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Nipping DevOps challenges in the bud

A clear focus on helping enterprises overcome hurdles in their DevOps journey has been central to Puppet’s growing footprint in Asia

Many enterprises know what DevOps is, but they are often held back by a lack of visibility into the parts of their business and IT environment that will benefit from DevOps – a growing movement to bring together software development and IT operations teams in an effort to respond faster to changing business requirements.

That is according to Sanjay Mirchandani, CEO of DevOps tools supplier Puppet, who said the reason why DevOps has not become pervasive is that organisations often do not have a good grasp of what they have, including their acquisitions, remote sites and subsidiaries.

“The second part of that problem is they don’t always know where to start, even if they know what they have,” said Mirchandani, a former CIO. He added that Puppet has since released a tool to help organisations identify their IT assets – the first step towards automating the software delivery lifecycle.

Such alignment with market needs and a keen appreciation of the challenges faced by enterprises in their DevOps efforts have enabled Puppet to grow its footprint globally, including in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, said Mirchandani.

“Our customers are on a journey, but they’re not going to rip and replace everything,” he said. “In some cases, they are going to lift and shift applications while in other cases, they are going to re-architect things.

“For us, making sure that we continue to invest in things that provide value, and staying aligned with the journey of our customers, is what we have always done.”

Puppet set foot in APAC about four years ago with an office in Sydney, Australia, followed by Japan and a new regional headquarters in Singapore in 2017.

The company has a small but expanding team in the region, fuelled by the growing interest in DevOps in Asia and its management philosophy to keep its business localised, said Mirchandani.

“I’m a big believer in having a localised presence,” he said. “We’ve got to keep things timezone-centric and be self-sufficient, so we have local customer support, as well as pre- and post-sales engineering teams to support local customers.”

To support further growth in the region, Puppet has also localised its flagship offering, Puppet Enterprise, for Japan – a move it said will help Japanese enterprises speed up software development and manage their IT infrastructure better.   

One of the biggest wins for Puppet in the region came in the form of funding from the investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), which, together with Cisco Investments, Kleiner Perkins, True Ventures and VMware, have invested $42m in a recent funding round.

Read more about DevOps in APAC

“In today’s digital age, companies face increasingly complex IT challenges in dealing with their dynamic and diverse IT infrastructure,” said Chu Swee-Yeok, CEO and president of EDB Investments which has an observer’s seat on Puppet’s board.

“Puppet’s automation and management platform transforms how companies manage and improve the efficiency of their IT assets and can help companies in Singapore realise productivity gains while ensuring compliance.

“Leveraging our network, we look forward to helping Puppet scale up its local talent pool to address the region’s opportunities through its APAC regional headquarters in Singapore and to augment Singapore’s digital transformation strategy.”

Despite the promises of DevOps – the market in Southeast Asia alone is set to grow by 29% between 2017 and 2022 – it is often cultural resistance that hinders the DevOps journey for most enterprises.

Mirchandani said that although concerns about organisational change are real, DevOps has had a positive impact on companies, allowing people to have open conversations while tearing down team boundaries.

“The fear will give way to excitement because people can do their jobs better and learn new skills,” he said. “It’s more about bringing stakeholders to the table and building security into the process.”

Read more on DevOps

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