May 24, 2022

Vytenis Sakalas: “Positive change starts with an understanding of what is DevOps”

On June 2-3, Litexpo Center will host the largest innovation event in the Baltics, Login 2022, whereas many as 150 specialists from various fields will share their experiences and insights with the audience. One of them is Vytenis Sakalas, the head of the Skaylink DevOps and Cloud division, who has been working with IT and security solutions for more than a decade. In his speech, Vytenis will reveal what in current business market is hiding behind the increasingly common keyword, which is DevOps, and how having such capabilities in the company can benefit the entire success and digitization of the company.

Clearly, the pandemic has revealed all the security and performance gaps in current IT infrastructures. Many businesses have suffered or failed to survive simply because the rigid, monolithic architectures of so-called IT systems have prevented them from adapting to the hybrid work model or the increased need to move businesses to digital channels. Many companies have encountered a phenomenon during quarantine that perfectly reflects what happens when a company does not apply DevOps practices. It was a phenomenon where business leaders have relatively quickly figured out how to digitize their business products, and how to move business services into the digital space, but the technological realization itself has taken months. This time, we saw very clearly how some companies were able to “upload” their products and services online and start operating again in a couple of weeks, while others needed half a year and more to make the switch. This is the example of a business IT being managed with an outlook of “let’s not change anything if it’s working” instead of the “let’s do this so we can perform changes any moment without the delay” attitude. The latter is one of the core principles of DevOps.

Most companies now seem to be reluctant to make such a mistake again and are increasingly utilizing DevOps services.

“I am very happy that we are getting accustomed to the idea that having only a few developers or a system administrator in a company is far from enough. Working securely in the digital space requires automation, which would save time and money and increase data security. That is exactly what is implemented by practicing DevOps culture. There are plenty of companies on job posting platforms looking for a DevOps engineer. And it’s happening not only in Lithuania – DevOps is one of the top ten most popular specialties in the world. But as I read those ads, I notice that companies often don’t even know what DevOps is and how it can benefit the business. This is because of a simple desire to have what your partner or competitor has or what is currently trendy” – the specialist says.

According to Vytenis, if we do not understand what DevOps is capable of bringing to a company and what the business itself can expect from it, there is a high probability that we will pre-program ourselves for failure.

“Since the DevOps practice is still relatively new and there is a shortage of specialists, it is only natural that it is difficult to catch up in this area. The process of renewal is usually also hampered by the company’s own fear of changing something. Businesses accustomed to traditional security solutions can be partially understood – imagine that you once built a house of cards and fenced it up. In appearance, the house is well protected, and a lot of time and money has been invested in the construction of the protective wall. However, you realize how easy it is to demolish. DevOps enters the field with serious intentions to sweep that house off the ground and build a modern, modular and functional building in its place.

But it can be even simpler than that. Businesses often do not understand how to combine new DevOps capabilities and solutions with traditional IT processes. In other words, they don’t know how to ensure that the currently existing traditional IT admins and processes in the company do not oppose, but collaborate with incoming DevOps practices to pursue business goals. I will dedicate a large part of my report at Login2022 exactly to this aspect”, – shares V. Sakalas, who has accumulated extensive experience in the field of technology while inviting you to meet at the conference.

According to the Head of DevOps and Cloud Division at Skaylink, DevOps is becoming not only an indicator of modern business excellence but also one of the cornerstones of a company’s culture. Changes in how company builds its digital products or applications ultimately lead to changes across the whole business, making the benefits of this change far greater than they first seem.

V. Sakalas emphasizes the DevOps benefits for business: “DevOps engineers follow an approach that I think is acceptable to many companies, so it’s typically easy for it to be incorporated into the company’s internal culture – business representatives just adore DevOps engineers’ approach to IT and their focus on business growth. Since they are looking for the best solutions possible, those who perform this service must not be afraid of mistakes and take full responsibility for their actions. DevOps engineers are also involved in every stage of business digital product or application development, from initial design to testing and deployment. So, smooth communication between team members and feedback is essential. These are the qualities that a company ideally expects from each of its employees.”