The ongoing pandemic has forced business owners to make significant shifts in their operating strategies, including swapping centralized databases with distributed databases and adopting remote work culture.
They have also figured out that the best way to stay ahead of their competition is by implementing DevOps practices that can significantly accelerate product launches and upgrades.
But a problem sometimes arises when they are unsure about where to start with new DevOps processes. Leaping into DevOps can be intimidating due to the absence of any relevant cookie-cutter approach. You have to customize a model based on your organization’s needs to make your team more agile and competitive while simultaneously improving business security, cutting costs, and boosting revenue.
If you are considering adopting a DevOps model, keep reading. We will discuss different approaches to help make the transformation successful.
What Do You Mean by DevOps?
Before discussing strategies, it‘s crucial to understand what the term “DevOps“ means.
The concept of DevOps refers to a change in IT culture that focuses on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile practices. These practices are aimed at creating a system-oriented approach to IT services and development. The priority here is to improve the collaboration between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops).
In essence, DevOps focuses on automating manual processes such as making payments, measuring performances, processing data, and so on. The idea here is to combine the efforts and functions of both the teams and make them share responsibilities. This can be done through automating infrastructure, automating code testing and workflows, and continuously measuring performance.
You can think of implementing a DevOps model into your business as a means of digitally transforming your IT and development teams for the better. This is something you would be wise to do quickly if you are not already doing so, since 74% of all organizations are actively involved in digitally transforming their business processes.
In some models, quality assurance and security teams also merge with the developers and operations teams to make up for the lack of security practices around it. In such cases, the name gets modified to DevSecOps.
The Best Practice is to Adopt a DevOps Model
The following are a few approaches that can be critical for ensuring a successful DevOps adoption within an organization:
Embracing the Integration Mindset
Combining development and operations efforts can be a rather complicated task in the absence of open communication and transparency. The only way to overcome disunity is to share common goals among teams.
Any DevOps strategy has two main components: continuous integration and continuous delivery. Before implementing a new DevOps strategy, you have to identify areas where the current delivery process is inefficient, along with an open mindset to experiment.
Try to understand that short-term failure is acceptable as long as your organization Comparing Three Approaches to Multi-Cloud Security Management Sees it as an opportunity to learn and improve. At the same time, implementing DevOps shouldn’t put confidential data at risk, so make sure to take necessary measures to protect data integrity and ensure uniformity.
Launching Pilot Projects that Use a DevOps Methodology
Step-by-step implementation can be an excellent way to get on the DevOps bandwagon. You can start with a pilot project based on DevOps methodology. Doing this will help you understand vital elements, check the response and readiness of teams, and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the DevOps program.
But make sure that it doesn’t affect the quality of other projects or jeopardize your business operations.
Setting Up Metrics for Giving Feedback
Selecting the right metrics to record and track progress is the most overlooked aspect of DevOps adoption.
Consider this: how could you possibly give feedback at every stage if you cannot identify your weaknesses and the areas that need more improvement?
Here are some of the most useful DevOps metrics for you to consider:
- Deployment speed: how long does it take you to deploy an upgraded version of an application to a particular environment?
- Production failure rate: how often does the software fail in the production stage during a fixed period of time?
- Average lead time: how long does it take for a new requirement to be built, tested, delivered, and deployed?
- Mean time to production: how long does it take for a new code to be committed into a code repository for it to be deployed into production?
- Deployment frequency: how often do you deploy new release candidates to test, staging, pre-production, and production environments?
You need a balanced approach in the implementation of DevOps, so giving feedback on every work process, from design and testing to release, is necessary. You can consider designing a quick feedback process to boost the effectiveness of workflow automation for this purpose as well.
Focus Automation Efforts on the Part of the IT Process that Needs It Most
Now that you have a pilot project and a feedback system in place, you should start by automating one process. We would recommend automating the most key processes in order to best evaluate the results. Also, be prepared for errors and setbacks that may occur in the process.
Another way to approach this would be to start implementing DevOps with a process that runs parallel to the key. The benefit of this approach is you get an opportunity to learn and understand advances in the framework of the real process without disturbing the entire project.
Lay Emphasis on Standardization
While it‘s true that automation has several business advantages, you won’t be able to mitigate communication gaps, performance bottlenecks, and silos between teams if you don’t have standardized workflows, technologies, protocols, processes, and metrics in place.
Hence, DevOps standardization is crucial in automation for ensuring developers, operations, QA, and everyone associated with these teams have a common frame of reference, along with a common language.
Revising Your Agile and DevOps Culture
Adopting DevOps is a huge cultural shift since it consists of intermingling workgroups and overcoming the traditional disunity of teams. It makes sense to make certain adjustments to boost the overall efficiency of an organization.
DevOps isn’t only limited to using new tools and re-drawing processes. It’s equally important to change the corporate culture itself, which is heavily dependent on uninterrupted and secure data access and transparent communication between employees.
Understanding the Benefits of DevOps Culture
Now that we have spoken about the ways of implementing a successful DevOps strategy, you should also know the advantages that you can expect from this.
DevOps helps you foster transparency through the processes, especially for version control. You will be able to ensure continuous software delivery and improve the speed of resolution and turnaround time. Not only will this help you deliver value to customers, but you will also enjoy a better position in the market.
A successful DevOps strategy can even pave the way for adopting DevSecOps in the future, a strategy that will protect sensitive data and maximize privacy on the web. By adopting DevSecOps into your business, security will ideally be implemented at the same speed and scale as the development of business operations.
The best DevSecOps strategy will be to automate as many things as possible to keep up with your operations. This can be best accomplished if you use open source security tools to mitigate common security threats such as SQL injections and cross-site scripting.
Concerning automation, DevOps can help stabilize operating environments and also give more time to teams for innovation through automated processes. Any manual implementation of tasks will, in turn, be limited.
Another huge advantage is the introduction of a more production-oriented concept that will reduce time wastage. This will ultimately cut down software costs. Interestingly, 63% of organizations have reported seeing improvements in software deployment quality, and frequency. This is made possible because teams can engage more through collaboration that helps them handle management challenges.
To put things to a perspective, DevOps can be a challenge, yes. But it can also be very beneficial for the overall growth of an organization.
In addition to the efficiency benefits your organization could enjoy from implementing DevOps, successful implementation may even improve your organization‘s chances to mitigate the adverse impact of coronavirus by following standardized processes and protocols, sharing common interests, and having team unity. Learn how Atlantic.Net’s Dedicated Server Hosting could help you implement DevOps!
If your organization is just beginning to embrace a DevOps culture, keep yourself and your team’s mindsets prepared for the challenges. After all, DevOps cannot be bought or declared, and it can only be attained through hard work and discipline.