DevOps: Evolution from a niche concept to business imperative

DevOps: Evolution from a niche concept to business imperative

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For any organization operating in the software development realm, every goal-setting meeting starts and ends with one agenda – faster deployment. DevOps as a tool has enabled such companies to set ambitious goals and get there with ease.

To put it simply, businesses that adopt DevOps services help deploy software 200 times as quickly as the ones that are still watching from the sidelines. The software deployment done using DevOps services is marked with faster production cycles, easier management, 60 times fewer failures and faster recovery from those failures. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the last couple of years have witnessed a growing number of organizations fully embracing DevOps.

ALSO READ: WHAT IS DEVOPS – A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

So, what is it about DevOps automation and services that elevates the results to such a level of efficiency and speed?

Speed and stability being achieved concurrently

Unlike a traditional software development model where shorter release cycles inevitably mean operating within a largely unstable environment, DevOps solutions foster a development environment where continuous deployment is shadowed with continuous testing and monitoring, techniques are test-driven and processes across the business are driven by agility and automation. The combination of all these factors leads to faster time-to-market delivery and reliable operating environments.

Early detection and faster resolution of errors

Engineers have access to real-time data to track the system performance, thus ensuring faster detection and resolution of problems. The collaborative approach to development and constant monitoring leads to the discrepancies in code, infrastructure, and configuration getting highlighted earlier in the development phase.

Innovation outside silos

There was a time when anything innovative and “ahead of the curve” was a result of a ton of time spent in seclusion. Transparency and collaboration was not the hallmark of innovators, but thanks to the agile way of doing things, innovators have conditioned themselves to collaborate across teams. Today, the barriers have been brought and developers and operations people are working as one team, using the most advanced technological tools. Agility is the buzzword and it has made the environment much more conducive to creating new things together. DevOps automation is one concept, in particular, that has given a boost to the interaction between different teams and individuals and added a sense of structure to how new processes are defined and carried out.

Key Metrics for Measuring the Success of DevOps Solutions

While DevOps required companies to gauge their resources so that the transition to a model that can facilitate fast and continuous delivery is easy, it is imperative to track some key DevOps metrics so that you don’t find yourself going off the rails.

  • Lead time: DevOps-powered deployment keeps shorter release cycles as its key DevOps metrics. Essentially, lead time is measured from the day development starts to the day of deployment. Once you have figured out the average time to production, it can be used as a benchmark for future deployments.
  • Automated test pass %: The hallmark of an agile development environment is frequent code changes and continuous unit and functional testing. Now, automation is one of the key drivers of DevOps, and code changes can often cause tests to break; so it becomes almost imperative to continuously track the effectiveness of the automated tests.
  • Defect escape rate: DevOps practices aim to ship code faster than ever, which increases the risk of software defects passing undetected at the time of QA and finding their way to production. So keeping a tap on the defect escape rate is a key metric when incorporating DevOps as you want to keep bugs out of production.
  • Service level agreements: While most organizations have service level agreement (SLA) as their fundamental agreements with their customers, the tracking of compliance with those SLAs might be lacking. It is extremely important that whether or not you have formal SLAs, you do operate as per certain service agreements that serve as formal terms and conditions as per you work with customers.
  • Failed deployments: Businesses make their best efforts to ensure deployments do not cause an outage or software does not malfunction or simply crash for users, but as the age-old saying goes – hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Deployment may fail, at some point in time or other, it thus becomes imperative to not let them escalate into a disaster. To this end, companies should track the occurrence over time, which is what can also be called tracking mean time to failure.
  • Application performance: It goes without saying that delivering consistently high performance is the most important metric for every application deployed. It is therefore highly recommended that there are pre-deployment checks done in order to identify the possible performance problems, hidden issues, and any other discrepancies. In addition, even after an application is deployed, it would help a great deal to keep an eye for any changes in the performance of the application. It is not uncommon to observe deviations in how certain SQL queries or web service calls are used. There are a host of third-party tools available to help you identify the problem.
  • Meantime to detection (MTTD): As said earlier, failures and issues are likely to happen in spite of the best efforts taken to ensure otherwise. So when an issue creeps up, it is important that it is identified timely so that it does not escalate into a major disaster. The monitoring systems should be in place and it should also be ensured that they are being maintained for continuous performance so that issues get spotted without fail or delay. Also, do not waste time to resolve issues once spotted.
  • Mean time to recovery (MTTR): Businesses that are prepared for failures have the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure quick recovery from failures. While you are strategizing every second to ensure zero to minimum failures occur, make it a priority to create a system that does not let failures linger on and hamper the business with long-term repercussions.

Impact of Bringing in Automation through DevOps on Business

DevOps is proving to be instrumental in blurring the lines between requirement gathering and production, thus transforming the production cycles in an unprecedented manner. The DevOps workflows enable synchronization between production cycles and IT mechanisms within an organization, thus streamlining them. It is safe to say in this context that the business benefits of DevOps are immense.

As per the maturity model created by Coleman Parkes and CA Technologies, businesses that have overcome technological and infrastructure challenges use of version control for all production artifacts was highly correlated with key IT performance metrics: deployment frequency, lead time for changes and mean time to recover.

Moreover, the use of continuous delivery practices- deployment automation, continuous integration, and testing and version control for all production artifacts predicted lower levels of deployment pain, higher IT performance and lower change failure rates.

Devops has been instrumental in giving even the large enterprises the room to be scalable. The automation functions have further led to cost savings and allowed companies to focus on their core functions and improve the overall Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

Advanced DevOps adopters can deliver new capabilities to market 42% faster- Coleman Parkes

This directly translates into enhanced customer loyalty, as customer satisfaction has been increasing owing to a better quality of apps.

Conclusion

With clear-eyed business benefits of DevOps that can be easily measured by a host of key metrics, more and more businesses are incorporating DevOps practices and building highly mature models to maximize results.

DevOps is enabling enterprises to eliminate the traditional linear processes and replace them with processes characterized by a degree of synchronicity and symmetry. With so many business benefits of DevOps to achieve, it is no surprise that DevOps tools are emerging as powerful enablers of digital transformation plans for organizations.

To know more about how you can seamlessly transition from traditional development methodology to DevOps Solutions, download this free guide.

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