Okta EMEA lead: good DevOps is strategic, cultural & automated

Okta is an identity management specialist, so if its techies attempt to table DevOps commentary then they (it, the company) are simply jumping on the Agile DevOps bandwagon and attempting to DevOps-wash a few hackneyed messages into a self-serving statement that merely exists to attempt to push the firm’s own message set and core values, right?

Maybe, but maybe not.

In truth, the proliferation of devices and ‘user end points’ means that we must now transport our identity (securely, hopefully, ideally) and across a far wider transept of cyberspace.

Being able to do that, requires the development of software applications that benefit from connected DevOps-centric working practices to ensure identity issues are locked down throughout.

Okay, so, perhaps a little spin here… but mostly worth listening in.

Strategically strategic strategies

“DevOps needs to be strategic. As we know, every company is becoming a software company and software companies live and die by their ability to be Agile — i.e. their ability to build, test and deploy new fixes and features quickly (daily or weekly). A company can only accomplish that agility in a cost-effective way if it is automating as much of that pipeline as possible, so DevOps becomes the heart of your Agile strategy,” said Jesper Frederiksen, head of EMEA at Okta.

Frederiksen also insists that DevOps also needs to be cultural — but he warns that an automation-first mindset is a major change for most IT teams.

“DevOps engineers are not your traditional ‘Rack and Stack’ IT administrators; they’re coders who believe in a world of Infrastructure as Code’. To successfully build a DevOps, you need a major cultural shift driven by the CIO, along with an injection of fresh talent or a major investment in skill training in your existing IT team,” he said.

Automation nation

Frederiksen’s final point is that CIOs should avoid developing their own technology as much as possible.

He points out that good DevOps is all about automation — and there are a growing number of excellent tools that DevOps engineers can string together to be successful.

“After a good DevOps model has been adopted by the CIO organisation, it’s important to transition to a mindset where the team learns how to leverage existing technologies instead of developing all on their own. There is a myriad of infrastructure services that are now readily available and designed to integrate perfectly with a DevOps model. Gone are the days where people needed to constantly re-implement infrastructure provisioning, persistence, queuing, messaging, user provisioning, strong authentication and so on to develop a new application; now the world has shifted to a mode where it is more important to learn how to leverage those services and stitch them together to provide business value at a much faster speed,” concludes Okta’s Frederiksen.

Identity management companies spelling out good DevOps practice?

Whatever next?

People with no grasp of economics or commerce being given the chance to vote on the future state of the United Kingdom’s international business relationship with the European Union?

No, don’t be silly, that would never happen.

< class="wp-caption-text">Okta’s Frederiksen: leverage services & stitch them together.

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