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Digital Government; Winning the War for Talent

In our first blog we discussed the challenges faced by the public sector in recruiting and retaining talent, outlining the impact of IR35 as a key issue that will affect the cost of hiring contractors. In this blog we highlight the role that improving productivity can play in helping us make the most of the talent that we have.

~ Written By Gary Barnett, GlobalData Public Sector

Many public sector organisations are adopting agile methods as a means to deliver better services more quickly. But as our digital transformation initiatives move beyond improving the user interface to our core systems and we begin to tackle the complex and mixed legacy software infrastructure that the services we deliver depend on, the task of developing, deploying and managing software in an agile fashion gets considerably more difficult.

Many organisations have strong agile development practices, but often struggle to deploy new software at the pace that agile methodologies promote. Many projects are best described as “AgileFall”, where development is agile, but the transition into production takes on a decidedly “waterfall” pattern. The key to successful adoption of agile techniques lies in embedding the practices throughout the software lifecycle, so that the transition from development to production is as smooth, swift, and as error-free as possible.

DevOps, which sets out to streamline and automate the journey of software from development into production, is fundamental to driving the pace of change. When automation is effectively applied to the process it can bring the additional benefits of accelerated delivery, and improved reliability, without requiring additional resources.

 

In order to deliver these dual benefits of greater agility and better resource utilisation, organisations have to think of the development process as a pipeline and embrace automation throughout the lifecycle. In many cases, the DevOps pipeline has strong pockets of automation. Development build tasks are often automated to the point of being a one click operation, and in production technologies like Docker help to automate the management and configuration of runtime environments; however, testing often lags in terms of automation.

If you want to make the most of the resources that are available to you, you need to support them by automating as much of the DevOps process as possible. Key to achieving this will be the way you incorporate testing within your DevOps pipeline.

In simple environments this may largely be a question of picking the right technologies, and implementing them properly, but in large or complex environments – especially where legacy software and platforms continue to play a key role, this can prove to be a daunting task which requires outside help from people or organisations, with the kind of experience that spans all of the different technologies that exist within your environment.

In partnership with Sogeti, GlobalData recently hosted a webinar exploring the topic in more detail. You can watch this on demand for free here.

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