DevOps in a distributed world and new ways of working


DevOps in a distributed world and new ways of working


This blog post is the latest in a four-part series on our thinking about the future of a cloud-enabled work infrastructure and how COVID-19 has been an accelerator for organizations planning to scale up their cloud infrastructure.

A blog post by Diana Kearns-Manolatos, senior manager, Center for Integrated Research at Deloitte.

Organizations implementing a cloud strategy to support the future of work can face challenges in managing IT complexitysecurity risk, and operational efficiency. This blog will highlight the role of DevOps in managing cloud operations and its ability to bring development teams and other IT stakeholders together to deliver a higher-quality product faster, at a regular cadence, and in a collaborative manner.1


As organizations continue to adapt to remote work in a cloud environment, DevOps can play a major role in streamlining remote collaboration to facilitate agile development practices and provide application and infrastructure flexibility in today’s complex, uncertain, and competitive environment.2 According to a recent study, 74% of surveyed organizations expected an increase in DevOps budget in 2020 as they plan to automate processes to support seamless remote working environments.3 DevOps and cloud, when paired together, lead to significant IT transformations that directly affect business objectives and goals. As organizations think about how to use DevOps to support new ways of working, there are several key areas to consider.

DevOps strategies are enabling new ways of working

  1. Using DevOps to support agile development: As organizations migrate to the cloud, many are taking a lift-and-shift approach for less cost and minimal disruption of services.4 While this approach may not be ideal, in many cases, it’s become a necessity to make sweeping infrastructure changes overnight, with the acknowledgment that downstream configuration and ongoing development will be needed to enhance infrastructure integrity. DevOps can help to ensure that infrastructure and application development remains agile to support ongoing cloud migration configuration and to support shifting product application strategies as business and technology needs change during uncertain times.
  2. Embracing collaboration tools: With more of the global workforce working remotely, one of the trends accelerated by COVID-19 is the need for effective collaborative tools across the organization to enable real-time communication, especially for global operations. Developers can use ChatOps to bring remote teams together and streamline development inside the organization within the core technology team and with business stakeholders throughout the development process. ChatOps can empower developers to better coordinate with stakeholders outside of the company, including technology and managed service providers supporting their infrastructure and application development. In addition to enabling coordinated communication and work, ChatOps enables knowledge-sharing by developing a centralized knowledge base and creating an instant access network that can be accessed anytime and anywhere.
  3. Automating DevOps for continuous learning and improvement: DevOps is seeing an increased focus on automation, with organizations looking to implement new operations, tools, and technologies to automate repetitive application and infrastructure development tasks, such as testing features or identifying product vulnerabilities. Automated provisioning, a DevOps capability, can help to achieve reduced manual overload, dynamic infrastructure, and increased flexibility needed to bring new services to the market more quickly.5 Greater DevOps automation also enables cloud development teams to focus on more complex aspects of their work.
  4. Setting up a cloud center of excellence: According to another survey of cloud professionals, 73% of surveyed organizations have made the need to “optimize their cloud spending” a priority.6 In order to achieve this goal, organizations can focus on implementing a cloud center of excellence to function as a central core team for product upgrades and enhancements. This model requires reimagining traditional development roles, with a fundamental mindset shift from an IT command-and-control-center model to a customer-centric IT-as-a-service model with cloud architects who understand both business and technology.
  5. Shifting left on DevOps: While the cloud offers many benefits to organizations in terms of agility and scalability, security concerns must be addressed as a key part of the cloud program and subsequent development operations. To address these challenges, rather than treat security as an add-on to the development program, organizations continue to shift left to incorporate more end-to-end DevOps programs that bring security—DevSecOps—into the DevOps strategy. We expect this shift-left trend to continue to bring in broader compliance and operations as well.

To sum up, DevOps can help firms achieve the necessary coordination, speed, and flexibility to operate their cloud development programs by breaking down silos, delivering automation, and encouraging collaboration, whether through agile development, automated testing, internal and intraorganizational ChatOps, or the operating model as a whole. Organizations that can take advantage of strong and evolving DevOps principles will have an advantage when implementing and evolving their cloud infrastructure programs and in factoring security as part of their operations for the future of work infrastructure.

To read the related research “The future of cloud-enabled work infrastructure,” including IT complexity around cloud migration, federated security, and DevOps, on Deloitte Insights, click here.


1. Deloitte, Enterprise Agility and DevOps: Building blocks for delivery transformation, 2017.

2. Raj Singh, “Why DevOps Is Important During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” InterSystems, September 20, 2020.

3. Dan Garfield, “Survey Says: COVID-19 is Threatening On-prem Environments,”, August 18, 2020.

4., “What is lift and shift?

5. Deloitte, DevOps: Automated provisioning for your organization, 2016.

6. Kim Weins, “Cloud Computing Trends: 2020 State of the Cloud Report,” Flexera, May 21, 2020.

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