It’s true, a more ‘evolved’ version of DevOps is on the enterprise horizon. Many perceive it to be the natural final outcome of DevOps, especially as a result of digital transformation.

The general theme across enterprises today is to up automation to streamline IT operations. NoOps is very much in favour of this, ultimately aiming to deliver a more, if not fully, automated environment. Thus, it paints a future of accelerated development and deployment so efficient that operations teams are no longer needed. Think ‘automation to the extreme’.

NoOps doesn’t do a lot to quash the fears of robots stealing our jobs. However, for some organisations, it’s an attractive way to alleviate the costs of hiring new team members. What’s more, a fully automated environment alludes to higher effectiveness and efficiency.

It also offers heightened clarity; within a typical DevOps environment, there’s a slight overlap at the release stage. With NoOps, you eliminate this friction. Then, of course, there’s the obvious benefit in that you eliminate human error. Thus, with NoOps, you can scale, deploy, and redeploy seamlessly and stay ahead of any components failing.

Automation and the cloud are both what make NoOps possible. Through cloud services in particular, organisations can minimise admin and deployment tasks and maximise development time in turn. However, in the midst of these myriad benefits, is NoOps really the way forward?

NoOps or no chance?

A very obvious problem with NoOps is, well, how much can you really trust automation to do all the work for you? You could argue that human input is what makes or breaks a successful deployment, using logic that automation has not yet mastered.

Another shortfall is NoOps’ incompatibility with hybrid environments. The legacy systems today, driven by an age of cloud computing, need a lot of work to function with NoOps. Within many organisations, these legacy systems will still be monolithic, thus necessitating significant upgrades to survive in this environment. In this case, you may have to build from the bottom if you’re totally set on NoOps.

Having said that, it’s important to remember that NoOps is going to take multiple technologies to roll out, as well as revamping of your current workflows. In short, it’s not an all-encompassing platform for you to buy. Instead, it’s a rework of all your processes.

Furthermore, let’s not forget that DevOps is an important dynamic of IT operations today. Yes, there may always be some ‘your turf, my turf’, but fundamentally, DevOps was born out of shared ideas and a shared need. It has since created a culture of shared understanding, increased transparency, and better communication across the business. Can NoOps? No way.

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