MLOps is Booming: Three Best Practices for Success

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In this special guest feature, Moses Guttmann, CEO and Co-Founder, ClearML, believes that MLOps is here to stay and finding MLOps success depends on more than just grabbing the newest, shiniest solution off the shelf. By keeping these few best practices in mind, businesses can build the foundations they need for sustainable MLOps growth. Moses has more than 20 years of experience making visionary technologies a reality. Prior to ClearML, he co-founded several start-ups in the computer vision and embedded processing spaces. Moses is an alum of the IDF’s most elite technology unit, has 40 patent and patent applications and 5 academic publications in his name.

There is no question MLOps is booming. Set to hit a market value of $700 million by 2025 – almost four times what it was in 2020 – nearly 60% of enterprises are expected to have adopted MLOps by 2024. That’s because MLOps is quickly becoming a central pillar of innovative enterprise organization. However, with rapid adoption comes a heightened risk for mistakes.

We have seen businesses go “all-in” on promising technology before. However, for every company that has onboarded the cloud or artificial intelligence seamlessly, there are others that have gotten it wrong – and have paid a steep price trying to dig themselves out. In fact, it is estimated that one-third of technology transformation investments fail to meet the desired outcomes. And with tightening budgets stemming from the current economic climate, it’s not a good time to make the same mistakes this time around.

So how do organizations get MLOps adoption right?

Here are three key best practices that I recommend businesses put in place so they can hit the ground running in building sustainable MLOps infrastructures.

1. Start Small with Realistic Goals and a Game Plan

It can be easy to get caught up in the buzz of a “hot” technology trend. But getting technology adoption right is about more than just following the herd; it requires a serious amount of upfront research, strategy, and infrastructure building.

Simply put, no matter how much hype MLOps may be generating, if businesses don’t know exactly what they are trying to accomplish with the technology and what barriers to success may be in place, it is virtually impossible to integrate it successfully. To combat this, businesses should take a step back and scrutinize their current MLOps workflow and broader business goals. This includes analyzing their current MLOps maturity, the projects they are looking to take on, and most importantly, how MLOps fits into their company’s short-, medium- and long-term objectives. If they don’t, and businesses jump into MLOps without that analysis and understanding, the likelihood of delivering immediate results is quite slim.

2. Look to Open Source

Each business’s needs and end goals are different and will almost certainly change over time. Therefore, flexibility and customization are a must when it comes to MLOps – and that’s exactly why open source is popular in MLOps today.

Open source technology has been a prime mover in spurring broader enterprise technology growth for nearly two decades. However, while other industries have been reaping the benefits of open source tech, MLOps pros have largely been stuck working with fragmented, closed-off, and/or retrofitted tools that often inhibit their ability to drive MLOps results. In response to this, the open source sector has been quietly expanding its presence in the MLOps world, delivering tools that enable the same flexibility, cost savings, and efficiency that other enterprise open source users have been enjoying for years. Thus, while open source still may be perceived as a bit of a newcomer to MLOps, businesses would be remiss to overlook its potential.

3. Be Methodical

One of the biggest missteps MLOps adopters make is that they try to solve all of their priorities at once. It is true that MLOps can be an incredibly dynamic and far-reaching opportunity for businesses. However, it is not a plug-and-play solution or a magic wand. Instead, as with any strategic initiative or business function, MLOps requires a well-thought-through approach and iterative tweaking to deliver optimal success.

Businesses onboarding MLOps for the first time undoubtedly have a long to-do list. But as tough as it might be to avoid the urge to jump in and figure it out as you go, to sustainably integrate MLOps tools, businesses need to tackle challenges in a strategic, manageable way, beginning at the foundation and then working their way up. This may seem to be slow going at first, but by methodically addressing bedrock priorities first, businesses stand a far greater chance of successfully onboarding MLOps than if they opted for a haphazard “all at once” approach.

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