DevOps adoption is on the rise. Defined as “a practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support,” the primary DevOps goal is to optimize the flow of value from idea to end user.
According to a recent report from solutions provider, Puppet, the popularity of DevOps has swelled from 16% of respondents in 2014 to 27% in 2017. What's more, best-practice organizations are reporting improved results, including a competitive advantage on technical levels. This includes: 46 times more frequent code deployments, 440 times faster lead time from "commit to deploy," and a 5 times lower change failure rate.
It's clear that DevOps offers a revolutionary way to take software development into the digital age. The appeal is remarkably simple: the agile development framework breaks down traditional operational barriers that can inhibit performance and undermine innovation. It can unleash a more agile, flexible and responsive development platform that's equipped to handle the fast-changing needs of an organization—as well as its customers, employees and business partners.
DevOps gains are real
Organizations that adopt DevOps typically achieve a variety of operational and automation improvements. In addition to teams coding faster and producing higher quality software, there are frequently gains revolving around areas such as configuration management, testing, deployments and approvals. This leads to an array of strategic gains that benefit development teams and the business. Benefits include:
1) Greater ROI and accelerated time-to-market
This is achieved by virtue of faster and more responsive product/service development cycles. The underlying goal of DevOps is to establish a framework that allows an organization to better respond to a fast-changing marketplace. DevOps compresses cycles through greater automation and autonomy. A successful DevOps framework allows an organization to boost ROI and financial performance. These gains may result from increased operational efficiency, improved customers relationships and higher sales levels that result from delivering better products.
2) Better quality products and services
Software is increasingly at the center of all business transactions and interactions. Simply put: every organization is now a tech company. An organization's ability to produce high quality software has emerged as a competitive differentiator. A more strategic approach to development eliminates friction points and potential roadblocks for IT innovation and integration. Teams can respond to the needs of the business and customers faster through a more integrated and modular approach to software development.
3) Reduced security risks
When developers have a greater awareness of vulnerabilities and adopt the right security tools into a DevOps model, the odds of a vulnerability drop. Moreover, an agile framework allows teams to address vulnerabilities and coding deficiencies quickly and push out patches as they are needed.
4) Improved operating efficiency
By improving and automating a wide array of processes it's possible to reduce the "noise" and inefficiencies that often plague product development, supply chain integration and various other tasks that involve code and software.
5) Faster and more responsive product and service development cycles
The underlying goal of DevOps is to establish a framework that allows an organization to better respond to a fast-changing marketplace. DevOps compresses cycles through greater automation and autonomy.
6) A 360-degree view of processes, customers and more
A more streamlined development approach along with a tighter and more integrated feedback loop contribute to a better understanding of business processes, the marketplace and customer needs.
7) Teams that are more empowered and think more strategically.
With greater independence and autonomy, teams can implement ideas—and code changes—faster and without bureaucratic meddling. This not only speeds development cycles, it fuels innovation and helps developers stay engaged.
What it takes to be a DevOps leader
DevOps success requires an organization—and its leaders—to rethink the fundamental way it approaches software development. Business as usual dropped into a DevOps framework is a recipe for failure. There are three key factors that an enterprise must address in order to take its initiative to a best-practice level.
Teams require autonomy. The ability of development teams to work in a semi-autonomous mode and make changes as they see fit is at the center of a successful DevOps model. This requires new procedures, workflows and, in many cases, a completely revamped governance model. It also requires tools that allow developers and others to communicate, collaborate and make changes on the fly. Rigid rules and approval processes slow development and undermine agility. On the other hand, an optimal level of autonomy creates a framework for speed, quality and innovation.
Minimize dependencies. One of the problems with typical waterfall development methodologies is that teams are highly dependent on one another for code, approvals and security controls. This can bog down software development and also create conflicts. Teams must be empowered to make coding and other changes on their own to fuel fast development cycles along with innovation. In addition, when input and approvals from others is mandatory, the process must take place quickly. This requires an organization to establish clear rules and procedures to support the agile framework.
The ability to test and verify code on demand. In order for teams to move swiftly and improve coding speed and quality, an organization must adopt a framework—with the right tools—to support operational efficiency. This often requires a new governance model; a remapping of roles, responsibilities and job descriptions; and the introduction of tools that allow developers to test for code quality and vulnerabilities at the speed of digital business. Any delay or hiccup directly undermines the positive impact of a DevOps program.
DevOps delivers competitive gains
Organizations that adopt a best-practices approach to DevOps and embrace the cultural changes required for success are far more likely to transform the challenges of today's business environment into opportunities. As software development emerges at the center of organizations across virtually every industry, a strategic DevOps framework becomes a distinguishing factor in achieving innovation and superior financial results. It's a methodology that no organization can afford to ignore.
Stay tuned for our blog on Oct 12, 2018 to learn more about the cultural changes that leaders must implement to ensure a successful DevOps transition.