Interview: Red Hat, DevOps Excellence Awards winner

clock • 3 min read

DevOps is the enabler for fast movement - crucial to surviving the pandemic

Customer needs and the customer experience have always been key to business success, but never before have they been so important to society. Companies that, for whatever reason, failed to prioritise these have not survived the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of continuous improvement, as well as the ability to swiftly move, react and adapt to change - and DevOps has never been more important.

"DevOps is the enabler for [fast movement]," says Hans J Roth - senior vice president and general manager of global services at Red Hat. "Bringing down the silos of traditional development and operations is a starting point, but DevOps really needs to evolve to full collaboration across organisations with communities of all involved - including the end user and security.

"In a modern world of increasingly complex problems to solve, DevOps is what allows us to deploy releases of software much more frequently with lower lead times to deliver new features and pivots, and faster restoration times of service-affecting problems."

Earlier this year, Red Hat secured the title of Best DevOps Consulting Firm at the DevOps Excellence Awards 2021, a recognition that Roth says made him feel "enormously proud and rewarded."

"I was incredibly happy for all the Open Innovation Labs customers who have believed in our DevOps culture and practices. They have trusted us to help them with their transformation efforts by investing in our residency programme and open transformation engagements. Their continued successful business outcomes have been recognised by this award...

"Every member of the Open Innovation Labs team across the world has contributed to making our products, our practices, our technology and our culture what it is today. We're all very proud when we see our efforts being recognised like this."

DevOps is a popular approach and has only become more important in the last year and a half, with hundreds of companies now offering their expertise on the subject. The Best DevOps Consulting Firm category was hard-fought, and Roth believes it was Red Hat's approach that made the entry stand out.

"Our services primarily exist to enable our customers to solve their own customers' problems and improve their experience. Crucially, we avoid continued dependence on services by enabling our customers to have long-lived product teams that deliver measurable business outcomes that matter in their organisation."

As well as being a recognition for Red Hat's customers that they've chosen the right partner, the win highlights the impressive work of Red Hat's Open Innovation Labs team. Roth believes it will help the company to concentrate on improving what it's already doing.

"This win provides our team with wonderful positive feedback that what we do every day is highly impactful and recognised by industry experts. This motivates us to not only keep doing what we're doing with our customers, but ‘turn up' what is working well and do it even more. 

"This will help us improve further as we aim to achieve even more impactful outcomes with our customers and tackle more complex problems."

Red Hat's focus is open source, and that feeds through into other areas of the business. The company aims to have an open approach to its dealings with customers, while using an open development model to create more secure, stable technologies.

Adoption of these technologies, practices and culture is set to be a focus for the Open Innovation Labs going forwards; for example, looking at the hybrid cloud as a differentiator in taking an open approach to working across clouds.

"Above all, we look forward to continuing to learn and adapt. We're about to release our first book, DevOps Culture and Practice with OpenShift, to share our stories and learnings about blending people, process and technology to deliver continuous business value. The next 12 months will provide even more of these and improve us further."

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