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DevOps for the next generation of big businesses


Amit Makhija

May 29, 2017

DevOps, an evolution of the agile methodology, has firmly planted its feet in the enterprise. 2016 witnessed DevOps growing in maturity and in adoption and it has steadily now become a standard way of working.

According to the fifth annual State of the Cloud Survey, 2016 by RightScale, “DevOps adoption increased from 66 percent in 2015 to 74 percent in 2016”.

Gartner estimates that in 2017 DevOps will be a mainstream strategy which is employed by more than 25% of the Global 2000 companies.

Statistics also prove that organizations who successfully implement DevOps tools and practices are twice as likely to succeed on the market share, profitability, growth and productivity metrics than their competitors by deploying software faster and lowering associated risks. Given that DevOps is here to stay, let’s take a look at some of its real business benefits.

Faster Software Delivery and Deployment

With the help of DevOps, organizations stand to gain the advantage of faster software deployment and delivery. A survey from PuppetLabs revealed that high-performing IT organizations were able to deploy software 200 times faster simply by using DevOps tools and methodologies. DevOps places increased focus on automation in order to increase the speed of delivery by tightly integrating QA, development, and operations. Since the software development team, operations, and the testing team work harmoniously with one another and are collectively responsible for delivery and maintenance, the final product that is released is error free and can be pushed into production immediately. Since DevOps also employs Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment methodologies, it helps in making development cycles shorter.

Increased Release Velocity

Application onboarding is much faster when using DevOps because of the employment of shorter release cycles. These shorter release cycles ensure that release build cycles are reduced from three to six months to daily and even hourly release build cycles. This feature helps organizations employing DevOps practices respond to customer needs and market demands faster and also increases the value of IT to the enterprise.

Improved Defect Detection and Reduced Deployment Failure

Since products development with DevOps also takes the operational aspects into account, it helps in reducing the number of pre and post deployment issues considerably. DevOps also conforms to agile development methodologies of iterative development, modular programming, and collaboration and focuses on breaking down larger code bases into shorter and more manageable features. This helps in identifying code defects faster. Faster feedback loops also ensure faster removal of service deficiencies and improved service quality. Since DevOps also employs test driven development, every piece of code that rolls into release and production is thoroughly tested, bug-free and works harmoniously with other code blocks. All these contribute to reduced deployment failure and speedier releases.

Increased Collaboration

DevOps takes away the siloed approach of development and operations and brings these teams them together. By doing so, it compels teams to become more cross-functional and collaborative in their approach as one cannot succeed without the other. By doing so, DevOps has given rise to a new breed of professionals such as the release managers, utility technology players, developer-testers, security engineers, security architects, etc. who not only bring development experience to the table but also understand the user, business, and operational requirements.

Since DevOps teams are poly-skilled and autonomous and have a common set of goals, they are compelled to function collectively and share the responsibility of product development and maintenance at an equal level. As the number of product components increases to ensure the smooth operation of web applications, the seamless interactions between development and operations teams become increasingly important. DevOps helps organizations achieve this syntax and this contributes to increased collaboration between teams and ultimately ensures superior product quality that is delivered in the shortest time possible.

Greater Responsiveness to Change

DevOps takes a more unified approach to software development as we have moved towards a service-oriented world. Today, the software delivery lifecycle does not end with the final product shipping. In order to stay relevant, organizations have to constantly monitor the market and upgrade their product or services according to the market demands. Since DevOps employs a continuous feedback loop, it enables organizations to respond to market demand in real time and implement change at the speed of these demands. As DevOps teams are less complex to manage and are cross-functional, it aids faster resolutions to problems, greater speed of innovation, and a robust ability to react to market changes and customer demands when the time arises. All these contribute positively to the organizational growth and bottom line.

One of the less talked about benefits of DevOps is its ability to increase operational efficiency by weeding out wasteful and redundant process. By doing so, organizations can effectively reduce the waiting timelines that suspend between work centers and increases the flow of value across the software delivery system which impacts growth prospects positively.

What DevOps essentially does is that it takes the fragmented and heavily siloed software development approach that leaned towards a project-oriented mindset and replaces it with a ‘product-oriented’ mindset that is imperative for organizations to achieve digital transformation in today’s economy. DevOps certainly shakes up the traditional software development approach but most certainly replaces it with a methodology that focuses on continuous learning which in turn, aids continuous improvement…and continuous improvement is the singular, most important thing that helps organizations create business value and thrive in today’s unpredictable and competitive business environment.

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