DevOps teams face more challenges than they bargained for as many organizations go remote. Here are some ways to manage DevOps teams to ensure that organizations remain compliant, secure, and productive.

Rarely have we seen a global event of such scale as has been experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic. With no official end in sight, it has caused many companies to pivot on the fly and reconfigure teams remotely. In some cases, people have returned to work; however, many still feel unsafe heading back to an office. As a large number of companies allow workers to remain remote for the foreseeable future in 2021 — and in some cases, forever — organizations must find a way to manage things that were not really built for this type of setup.

With the goal of shortening the development life cycle and hastening time-to-market, DevOps has never been more important. In the wake of the pandemic, many DevOps (development and operations) teams have adjusted by going completely remote. IT infrastructures, systems, and processes have not necessarily been built for this type of challenge.

Even with some team members on-site, managing a hybrid workforce with distributed team members poses a challenge. This is especially true for payments companies who must adhere to certification, quality assurance, and compliance mandates — most of which rely on regular testing. Testing teams have struggled to keep up due to a lack of on-site teams. While some high priority testing has continued to run with some workarounds, organizations need a long-term strategy to manage hybrid teams. Manual testing only complicates this issue. For payments companies, being out of compliance or risking a breach or other security vulnerabilities is simply out of the question.

Adapting to a Post-Pandemic Payments World

What may be viewed as a problem now is actually an opportunity. Remote work is becoming more mainstream, meaning many organizations are adopting it for the long haul. To adapt and implement effective change, there are several principles that payments organizations should adopt to withstand and even flourish in the new remote workforce.

Continue Cloud Migration — Most organizations will likely be employing and managing a DevOps workforce that includes on-site teams and work-from-home members. In some cases, they may also be working with a hybrid infrastructure that includes both cloud and on-premise. Given the need for remote teams to have access without sacrificing security, payments organizations should continue migrating operations to the cloud. This enables DevOps teams to do their job from anywhere without losing operational velocity.

Ramp Up Communication — Communication is essential with a distributed workforce, especially DevOps teams. These teams should be in close communications with other key departments within the organization, including executive leadership, to ensure priorities are aligned. Knowledge sharing will be a critical component, and all team members must be aligned on which application metrics are important and how they will be tracked. This is where dashboards can play an important role, transforming data points into visible representations. Video conferencing tools like Zoom have made the transition to remote meetings nearly seamless, but they still have their shortcomings. Meetings should occur early and often, but it can also be beneficial to schedule some less-structured conversations to help facilitate creativity and innovation.

Automating — Automation can streamline many systems and processes and fill gaps as organizations adjust to remote and hybrid working situations. It’s not unlikely that some cracks have been exposed as a result of the pandemic, and automation should be considered when it comes to finding solutions. Testing demands can be rigorous and many companies already feel hamstrung on resources. Automation can be a critical part of a testing platform that keeps things running smoothly and securely.

Business continuity will be a key differentiator moving forward. Businesses that are prepared and that have addressed any exposed weaknesses in systems and processes stand to gain the most. Companies must be proactive in managing vulnerabilities and ensuring that the organization is agile enough to withstand any upcoming regulatory requirements that may result from the pandemic. Operational resiliency will be under scrutiny from all fronts, so getting ahead of changes and issues is the winning play.

Payment companies that get ahead of the curve on the changes resulting from the pandemic —namely, a changing workforce — will find that they are well-positioned to turn lemons into lemonade. Many opportunities will arise out of this time, including improvements to operational resiliency, productivity, and employee engagement. As hybrid, remote teams get better at communicating, collaborating, and problem-solving, an organization will find that it is most prepared for whatever the future may bring.

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