DevOps, a derivative of the “Agile” software development methodology, ensures a product is continuously meeting the requirements of the operations team. Under DevOps, a “product-first” approach, companies align development projects with the business goals of operations so teams can jointly build, test, release, and maintain new digital applications more frequently and more efficiently. How can DevOps benefit your organization?
DevOps offers a way to shorten development cycles, promote communication between development and operations team, increase operational efficiency and deploy a new software product quickly without sacrificing quality. Each software project begins with specific business requirements and integrations, and the responsibility is shared by both developers and operations team members to deliver a quality product.
But, change is scary. Will DevOps be worth implementing within your organization? Here are some tangible benefits to consider.
- Continuous software delivery
The nature of DevOps, with its continuous delivery workflows, can produce faster and more frequent software releases. Automated tools and consistent production platforms are essential to DevOps best practices, which make deployments more predictable and less of a headache on the delivery team.
- Faster resolution of problems
By integrating your operations and development team with a shared goal, the wall between these two departments will crumble as communication improves. System feedback will be quicker, and the changes will be acted upon in a timely manner; no more “He said/she said” miscommunications reported to management!
- Happier, more productive teams
IT groups are constantly under pressure to do more. For many companies, adopting DevOps means analyzing and optimizing existing processes, which can mean significant cost savings for the business. A key concept of DevOps is how to automate the small tasks to focus on the tasks that require more engagement.
- Higher employee engagement
When the departments work together towards a shared goal, it fosters a team environment. Developers can begin to learn about the business side of the application, and the operations team can see how the developers build their feedback into the team. Each side begins to understand where the other side is coming from, and where they fit into the organization and the business. The result is a more engaged team.
- Improved collaboration
The DevOps model emphasizes combined achievements rather than individual goals. When your development and operations teams can build trust, they can communicate more effectively. It’s no longer a situation of handing applications over to Operations and hoping for the best. The development team can consistently get feedback on the application throughout the development lifecycle and quickly make changes.
- Improved communication and collaboration
Connecting your operations team with your development team through shared goals will help them stay on the same page. When Operations says, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had [X] feature?”, the development team can say “We can make that happen!” It is no longer a “blame game” situation between departments. Development can get feedback at specific times throughout the project, and Operations can feel like the feedback is getting heard and acted upon.
- Faster delivery of features
In a traditional development setting, tension often exists between development and operations. Developers are typically measured by the features and updates they deliver, while the operations team is measured on the overall usability and run-time of the system. The software is essentially “thrown over the wall” to the operations team to test at the end of coding.
In contrast, the shared goals of a DevOps environment places responsibility on both teams to deliver new features without compromising the stability of the platform. Issues are exposed and fixed all throughout the development lifecycle, instead of at the end. This consistent feedback allows the developers to pinpoint and fix any bugs in small sections of the code, rather than looking at the entire code base.
- More time to innovate (rather than fix/maintain)
We’ve already discussed how DevOps will improve developer productivity and efficiency. By eliminating time spent on less productive tasks, DevOps can free up employee time to innovate, and focus on revenue-generating projects. In time, management’s perception of IT will shift from a cost center to a revenue generator.
Instead of separating and isolating development and operations, the DevOps methodology brings together the two teams for the benefit of the business. In the end, the best results come from a team that works together. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Why shouldn’t we think of our next software initiative as our baby?