Plenty of software companies strive to employ best practices to integrate team processes, patch glitches, and ultimately create a superior product. These companies aim to do these things, but they achieve those goals with varying degrees of success.
That’s where DevOps steps in.
Focused on a systematic approach to integrating and refining the entire software lifecycle, the DevOps philosophy provides industry best practices and their implementation roadmap. When fully integrated, DevOps stands to revolutionize the quality of the software developed and its speed, security, and reliability — all while refining, not uprooting, your organization.
This guide to DevOps will explore:
By the time you finish reading, you will understand how to incorporate DevOps into your organization and the importance of becoming a DevOps leader in your industry. Let’s begin by exploring what this is.
DevOps is a combination of the words “development” and “operations.” DevOps is meant to remove silos from development and operations teams to become faster and more effective.
DevOps is a modern operating philosophy of small-batch, fast, and frequent process updates that deliver a better software product to the market. Organizations utilizing a DevOps-centered mindset evolve products faster, introduce them to the market quicker, test and tweak them more rapidly, and take in customer feedback habitually. This means software products will compete better amongst tight market competition, as well as respond fluidly to those markets’ changes.
Statistics back up DevOps’ effectiveness. Studies have found that companies that employ DevOps methodology within their software development, testing, and operations departments are twice as likely to exceed company productivity goals, outlined market shares, and net profitability than those that don’t. If that wasn’t enough, these same DevOps organizations deploy new software features and patches nearly 200 times more frequently than competitors and spend a quarter less time managing unplanned, unexpected bugs or work.
Successful DevOps practices come down to three core domains:
Successfully deploying DevOps sets companies of any size up for better profits and market competitivity. It also carries additional business benefits that stretch across the entirety of the organization, from the small and every day to the advanced, value-based, and macro-operational.
On the list of core metrics for software products to track, tighter cycles and improved deployment frequencies land pretty much near the top. Introducing a DevOps approach stands to trim and clean up nearly every stage of a software’s lifecycle.
Beginning with pre-alpha development into beta candidates, then carrying through testing, delivery, and final product or application release, DevOps streamlines the entirety of the product’s journey, increasing both the rates of and number of releases with minimum production bottlenecks. Building, testing, and operations fall under one unified IT helm — and the customer reaps the rewards with quicker, better products.
Assuring quality can be dubious to promise in the software world. While many do it, few fully follow through on its tenants like proactive product support and continuous, automatic product innovation rather than merely patching bugs on a situational or ad-hoc basis. Worst-case scenario, customers are promised their software can integrate and perform a certain way — then it doesn’t.
With DevOps, the entire process of software creation, testing, and monitorization becomes harmonized. This keener collaboration between software developers and operating engineers increases the reliability of final-release products. Teams become primed to work together rather than separately, experimenting to see how a tweak here or change there affects everything down the line. Such an approach cannot help but translate into a more dynamic software product.
Companies end up with more thoughtful deliverables, uninterrupted updates and patch schedules, more responsive code, and more innovative software features tailored to the end user — all planned that way from the beginning.
Yet another advantage to employing DevOps is its ability to strengthen current and new software security features. In fact, some DevOps philosophies go so far as to integrate security personnel or entire security teams into the newly hybrid development-testing-operations domain.
This ensures the same people, practices, and tools that are being reshaped in other traditional IT silos carry over into one of the most important aspects of software for the end user — application security. It also meets the heightened demands and expectations of the market so that rapid security responses are taken care of before they become a widescale issue, not after the fact, with companies executing their security roles responsibly.
Last but certainly not least, a DevOps philosophy innately sets up leaner and more rapid feedback loops across a product’s lifecycle.
Internally, these loops are strengthened between complementary development, operations, security, and testing teams that previously operated as separate entities. Externally, feedback loops are near-constant and automated between the company and the customers, with numerous tools deployed to monitor and track product affordances from these end users themselves with as little interference or manual work as possible.
Not only are feedback loops sharpened, but also a company is made more flexible as a result. It is one thing to adopt more prominent feedback models. It is another to funnel them into actual product updates and change, which cannot happen on its own. With DevOps, the customer’s experience is prioritized from day one, meaning their insights and opinions become ingrained into the entire business model like never before.
Navis, a company that develops software for international shipping ports, set a schedule to begin introducing incremental process tweaks and digital tools in order to employ a DevOps-inspired continuous delivery software pipeline. Instead of freezing code every few weeks to make changes, as they had been doing, developers, quality assurance personnel, and testers were combined into one team to reduce test burdens and rethink testing tools. Because of their thoughtful and incremental approach, Navis now conducts daily builds rather than static, biweekly ones and saw no service downtimes or system oversights.
While DevOps remains one of the today’s trendiest software and application development methodologies, it requires commitment and flexibility. An organization can’t merely want to implement DevOps into its work structures. It has to be in the right place to do so. There are a few key qualifiers to keep in mind before DevOps can truly be realized:
There is no single DevOps formula. Authentic DevOps deployment is about gradual and effective bottleneck reduction through problem-solving team members, complementary automated tools, and thoughtful, collaborative processes.
For organizations considering DevOps, it’s important to note this lack of one-size-fits-all training. The following are some of today’s more popular types of DevOps methodologies.
DevOps Foundations aims to teach the core workflows and principles behind DevOps. It covers not only its objectives, key performance indicators, and business benefits but also its actual tools and structures. Businesses must take a DevOps Foundations course in order to move on to more in-depth and individualized programs. The DevOps Institute (DOI) DevOps Foundation training course focuses on:
Note that while many companies offer this training, few have hands-on, field experience consulting and implementing DevOps with real clients. Consider participating in courses with those who conduct both trainings and DevOps implementation to secure the best models and information for your team. Also note that the DevOps Foundations course is a prerequisite to DOI’s DevSecOps and Test Engineering courses detailed below.
What is DevSecOps? It takes the principles and workflow tutorials of a Foundations course but applies a second layer, software security. With DevSecOps, companies learn not only how to integrate development and operations but also new software security approaches as well. A DevSecOps course differentiates itself from traditional software security methods through data and security sciences, plus it will cover how these connect with overall business-aligned strategies. DOI’s DevSecOps course will provide instruction on the following:
Last but not least, companies can attend the DOI’s DevOps Test Engineering course to round out all the ways DevOps revolutionizes testing practices and models. What is included in DevOps Test Engineering training? With continuous testing so imperative to DevOps, a course dedicated to its tenants and practices will provide the following:
It bears repeating that every company’s DevOps implementation methods and schedules will be unique. Yet at their heart, they equip engineers with the right tools to automate the right processes, ultimately freeing them to perform high-functioning, rapid testing deliverables creation to improve the software for the end user. With this in mind, creating a true DevOps culture within your organization is incomplete without the following.
Your DevOps toolchain consists of all the applications, software, and digital tools that make it possible for your team to function at a DevOps level with DevOps-agile outputs. In other words, it’s the resources your engineers have access to that help them develop, test, and release software builds at the rates and quality they need to be truly DevOps. Without these tools, they would be forced to surrender to old models and old processes.
While hardly an exhaustive list, a basic DevOps toolchain incorporates the following:
A DevOps consultant and project implementer provides keen benefits and advantages for your organization. Aside from training you on DevOps workflows and helping you select your toolchain, few things match the individualized attention gleaned from a consultant — attention that turns into quantifiable improvements.
A DevOps consultant will address the overarching strategy, daily operations, and technical implementation of your DevOps journey as well as outline exact steps to get there. They take DevOps from the philosophical to the functional for your business’ software development, often through the following:
Business Transformation Institute has conducted certified DevOps training courses and consulting services for organizations of all types and sizes. We work with you to deliver process improvements critical to DevOps success — we won’t just hand you some flashy new software, then leave.
From continuous integration and deployment methods to finding the best automation toolchain for your team to use, BTI can successfully merge DevOps culture into your organization. Reach out or give us a call at (435) 580-8184 to learn how.