If you’re in the world of DevOps, you’ll be aware that compliance is a hot topic right now. You’ll also be aware that a conversation about regulatory compliance isn’t always the most scintillating.

For anyone tackling DevOps compliance, the challenges revolve around how to scale up compliance and get it DevOps-ready. However, once you realise the DevOps principles that help address compliance issues are actually the same as those that are applied to development from the start, things begin to make a bit more sense.

Adopting a more holistic approach to DevOps in the first place can mean compliance ceases to be an issue. An article on TechTarget suggests four tips on how to get it right.

1. Match culture with compliance

It is important that teams embrace elements of DevOps culture, such as automation and cross-team collaboration. By combining these cultural aspects with the right tools, automated tasks and processes, DevOps compliance will reap the benefits.

As certain tasks are repeated over and over, compliance becomes more achievable. Automation enables DevOps teams to ingest data and remove the risk of human error in compliance processes.

Having service-level and appropriate licensing agreements in place helps guarantee internally developed software. Moreover, by measuring progress, teams can improve time to compliance reporting and streamline processes.

2. Gather review data through automation

If manual tasks can be automated, automate them, but consider compliance and regulatory issues along the way. For example, if a CIO receives a monthly report about financial systems access and data points, is that report current? And is there a manual process attached to creating it each month?

These monthly reviews need to be automated in a reproducible way. Automation can generate reports that are not far off real-time. Rather than relying on a manual process, which places failure on the head of one individual, automation creates a transparent, repeatable process.

3. Make use of governance tools and analytics 

Governance tools can help teams manage user roles, applications and access permissions. These tools set a high standard of security across the board. Meanwhile, API and access control analytics help teams monitor changes and keep track of who touched what, and when.

Simple analytics are all you need to start collecting and storing data, then team access tools can be used to access usage data.

4. Extend licensing

DevOps teams are familiar with all software running on their infrastructure and need to apply DevOps practices and strategies to all internally-developed software.

For a smooth-running build process, companies should manage intellectual property and licensing restrictions in their toolchains. Responsibility to such licencing rules usually lies with the vendors. But remember: if the vendor gets fined, your build process will suffer greatly.

Any licensing or legal issues resulting from in-house software is the responsibility of the company, so businesses need the appropriate guarantees and licensing in place to ensure the effective management of all internal licensing information (especially if open source and third-party software is involved).

DevOps should not be seen as a barrier to compliance, but rather as a facilitator of it. Applying the core DevOps principles of automation, collaboration and continuous delivery to compliance challenges as well as applications and infrastructure can give any company a head start in DevOps compliance.


Are you looking to expand your DevOps team, or have DevOps skills you want to put to better use? Get in touch with Talent International to find out more.