Get to know the benefits of DevOps, and learn more about their implementation
For too long, information technology managers kept development and operations teams as separate units. Despite their similar business goals, these teams were not always able to work together. In this context, leaders identified the need to establish an integrated operating model, which would lead to the development of the DevOps principles and its methodology.
The DevOps model is much more than a simple deployment of agile principles to control infrastructure. It is an approach that eliminates barriers, bringing teams together based on a working model that leads to the alignment of business objectives.
Currently, the DevOps approach is applied in software development at leading technology companies, in line with other tools that help improve performance and many other points, including management tools, testing tools, OKRs – including OKR framework templates – and others.
So if you are thinking about adopting DevOps in order to ensure better performance, competitiveness and business success, this is a smart strategy to adopt.
What is the DevOps methodology?
DevOps is the fusion of practices, cultural philosophies, and tools used to increase an organization’s ability to deliver IT services and applications faster than traditional development processes.
With a set of practices automating processes between software development and IT teams so they can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably, the DevOps concept and mission is based on building a culture of collaboration between teams that historically functioned in relative cycles.
The DevOps story begins with its definition. “DevOps” is short for Development Operations, and its philosophy, which first emerged in 2008, was designed to solve accumulated problems, specifically in the interactions between development and operations teams.
IT operations and software development communities both criticized the traditional model of software development, which called for those who write the code to be organizationally and functionally separate from those who deploy and support that code.
DevOps is intended to be the link between the development team and the operations team. The main idea of the DevOps culture is that responsibility for the end result rests with members from both teams.
The most interesting and difficult thing about this methodology is understanding that a particular individual is not only responsible for their stage of work, but also for how the entire product will work.
By adopting DevOps, organizations can improve their products, serve customers well with quick feedback and fixes, gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and achieve their business goals faster.
Communication, collaboration and integration are the three fundamental principles of the ever-growing, modern approach to software delivery known as DevOps.
The DevOps lifecycle consists of seven phases, representing the processes, resources, and tools required for process development. Throughout each phase, teams collaborate and communicate to maintain project alignment, speed, and quality. These phases are:
1 – Customer-focused action: all activities to build IT products and services must be guided by customer satisfaction. So it’s essential to establish feedback loops with the end user, allowing the development and operations teams to fine-tune their work.
2 – Continuous development: the concept encompasses continuous or iterative software development. All work is divided into small parts for better and faster production. For example, professionals write code in small chunks several times a day to make testing simpler and easier.
3 – Continuous automated testing: a quality assurance team defines committed code tests using automation tools. When bugs and vulnerabilities are identified, they are sent back to the development team.
This stage also involves version control to catch integration issues early on. A version control system allows developers to log changes to files and share them with other team members, regardless of their location.
4 – Continuous integration and delivery: the code that passes the automated tests is integrated into a single shared repository on a server. Frequent code submissions avoid the delay and difficulties of integration; after all, the actual coding is done little by little, with the utmost attention to detail.
Continuous delivery is an approach that merges development, testing, and deployment operations into a streamlined process, as it relies heavily on automation. This stage allows for the automatic delivery of code updates to a production environment.
5 – Continuous deployment: in this stage, the code is deployed to run in production on a public server, in a way that does not affect resources already in place, rather remaining available to a large number of users.
In this phase, features are tested and verified in advance. Several automated DevOps tools are available to help engineers deploy product increments.
6 – Continuous monitoring: the final stage of this methodology is geared towards full-cycle assessment. In this way, the manager can identify the problem areas of a process, and analyze the feedback from the team and users to report existing inaccuracies and improve how the product works.
7 – Feedback: the development team collects customer and audience feedback to see the whole picture, standing ready to add new features if needed.
Benefits of using DevOps
Implementing DevOps can add value to your organization, including the following benefits:
- Breaking down barriers within the IT department;
- Reduction of processes involved in systems development;
- Shorter time to market of developed systems;
- Improved collaboration between developers and operations that results in high quality products and services;
- Less time to troubleshoot and fix bugs and vulnerabilities;
- Competitive advantage over companies that use longer and more traditional development methodologies;
- Ability to better manage unplanned work.
How is DevOps implemented, and what are the most important KPIs?
By understanding the value of DevOps and making incremental changes, your team can embark on this journey right away. Here’s how the process works and some of the steps which you can take:
- Prepare for a cultural change;
- Develop a framework for continuous software deployment;
- Develop a continuous test environment;
- Monitor the entire process continuously.
DevOps practices alone do not guarantee quality, and can lead to additional problems if they’re not properly integrated. To avoid this, it is important to keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs). Tracking the right metrics ensures that your systems reach their full potential.
It is important to emphasize the need to know how to choose the right KPIs for the evaluation of results and define what really should be evaluated, focusing only on what is necessary for your business. Some of these main metrics include:
- Development KPIs such as Lead Time and Deployment Frequency;
- Deployment KPIs such as Change Fail and Recovery Time.
Successful DevOps implementation
DevOps brings together people, processes and tools to transform an organization into a united entity. A successful transition to DevOps is a company-wide move, starting with top-level management and moving down to the lower-level team.
Make sure that developers and operations staff are aware of the benefits which the organization stands to gain when combined into cross-functional groups.
Incentives need to be updated to facilitate cultural change. The most effective incentive model is to reward cross-functional teams for improving customer perception, while minimizing losses resulting from organizational failures.
In some companies, developers are asked to answer calls so they can better understand operational tasks. In others, cultural change is accelerated by identifying the “stars” that motivate the rest of the group between the developers and the operational team. Elsewhere, companies rely on leaders to help ease the transition to DevOps.
To optimize the DevOps journey, many companies choose to invest in a consultancy specializing in this type of methodology. The goal is to improve and gain agility in internal processes, with the guidance of consultants well-versed in implementing the DevOps methodology.
The success of this approach depends on a change in culture, which becomes viable only when employees are guided, trained and encouraged to seek out the best tools.
Practicing this methodology will help your team to make improvements more often, faster and with fewer failures. DevOps principles will help your team as they adapt to new scenarios with ease, greater experimentation, and resilience to problem solving.