DevOps Implementation: Where To Start And How To Make It Result In Success

Despite the large chunks of information out there on DevOps, many companies still struggle with DevOps implementation. 

Yes, it’s evident that “a lot of organizations have bought into the philosophy of DevOps – faster, more frequent releases, a collaborative culture, a cloud toolset, and the idea of automation,” said Elinor Klavens.

Additionally, IDC predicts that the worldwide DevOps software market is expected to reach $6.6 billion in 2022.

But while some perhaps understand the basic practical steps to a successful implementation, others are completely unaware or choked on the way to successfully use it to speed up their software development and operations. 

No more!

Leveraging on FortySeven Software Professional’s expertise in implementing DevOps, Hanna Schnaider identifies the basic reasons to start DevOps and the practical steps on how your team can successfully integrate DevOps. 

Let’s dive right in. 

But for revision’s sake, it’s important to know…..

What is DevOps?

DevOps is an IT practice that brings operations, development, and testing personnel together in cross-functional teams, holding them responsible for the lifecycle of a software product or service. 

Relying on collaboration among all functions of the organization, DevOps helps create a stable operational environment, delivering much faster software with minuscule errors and bugs, stimulating version control, and optimizing costs. 

In short, implementing DevOps practices means better, faster, efficient, and high-quality software leveraging the culture of cooperation and collaboration among all functions of an organization. 

Furthermore, to overcome the potential shortcomings associated with traditional software development and IT operations, it’s best to consider the DevOps approach.

Benefits of DevOps

Maximum Efficiency with Automation

As Robert Stroud said, “DevOps is all about fueling business transformation that embraces people, processes, and changes in culture. 

Successful DevOps initiative demands a mindset that proposes huge collaborations between several teams – product, IT operations, security, engineering, and more – plus automation to achieve business goals better and faster. 

By managing engineering processes effectively, DevOps ensures software development is done reliably and securely using automation. 

Speeds up Software Development and Deployment

In the 2019 annual Accelerate State of DevOps report, it was found that leading DevOps organizations achieve key operational requirements of ensuring that their products are available to end-users, while also doing far better on software development. But how could we possibly believe the DevOps initiative is paying off?

To buttress this, the report further identifies five performance metrics including lead time, deployment frequency, change fail, restore time, and availability to predict the likelihood of DevOps success and deliver a high-level view of software performance and delivery. 

Entirely Optimize Your Business

Patrick Debois, a system architect and commonly called the creator of the DevOps movement expressed strongly that the biggest benefit of DevOps is the insight it provides. 

DevOps helps organizations optimize their entire system, not just those IT siloes, to improve the success of their business. 

Said differently, it helps to be more adaptive and data-driven to align with both customer and business needs.

Helps to Focus More on People

The most critical elements of the DevOps initiative are not tools, but people. Humans are key role players who can greatly increase your odds of success. 

For instance, a DevOps evangelist explains the advantages brought by greater agility of DevOps practices and eradicates fears and common misconceptions. 

Moreover, since automation is critical to DevOps success, automation specialists can create effective strategies for continuous deployment and integration, ensuring production is fully software-predefined, adaptable, flexible, and highly available. 

Practical Steps Toward Successful DevOps Implementation 

Implementing a DevOps system begins with analyzing your existing business processes and delivery channels, and clearly identifying the objectives you want to achieve with DevOps. 

You need to specify what you want to tackle – either greenfield or brownfield deployment. 

In most cases, Greenfield deployment requires building from scratch and is easier to implement but could be prone to downtime due to new methodologies. 

On the other hand, brownfield results in a little downtime but are often difficult to implement due to parallel deployment methodologies.

Whatever deployment scheme you choose, it’s always best to run a pilot project first. 

Once your project idea has been established and effectively analyzed, the following procedures are essential for successful implementation.

#1. Prepare for a Cultural Shift

DevOps combines tools, people, and processes jointly to revamp organizations into single entities. Thus, cultural shift is essential to DevOps, and changing your organization’s culture is one of the challenging aspects of the implementation. 

Unless the underlying company structure is changed, introducing new protocols and procedures will most likely fail. 

To create a cultural shift, incentives would also need to be shifted. The most helpful incentive model is to reward cross-functional teams for their great work in delivering a better customer experience. 

#2. Create a Continuous Integration

Once the whole organization is prepared for the coming cultural shift, the priority should be the DevOps team itself. 

At this stage, you want to provide accurate and up-to-date information to developers about their environment so they properly plan their deployment. 

For the developers, this will help create a coordinated “build and run” approach where developers own products or services till production. In the long term, this ensures proper delivery of the product, eliminating every bug during the process of ownership. 

The DevOps team will go through every point in the service lifecycle including requirements, planning, deployment, and maintenance. 

The key here is to create an automated deployment channel where the deployment of automated scripts can happen in minutes. 

This deployment channel should also integrate continuous development, continuous testing, continuous integration, and continuous deployment into a single entity 

#3. Create a Continuous Testing Environment

Continuous testing is important to create better software quality. 

In the traditional software development process, the code moves from development to testing and then production only if it successfully passes the test. If otherwise, the code is sent back for modification.

In DevOps implementation, testing is an integral part of the development, and QA personnel are an essential part of the cross-functional DevOps. The testing is performed repeatedly throughout the delivery pipeline.

Testing best practices include: 

  • Automate testing procedures to the greatest extent possible.
  • Log extensively
  • Separate test suites for quick and easy testing procedures. 
  • Add sufficient QA practices
  • Test frequently

#4. Continuous Performance Monitoring

In automation, continuous performance monitoring is key to success and there are several tools to do this for you.  

However, before choosing your tools, it’s important to identify key metrics to monitor. 

Also, you will have several services and processes running inside your system and you might not be able to monitor everything, thus, you will want to focus on the following: 

  • Development cycles: monitoring how frequently your code is being changed helps you get an idea about how your automated deployment pipeline is performing
  • Deployments: To get to know when an automated deployment fails, you’ll want to use a tool that alerts the assigned team. 
  • Vulnerabilities: Known and unknown vulnerabilities should be properly and identified and mitigated with an appropriate system
  • Server health: Server monitoring is important with almost every type of infrastructure, not just in DevOps because the performance and service-level agreements (SLAs) depend on it. 
  • Application performance: setting an appropriate monitoring system for this helps identify key issues such as regression and performance of applications. 

Wrap up 

The DevOps strategy is proven by thousands of companies worldwide as the fastest means to deliver software without compromising on quality. 

However, it’s important to consider the required technologies, time, and organizational efforts before deciding to implement. 

If you need further guidance on speeding up your software delivery cycle, contact our DevOps consultants at FortySeven Software Professionals.

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