Born out of the need to improve IT service delivery agility, the role of DevOps is to emphasise the collaboration, communication and integration of software developers and operations staff to deliver in-production software updates more easily, and bring new software into production more rapidly.
Combining the development division with a customer-focussed operation team in testing, pre-production and production phases ensures end-to-end automation throughout the lifecycle – from business demand right through to software deployment – and the advantages of this amalgamation are both real and measurable:
1. Faster Time-to-Market
Improved business agility (not to be confused with agile software development) is one of the fundamental gains of implementing DevOps. Reducing the time between development and launch phases will enable your business to generate competitive advantage – by rolling out new features to customers at much higher frequencies – and drastically lower the time it takes to respond to failures.
Speed-to-market and quick iteration is critical when competing in today's digital ecosystem; if you fail to adapt, the competition outpace your product development and steal market share away from you. The only way to compete, is to adopt a culture that enables your team to break down friction, ease collaboration and improve time-management – in addition to the automation that is driven by technology.
2. Better Quality
The benefits of improved performance are self-evident; improved quality means less defects and downtime, and this translates into increased brand reputation, stronger revenue protection and greater trust from consumers.
Adopting a DevOps culture also improves reliability of software, as faster and more frequent release cycles allow your business to identify and resolve issues, such as bugs and faults, far more quickly.
One of the strongest arguments for DevOps is that professionals are cross-trained across different disciplines. With increased knowledge comes better understanding and more reliable and easily operable software. Ultimately, this is beneficial for product quality and customer user-experience.
3. On Time and On Budget
As discussed above, implementing DevOps ensures end-to-end automation throughout the lifecycle. This enables a greater level of control and visibility during development in contrast to traditional methods.
Traditionally, the development factory would undertake software development and preliminary testing, black-box testing would handle quality assurance, and operations would deal with deployment. For DevOps, one team manages all these processes, and this enables traceability, heightens visibility, and ensures that production remains on time and on budget.
As above, a key DevOps benefit is traceability, and this can be a key regulatory requirement in many industries, though understanding who has done what, where and when can be useful regardless of industry regulations. In regards to compliance, implementation ensures end-to-end automation of processes, which enables a way for businesses to audit – previously inconceivable with traditional manual development.
DevOps processes also help to shift security and compliance concerns so that they are addressed much earlier in the lifecycle. This prevents any regulatory affairs from being overlooked and better supports the fast delivery of high quality, stable and secure software.
5. Cost Savings
The bottom-line benefit of DevOps is reduced expense and increased revenue through the production of on-budget, high-quality software, which can be delivered rapidly.
Predominantly the cost savings come from either the adoption of tools that aid automation or consolidate multiple tools into one – thereby reducing operational costs – or the fact that DevOps professionals tend to be trained across different disciplines – which helps to keep teams small and reduce staffing overheads.
Traditionally, software delivery resulted in release weekends, or overnight schedules, all at very high cost. But implementing a system for safe, rapid release resolves this, and monetary savings for those businesses that can effectively adapt to market changes, customer demands, and opportunities can be vast.
The impact of DevOps to business is tremendous, ultimately enabling the delivery of customer-driven services at the ‘speed of business’. By adopting the correct practices and techniques, your company will benefit from improved time-to-market and quality, reduced operational costs and greater visibility. At VASSIT we help organisations to successfully implement DevOps and recommend our technology partner Clarive.