Delivering the Continuous Enterprise with Agile, Lean, and DevOps (ALDO) practices

At Chef we work with teams of developers and operators in the largest enterprises in the world. They are all challenged to keep up with today’s customer expectations which — in digital transformation terms — means shipping ideas faster. They feel they’re striking a delicate and increasingly difficult balance of quality versus speed when they build software. But it doesn’t have to be a trade-off: businesses don’t have to decrease quality in order to deliver at speed. These ‘continuous enterprises’ are cracking the code on digital transformation and outperforming their peers.

Modern application delivery practices — Agile, Lean and DevOps (ALDO) — combined with the continuous automation provided by platforms such as Chef Automate enable companies to deliver the best experiences to their customers quickly with consistent, repeatable, and scalable processes ensuring both speed and quality.

Continuous Automation at Standard Bank

Standard Bank is the largest bank in Africa, but found they were operating three times slower than U.S. counterparts, which was costing them potential customers. To make a change, Standard Bank adopted DevOps practices to assist with their automation efforts. By adopting continuous automation, the bank was able to shorten cycle times and gain a competitive edge in better serving customer expectations for speed of service. Standard Bank was able to speed up the process of getting code into the market; production moved from 1-2 months to one minute and 20 seconds. And the ROI was also seen in cost reduction – something many people don’t associate with speed.

A Tech Company with Wings

Another company focused on speed and it’s relationship to creating the ultimate customer experience is Alaska Airlines. Veresh Sita, previously Alaska Airlines’ CIO, has said that in order to provide a differentiated customer experience, companies need backend tools that provide stability and the ability to push things out quickly. That’s why Alaska views itself as a tech company with wings. Alaska is a 4-5% market player in the airline industry competing with larger airlines like American Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa, and they’re solving for customer experience to differentiate themselves.

Every traveler cares about speed and being on-time. At Alaska, more than 80 checklist items need to happen in the right way, in the right order, at the right time in order for the airplane doors to open on time.

Alaska uses Chef Automate to compete against its larger competitors and open the doors in 60 seconds or less. Opening the doors in 60 seconds or less allows Alaska to turn that airplane around for use again in 20 minutes or less, which is the equivalent of two Boeing 737s in aircraft savings on an annual basis. The entire backend of the process is supported by software that allows Alaska to operate at high efficiency, with speed and velocity.

The Continuous Enterprise

Standard Bank and Alaska Airlines are great examples of continuous enterprises leading in digital transformation. In a world where shipping ideas faster is the competitive edge, and apps are the new customer interface, then if your company doesn’t adopt processes that allow for fast delivery of services, your competitor will. Disrupt or be disrupted.

For more on how companies can leverage Agile, Lean, and DevOps practices in order to operate at velocity, check out our white paper,Continuous Automation for the Continuous Enterprise.”

Marc Holmes

Former Chef employee.