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Matt Saunders: The importance of integrating tools easily, and the growth of Agile Principles and Devops

By Matt Saunders, Head of DevOps at Adaptavist

Radical change is now business as usual and organisations must be able to adapt and pivot more than ever before. As part of this requirement, having an effective IT strategy in place as well as the right software tools and frameworks, is important for any organisation. Technology tools have the potential to deliver stability and competitive edge, but businesses often struggle with implementation — not only of the technology itself, but also the process, people and cultural shifts that are required to be successful. To help overcome any implementation challenges, businesses need to take an agile approach to development, and have an effective DevOps strategy in place to ensure tools are integrated successfully.

Earlier this year we carried out a global survey to understand how people use their Atlassian tools. There were a number of key themes that emerged including the growth of agile principles as well as DevOps strategies, the demand for more automation and the use of tools by non-technical teams.


The importance of being able to integrate tools easily

According to our survey, a wide variety of tools are being used in conjunction with Atlassian. Over half of our survey respondents (67%), for example, use MS Office 365, 46% use Slack and 32% use Google Docs. Teams want to be able to easily integrate the tools that they’re using in order to get the most out of them. Enabling greater automation is also a key driver — 78% of respondents, for example, want more Atlassian automation capabilities — but another key benefit is increased functionality such as, for instance, improving discoverability.

Another example of the importance of integrating tools easily is the Slack Everyday Toolkit app that we launched recently. The app helps users reduce context-switching by integrating everyday tasks such as generating secure passwords or converting currencies, providing more benefit to users.

And in order to integrate tools successfully, companies need to have agile principles and effective DevOps methodologies in place.


Growth of agile principles and DevOps

It probably comes as no surprise that according to our State of the Atlassian Ecosystem research the implementation of DevOps strategies is gaining ground. Almost half of the respondents (48%) we surveyed believe their organisation has a DevOps strategy in place. With large enterprises (5000+ employees) and the technology sector leading the charge when it comes to implementing DevOps. Our findings also show that the 29% of respondents who have yet to implement a DevOps strategy within their organisation, plan to do so in the next three years.

In addition, agile approaches are firmly established in the vast majority of businesses with 77% of respondents reporting to have implemented Agile within their organisation. Sophie Devonshire, CEO of the Marketing Society and Author of Superfast, Lead at Speed recently outlined why agile is business critical: “Agility is not just speed and lightness of structure; it’s about being able to flex quickly. Creating a structure which allows you to polish, pivot, and perfect means you reduce the stress of decision-making and increase the chance of getting it right.”

There were also a small number of respondents (10%) that said that they had implemented a framework such as SAFe® for Agile-at-scale, with a further 11% keen to implement it in the next three years.

From increasing automation to improving discoverability, being able to drive true business benefit from the tools that are being used internally, is increasingly important to organisations that are looking to thrive and stay competitive. And, closely connected to this is the focus on agile principles and putting an effective DevOps strategy in place, as we’ve seen from our research. You can read more about our State of the Atlassian Ecosystem research by downloading the report here.


About Matt Saunders 

Matt Saunders is Head of DevOps at Adaptavist, where he helps customers leverage DevOps techniques and tools to deliver quality software quickly and efficiently. With extensive experience working with companies spanning complex enterprises and small start-ups, Matt works closely with developers and ops engineers to ensure that business value reaches customers quickly, reliably and without stress. Matt also runs the London DevOps meetup group, which has over 7,000 members, hosting a hugely popular monthly industry event.