In today’s ultra-dynamic digital world, the advantages of embracing DevOps are clear: optimizing the speed and agility of IT service delivery, while minimizing performance issues and costs. DevOps is a blend of process and philosophies that comprises four primary components: culture, collaboration, tools, and practices. In return, it yields a good automated system and infrastructure that aids an organization deliver quality and reliable build. The beauty of DevOps is that it enables quality for organizations to better serve their customers, compete in the market with greater efficacy, and also provide some additional benefits that include confidence and trust, swifter software releases, ability to address critical issues rapidly, and better manage unplanned work. But remember that adopting DevOps engineering practices is a transformational process – representing a paradigm shift to the way IT traditionally functions.
In a HBR survey, more than 80% of organizations mentioned that they use DevOps to some extent, or plan to use it shortly in near future. Organizations that get DevOps right enjoy a critical competitive advantage: experiencing 208x more frequent software deployments, 2,604x swifter recovery from incidents, and 7x lower change failure rates.1 IT leaders face immense pressure to develop more applications swifter – and it’s exposing the inability of the traditional IT model that separates development and operations into siloed teams. DevOps is the answer to this.
5 Best Practices for Success of Salesforce DevOps
Best Practice#1: Evaluate the Need for DevOps
Synchronize your IT goals with your organizational goals. The need for DevOps implementation should be business-driven. It should be implemented not because it is the latest trend, but because your development process for the business goals necessitates this change. Before building your DevOps infrastructure, first spend a good amount of time in understanding the application and then align your business goals with DevOps to design your infrastructure.
Best Practice#2: Communicate & Collaborate Constantly
Communication and collaboration are the core factors that help any organization grow and evaluate the need for DevOps. Collaboration with Business and Development teams helps DevOps team to understand the process of designing and defining a culture. This aids in accelerating the Development and Operations teams, and even other teams such as Marketing or Sales, allowing every part of the organization to synchronize more closely with its goals and projects.
DevOps practices break down the functional silos, focusing everyone on the same goal with cross-functional and agile teams. Constant communication is the key to fortifying the bond between developers, operations, and key stakeholders. It helps build a delivery pipeline that accomplishes the agility, transparency, productivity, and efficacy that defines DevOps culture. Every day performance and communication tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams form the basis of DevOps best practices, enabling a system of constant feedback and response.
Best Practice#3: Invest in the Right Human Resources & Position Them Right
People are the biggest factor in the success of DevOps. Hiring or training human resources with the right skillsets to guide and grow your teams is the most crucial component of DevOps best practices. Irrespective of the tools you purchase, business transformation will not happen without the key evangelists who understand, embrace and disseminate DevOps practices. From the start, DevOps practices require specialized people committed to an ‘automation-first’ mindset, who continuously keep looking for opportunities to shrink the development and deployment lifecycle.
Best Practice#4: Continuous Integration (CI) & Continuous Deployment (CD)
The beauty of DevOps is how frequently your team can deliver without distractions and the extent to which you are automated in this process. Let’s take an example. Suppose you and your team members are working in an Agile team – that has several teams and several modules that are closely interlinked – in which you are also involved. Every day you work on your stories and later you push your ‘private build’ of your work to verify if it builds and ‘deliver’ it to a team build server and other team members also do the same. This implies that you all ‘integrate’ your work in the common build area and do an ‘Integration Build’. Doing these integrations and builds to verify them on a regular or daily basis is called ‘Continuous Integration.’
Continuous Deployment does not imply that every change is deployed to production as soon as possible. It implies that every change is proven to be deployable at any point of time. What it takes is your all-validated feature and build from CI and deploys them into the production environment. Here, we can adopt a few of the practices such as:
- Maintaining a staging environment that imitates production
- Always deploying in staging first before moving to production
- Automating testing of features and non-functional requirements
- Automatically fetching version-controlled development artifacts
Best Practice#5: Measure DevOps Benefits to Justify it
An organization and its stakeholders consent to embrace DevOps because of its promised value. However, several organizations fail to define and measure the value of DevOps and, therefore, are unable to prove the value it generates. Unfortunately, this leads to the collapse of transformational change. Tracking metrics proves the real progress towards achieving organizational goals, be it enhanced quality, swifter release cycles, augmented application performance, or other business drivers.
Selecting the right metrics begins with defining clear objectives for your DevOps journey. Setting up the goalposts comes subsequently: measuring your current position and determining your end goal. DevOps metrics should measure and evaluate collaborative workflows and directly demonstrate the performance of your development pipeline. Metrics allow DevOps teams to swiftly identify and clear any impediments in the process.
DevOps is not just an initiative, but a journey to incessantly enhance an organization’s practices and culture to offer better value and satisfaction to customers and achieve improved business outcomes. DevOps practices are used by companies developing software for establishing transparency and efficient collaboration among Operations and Development teams so that superior-quality applications can be delivered. DevOps enables an organization to make the delivery of their software / applications lean and efficient, while the feedback mechanism improves the processes of delivering an application. Any organization that follows all the aforementioned best practices creates the right culture, which finally gets what it deserves, i.e., DevOps organization.
With its mission of “DevOps as a Service,” CloudFulcrum has been a part of multiple successful Salesforce implementations worldwide, with delighted customers in BFSI, Healthcare, Retail, Real Estate, and Technology verticals.
With our Salesforce 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 5 Best Practices for DevOps Success, https://www.auxis.com/blog/5-best-practices-for-devops-success, Aug 25, 2021.