As Southeast Asia (SEA) continues to experience rapid digital growth, the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are still coming to terms with the evolving digital landscape and harness the potential of digital tools and better processes, such as DevOps.
Research suggests SMEs are falling behind. According to the OECD, millions of South-East Asia’s SMEs face significant barriers related to access and use of digital technologies that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
The size of the business isn’t the issue
Many SMEs find the world of digital transformation daunting. Small IT teams within SMEs often perceive DevOps as a strictly enterprise approach. However, a start-up or SME is never too small to take advantage of a DevOps platform.
In fact, DevOps is a great fit for a lot of SMEs. If a business is developing software, it needs a DevOps platform. Size isn’t really the issue. No matter how small the business and the tech team, DevOps can offer significant value if you are iterating on software features, building applications, or automating parts of your product-related systems. DevOps will even work for a team of one.
Here’s how a DevOps platform can help an SME:
Start small to foster innovation
DevOps creates a collaborative atmosphere, even beyond the software and IT teams. Adopting a single, end-to-end DevOps platform when the company is small or the start-up is just getting off the ground will enable and encourage everyone – whether they’re in a technical role or work in accounting, sales or as a business manager – to all work together. This approach will foster innovation by bringing in ideas from people in a range of demographics and business interests, helping all SMEs grow.
Optimise your SME for speed
To get established in the market, start-ups and small businesses need to deliver compelling products quickly and be able to efficiently support them. DevOps will enable the team to move from planning to production faster and with greater ease. A DevOps platform extends through the entire software development lifecycle, from planning all the way through to launching new features, conducting analysis, and gathering feedback. Simply put, DevOps can optimise the organisation for speed, which is just what SMEs need.
Use DevOps to take on the “deep pockets”
An SME is likely up against more-established competitors with deeper pockets and market penetration. One way to increase competitiveness is to use DevOps to boost speed and efficiency as the business creates new products, new services, and new ways to communicate with customers. The businesses that deploy innovative ideas faster can gain a competitive advantage against other players in their industry.
Decrease your workload with automation
With fewer hands to take on a huge workload, the business needs to not only speed production but to ease the number of tasks – and all the headaches that come along with them. The automation that is part of a DevOps platform will mean less manual work when it comes to processes like design, testing, development, deployment, and monitoring. Automation helps small teams free up time to handle all the other projects on their to-do lists.
Build security into software from the get-go
When a company is getting started, it’s the perfect time to use DevOps to help build security into the code and processes from the very beginning. Small companies and startups need to “shift left” and focus on security at the earlier stages. When security is baked in from the start, you won’t have to go back in later on to fix problems that could jeopardise customers and the business.
Use DevOps to avoid silos
As a company grows, people often naturally separate off into silos or groups that do not communicate with or understand each other. By fostering collaboration among IT teams and even non-technical groups across the business, a DevOps platform makes it easier to keep these silos from forming in the first place, and to break them down if they do form. As companies grow from 10 employees to 100 (or more), DevOps will help an organisation stay connected and collaborative as it expands.
Start early to ensure collaboration
It’s easier to create a collaborative culture from the very beginning – when a company is still a start-up or an SME – than to overhaul a large, established organisation. Instilling an environment of communication and collaboration is less disruptive and easier to manage in a company of 10, 25, or even 100 than in a much larger and complex business that is adding hundreds of employees a year. SMEs have the “nimble” advantage, meaning that change is easier than for larger competitors.
Digital adoption for SMEs is a priority and it is crucial for smaller organisations to understand and tap the business potential of processes such as DevOps. By starting adoption of DevOps early, businesses can deepen their digital engagement, better connect with existing and potential customers and boost productivity and scalability.
Another approach to accelerate early adoption for SMEs is to ensure they are working with a trusted Channel Partner or Technology consultant that understand DevSecOps and has experience with Cloud Native Software application platform and best-practice methodologies.