“Adopting DevOps practices provides an opportunity to address our ongoing challenges” – bet365 on its new change

Global gambling firm, bet365, last week announced that they are creating a new department that will specifically focus on the introduction of DevOps practices into the business. Steven Briggs, Hillside Technology’s newly appointed Head of DevOps at the worldwide company spoke to DevOpsOnline as to why they decided it was time to implement these practices into such a big co-operation and what the change has meant for them.

 Why did you feel the need to apply DevOps practices within the company?

Adopting DevOps practices provides an opportunity to address our ongoing challenges of scale, speed and stability in new ways, with a focus on automation, deep insight into the running of the live estate and auto-remediation.

Automation will improve quality, productivity and speed to market, while deeper insight into the running of the live estate will improve stability and our confidence in deploying change.

Both will combine to enable auto-remediation, which in turn improves stability and speed of change.

What are the key goals in using DevOps practices?

Overall the aim is to increase our understanding of the parameters that support a healthy live estate to the point where we can spot issues, diagnose the problem and resolve or mitigate before a site issue is reported.

The key for us is to achieve that level of stability without reducing the frequency and speed of deployment of change. Until that is achieved, there will be work to do.

What new principles have you managed to identify so far?

We’re taking Software Engineering principles into the Operational space to increase levels of quality, velocity and productivity around the automation, tooling and dashboarding activity that the Infrastructure teams already have in place.

Software Engineering principles will enable us to improve the depth and rigour of automation, tooling and monitoring.

What changes have you experienced so far?

It’s early days. Engagement from staff at all levels across technology has been strong. People are excited by the change and keen to be involved. This is making us very confident in terms of what can be achieved.

What are the unexpected challenges you are facing and how are you working to overcome these?

Our estate is very complex and has grown organically under pressure to react to the needs of the business. This complexity and size are our greatest challenges. For example, diversity within our systems introduces the risk of automation becoming costly and unwieldy. It’s important that we proceed with care and understand the impact of every change we make.