DevOps is the future of modern business and technology organizations. Those who don’t adapt to it are destined to fail. DevOps is a blend of cultural and technical knowledge of software development, quality assurance and IT operations integrated into a unified system that is centrally managed. The overall objective of having a DevOps philosophy is to enhance the speed at which both applications and support services are delivered. Simultaneously, DevOps decisively invalidates the twin notion that speed and stability are mutually exclusive, and instead reinforces the concept that speed depends upon stability. In the past decade, this exact thought process has pushed several organizations to completely assimilate DevOps into their corporate DNA. In fact, the early adoption of DevOps – although in their own versions – in larger tech organizations, such as Google, Salesforce, Facebook, and Netflix, has helped them scale their operations and simultaneously continue to extend awesome customer service.
The 2017 State of DevOps Report suggests stark differences between high-performance organizations practicing DevOps principles and organizations that do not. According to the report, high performance organizations have significantly higher software deployment frequencies (46 times more frequent), far swifter lead time for changes (440 times swifter), and a significantly lower software change failure rate (five times lower) than their lower performance counterparts.1
Fredrik Haard, a Senior Cloud Architect at McKinsey and at Wondersign, having more than 12 years of experience in DevOps, explains this point very lucidly: “Good DevOps engineers must be a champion – and take responsibility for – all the areas that might not be prioritized by the organization such as data security, disaster recovery, mitigation, and audits. The choices you make in DevOps can have long-lasting effects at a company.”2
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a blend of development and operations. As the name suggests, it’s a software development approach that integrates its operations with development to provide a swifter development experience. By implementing DevOps, business organizations can seamlessly deliver software updates and product releases, and overall, enhance the quality of their software development processes. It’s an approach that arose out of necessity. A decade ago, tech companies were encountering significant bottlenecks when it came to smooth interaction between development and operations teams.
Problems emerged since the two, while being part of the same organization, weren’t connected. This led to procrastination in product releases, apart from other intra-organizational debates and disputes. DevOps originated to solve the problems associated with such a disjointed process. While it follows the same technique as Agile development, it’s entirely different because of its communicative approach.
Why Your Organization Needs DevOps?
The fundamental goal of DevOps is to enhance and supercharge development workflows. With active interactions between one another, both Development and Operations departments are well connected. Developers, quality analysts, business analysts – all work in a harmonized manner to deliver the product to the audience.
This kind of an integration is made possible by the DevOps engineer. Akin to a project manager, a DevOps engineer – possessing the tools, processes, techniques, and methodologies from both ends of the spectrum – is the bridge between development and operations departments. Armed with the knowledge of both sides, the DevOps engineer is responsible for implementing the approach to the best possible extent. With this efficient approach towards development, organizations can design, build, update, and maintain their software in a swift manner – ensuring that the improvements are delivered to the end-user as swiftly as possible.
If the product is already in use, then DevOps can help in making changes and improvements to a great extent – ensuring that the user experience and the features of the product are carefully determined and upgraded.
6 Reasons Why ‘DevOps Matter’ for Business Organizations
DevOps is fundamentally a transformative approach that includes culture, innovation, and technology in a unified frame to efficiently organize workflows to accomplish swifter Go-to-Market at optimum costs and, consequently, providing greater value to customers. While these are the broad reasons as to why DevOps matters for your organization, let us examine a few of them in greater detail:
Reason#1: Decreased Operational Costs
While DevOps is hailed for helping organizations achieve continuous software development, it is also highly esteemed by organizations for minimizing operational expenditures by reducing costs involved in software development, deployment and maintenance.
- Free and Open-source toolchain: When business organizations want to implement a DevOps strategy, they use open-source packages such as Gradle, Jenkins, or Selenium for developing a toolchain to automate specific parts of the application process. This leads to greater flexibility of the IT teams to modify the product code contrasted with using of rigid proprietary software.
- DevOps Process Automation Service: DevOps enables software teams to develop their independent automated program tasks, which, when developed and configured into the system, can be re-triggered at will. They can then automate iterative tasks such as supervising applications, generating reports and troubleshooting, which would usually need a team of resources to accomplish. This helps organizations save a significant amount of capital expenditure.
- Optimized infrastructure use and ease of modular deployments: Application development in a DevOps framework can be done by employing containers. Contrasted with the traditional VMs, containers need relatively lesser number of resources and simultaneously provide swifter delivery.
All the benefits of DevOps afore-mentioned result in decreased general costs and requirement of IT staff. According to Kevin Murphy from Red Hat, DevOps development teams reduce the requirement of IT staff by 35% and overall IT costs by 30%.3
Reason#2: Enhances Customer Satisfaction
The ultimate goal of DevOps is to provide greater value and top-quality software to customers. It ensures that customers get the best software in the quickest possible. Also, issues are identified in advance in the development phase before they reach consumers. DevOps’ culture is encompassed in collaboration and multiple feedback loops to ensure that customers get the best products. All these ensure customers have an awesome experience, which, ultimately enhances customer satisfaction. Indubitably, satisfying the needs of customers is critical in carving a competitive edge in the current uber-competitive world.
Puppet’s 2016 State of DevOps Report mentions that organizations can enhance their deployment frequency by 200 times with DevOps and minimize change failure rates by three times.4 The automation of the delivery pipeline ensures reliability and stability of an application. With impeccable performance of the applications in production, organizations can accomplish higher customer satisfaction. In spite of possessing numerous benefits for an organization, DevOps is often regarded as a comparatively new technical concept, which has been misapprehended or misused since its origin.
The absence of clarity and confusion in implementing DevOps principles has adversely affected small and medium enterprises. One of the things that is always ignored in DevOps practices is continuous testing or automated testing. Without total automation of testing, the pipelines are never completely automated and, therefore, the goals of DevOps are not achieved. According to the World Quality report, 70% of the organizations are yet to automate their testing for several reasons.5 Organizations have to realize that compromising on the quality of an application in favor of swifter releases will only lead to decreased customer satisfaction. Integrating automated testing with DevOps is the ultimate thing to do if your goal is to not only save time and money, but also to sustain the quality, while minimizing the time-to-market.
Reason#3: Maximizes Efficiency & Optimizes Productivity
DevOps adopts automation that boosts the productivity of teams and nurtures a performance-oriented culture. There are no waiting times on people or machines to act on solving the recurring problems continuously. Automation manages repetitive tasks and employees involve in more productive and value-added tasks. The 2017 State of DevOps Report quantifies the increase in efficiency and reveals us that high-performing organizations following DevOps practices spend 21% less time on unplanned work and rework, and 44% more time on new work.6 In general, successfully implementing DevOps practices can have a massive impact on your organization by way of improvement in efficiency and execution in areas that are both crucial and absolutely dull.
Another significant difference that a DevOps-oriented team makes is the ability to efficiently use a source control system to manage, identify, and record all of the changes to both the application code as well as the configuration management code. The team embraces a discipline of application performance monitoring and optimization in almost real-time. This change enables the development team to realize the performance impact of their changes. The eventual goal is to have a production environment that plans to provide customers with the best possible experience.
Reason#4: Greater Collaboration & Better Communication Between Teams
In non-DevOps setting, the development and operations teams are entrusted with different responsibilities. While the development team provides updates to users, the operations team manages the health of the system. However, this setting nourishes teamwork as the complete team has the responsibility of delivering new features and managing the balance of the system.
Late Robert Stroud, the authority on DevOps, had once remarked that DevOps is all about “fueling business transformation” that includes people, process, and culture change. The most effective strategies for DevOps transformation aim at structural enhancements that develop community. A successful DevOps push requires a culture or mindset change that enables closer collaboration between multiple teams—product, engineering, security, IT, operations, and so on—as well as automation to successfully accomplish business objectives. DevOps disrupts the silos mindset and integrates the development and operations teams. It improves collaboration and communication in the technology supply chain to ensure the best possible result.
In an IT organization, DevOps boosts business agility by providing an environment of mutual collaboration, effective communication, and integration across all the teams worldwide. The pre-defined limits based on roles are getting shrunk in such a supportive DevOps setting. The DevOps culture focuses on performance as against individual objectives. This makes the processes more transparent as individuals work towards a common objective.
Reason#5: Encourages Innovation
DevOps is a novel approach that can help software and development organizations innovate faster and facilitate organizations to be more efficient and receptive with business needs. This strategy boosts collaboration between development and operations teams, which can enhance the quality of software development and enable more periodic and swifter software releases. Embracing the DevOps approach requires organizations and teams to imbibe a new mindset, use new tools, and apply new skills.
The eventual objective of the DevOps approach is to provide both a development and production environment that stimulates and nurtures greater collaboration with a focus on better and more efficient practices for innovation and growth. This approach not only affects the productivity of the development and operations teams, but also impacts the organization and its standing in the market.
The deployment phase becomes easier in teams that adopt DevOps. The teams are better strengthened as DevOps streamlining processes bolster efficient releases and quality builds. Due to this, there is a great opportunity to introduce an innovative approach in settling decisive issues.
Reason#6: Continuous Delivery & Development
Continuous Delivery implies automatic delivery and implementation of software product changes as they are made. Continuous Delivery enables organizations to execute changes and improvements swiftly, and it aids engineers to focus their time more efficiently on other, complex issues. In other words, Continuous Delivery is facilitated by Continuous Integration, given that changes to code can only be effectively pushed to the entire system if the code is already stored in a central place. Implementing DevOps within the organization improves Continuous Delivery and constant development of projects. Continuous and repeated delivery helps in the steady and successful deployment of new product features as frequent advancements thereby helping minimize risks.
In today’s world, software development practices necessitate teams to deliver quality software incessantly and shorten go-to-market timelines. This can be accomplished with DevOps using automation. The Development and Operations teams can build and integrate code in a flash with the aid of automated CI and CD pipeline. In general, DevOps enables uninterrupted release and deployment with improved quality and efficiency. Automation is paramount to Continuous Delivery. The instance of pushing small, regular systems updates can also be regarded as an example of Continuous Delivery.
As every organization today is embracing a cloud strategy, DevOps no longer remains a matter of ‘choice.’ Akin to the past, there is no point deploying code and installing fixes. It is time that organizations, irrespective of their size, follow best practices from industry leaders such as Google, Netflix, Amazon, etc., and completely re-think and re-design their approach to software development, testing, and deployment by adopting the DevOps approach. DevOps boosts business value by creating an interdependent team that focuses on offering products and services that satisfy the needs of consumers.
Similar to the rapid growth of Cloud Services market, the importance of DevOps has also been growing over the years. Be it in energy, healthcare, or higher education, your organization will need to develop expertise in DevOps. Understanding what DevOps is, how it’s implemented, and why it’s so critical to your success represents an essential first step as you mull over using this key practice going forward.
CloudFulcrum with its mission of “DevOps as a Service” has been part of multiple successful Copado implementations across the globe with customers in BFSI, Health Care, Retail, Real Estate, and Technology verticals.
With our DevOps consulting, we help enterprises align their Digital Transformation goals to achieve higher efficiency, faster time-to-market, and better quality of software builds with early identification of arising issues, enabling continuous release of Salesforce applications.
1 Alvaro Oliveira, “DevOps: What It Is and Why It Matters,” https://www.toptal.com/insights/innovation/what-is-devops.
3 Op. Cit. Mohammad Adil
5 Op. Cit. Mohammad Adil
6 Mohammad Adil, “Why DevOps is Important for Modern Businesses,” https://testsigma.com/blog/why-devops-is-important-for-modern-businesses/, April 27, 2020.