Implementing DevOps: How to Take a Business to the Next Level
Are you thinking about saving time and money, improving internal communications, and faster product delivery? Start adopting the DevOps principles.
When creating new solutions, we strive to deliver the ultimate result to customers as quickly as possible and with the least waste of resources. Fortunately, the IT industry has evolved so much in the past decade that we have one of the most effective tools for achieving efficiency goals at our disposal. We’re talking about DevOps - a set of practices for facilitation and optimization of IT delivery. Whether you deal with long-term projects or sequences of short ones, you need to know more about it.
The Core of the Subject
Before answering the question of what DevOps is, let’s take a quick tour of the past. Until the early 2000s, most development teams used a project-management methodology called Waterfall. It was linear when the stages succeeded one another. The developers spent months writing code and integrating new pieces to the base while QA spent a few more months for code testing and bug finding. Then fixing and fulfilled task approval followed, and so on. The delivery was a complicated and painful process.
Everything changed when developers started using so-called agile methodologies. They provided fewer iterations and the option to make some alterations on the go because all the involved specialists can promptly engage in the process. These practices have accelerated the development flow and scattered operation tasks - monitoring, testing, control, management. That’s when the new concept was born as the word consists of two parts - development and operations. Besides, you might also hear about agile DevOps practices, though the two notions aren’t exactly the same thing.
That being said, let’s try to formulate a definition of DevOps. It’s a complex of measures and tools aimed at removing the barriers between development and operation teams for prompt end-to-end delivery. The key DevOps benefits are:
- High speed of product launches and innovation - 63% of such organizations release new software more frequently;
- Augmented product quality - 38% of the companies confirm a higher quality of code;
- Better communication - 55% of businesses acknowledge improved collaboration between the units;
- Fewer losses - companies spend 60% less time dealing with support cases
How to Start Taking Advantage
It’s not uncommon when the organizations planning to adopt the new approach want to get a one-size-fits-all DevOps implementation plan. Sorry to disappoint you, but it doesn’t exist, since every business entity is unique and needs an individual approach. Nonetheless, there is something you can do.
To begin with, try to scan the current state of your company on different levels, including the digital transformation stage, workflows, internal culture, and business goals. You may be disappointed with such a general recommendation but it’s a sure way to recognize your soft spots and constraints.
Before the development phase, your managers and teams should understand the need for better communication and make advances. You should also pick up appropriate tools for project management. Since we talk about agile methodologies, it will be Scrum, Kanban, or Lean Development. Considering the development process, introduce the open-source tools like Jira Software and GitHub Issues - they will help developers to collaborate on code.
Automating the Pipeline
DevOps practice is based on an idea of continuous improvement and deployment - a never-ending evolution for optimal end-to-end delivery. To ensure that, you should automate everything that can be automated. Testing is one of the most frequent cases of implementing the idea though you should try following the same automation principle when it comes to operations. Looking for the tools, check Jenkins, Spinnaker, Tekton, and Argo CD.
Clouds help to speed up and simplify development due to their centralized nature. It means you should move to the cloud. It’s a great opportunity for your team players to collaborate as code writing, testing, and deployment happen within one environment.
The cloud computing providers understand their interrelation with DevOps and provide their own tools for continuous improvement. Such solutions can lower the costs for automation and provide centralized control over the process.
When we talk about the DevOps tools, it must be clear that technologies only have a supporting role here. The crucial shift lies in creating a corresponding culture. Since the approach implies the idea of continuous improvement, all the activities bring small but consistent changes towards the best possible result. It means that all the team players should have their heads in the game, which is no longer the blame game, and the boundaries between the roles might be slightly blurred. People should adopt shared responsibility as a sum of their personal inputs. Such a shift is impossible in a flash, though you can start facilitating the communications right now and it will bear fruit.