The pandemic has derailed the global economy, impacting businesses across the world. If organizations wish to keep up with the lightning pace of app and platform improvements while staying cyber secure, they must rely on DevOps. DevOps is crucial to business success more than ever.
But before you start your journey with DevOps let’s take a look at what DevOps is. What are the advantages of DevOps? How can you maximize its potential for your business? Read on to find out.
What Is DevOps?
DevOps is a term derived from combining “development” and “operations.” According to Gartner, “DevOps represents a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach.”
In simple terms, it is a coordination of best practices that automate and integrate the processes between software development and the IT teams. This cross-disciplinary practice enables enterprises to create and improve products faster than traditional software development methods.
Implementing DevOps allows enterprises to have a competitive edge in value and value management. It allows teams to adapt to the changing market and address their customers’ needs effectively.
Tangible Benefits of DevOps
1. Maximizes efficiency
DevOps ensures the quality of application updates. Armed with the logging and monitoring mechanism of DevOps, developers can now oversee the real-time performance of the products.
This will help them make any necessary changes or improvements ensuring the efficiency of the software. Continuous testing enhances the software quality. Plus, it will be more reliable to function consistently and seamlessly.
2. Better communication and cooperation
A DevOps software development culture contributes to happier and more productive teams as its primary focus is on performance. This team spirit helps in building trust that leads to unitedly working to innovate more effectively.
When teams work together with DevOps, they do not wait for a different team to solve problems. Instead, they work toward a common goal focusing on bringing the product to market or production.
3. Faster Innovation
The success of an enterprise depends on its ability to innovate faster than its competitors. Since DevOps collaborates both development and operation efforts, the development cycle is shorter and the applications are ready faster.
4. Reduced implementation failure
Implementation failure can occur due to programming defects. Since DevOps promotes frequent code versions it is easy to detect defects early. This reduces the number of implementation failures. Additionally, recovery is much faster as the teams share ideas and together tackle the challenges of both teams.
Automated testing and CI/CD aid in efficient bug-free codes. Hence, it eliminates the need to combat network downtime and avoid spending additional costs on other related issues.
DevOps automation accelerates the software release pipeline and cuts down on manual interventions. Thus, it minimizes software release costs. Moreover, early detection of defects saves consequent financial damages. Subsequently, DevOps increases profitability while reducing both direct and indirect costs.
6. Customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is crucial for businesses to thrive and profit. The constant flow of feedback mechanism of DevOps allows customers to rate the product and its updates. Their feedback will help developers to improve the product.
Besides, customers can keep tabs on the progress of the application with the help of loop feedback. This contributes to customer satisfaction as they now can see the agility in the software development process. As a result, your business can and will gain a competitive advantage in your sector.
Key Features Of DevOps
- Code: Everything in DevOps is version-controlled as code along with data.
- Continuous: Emphasis is on continuity of integration, deployment, and testing.
- Collaboration: Strong collaboration between the operations, development, and security teams is at the heart of DevOps.
- Fail fast: Robust automation, tooling, and processes in DevOps help in identifying problems faster preventing delays in the rollout of new features.
- Automated environment provisioning: This enables consistency across deployment ensuring reliable release.
- Security: This involves all security measures ranging from static security code analysis to vulnerability management.
DevOps consists of multiple phases that collectively become the DevOps lifecycle. These phases ensure DevOps optimizes all development processes. Here is a phase-wise break-down of the DevOps lifecycle:
1. Continuous development
This is the first phase where planning and software coding takes place. The planning involves understanding the project and developers begin developing the code for the application. Though planning does not require any tools, maintaining code requires a number of tools.
2. Continuous integration
In the phase of continuous integration, new codes are built and integrated into the existing code. The source code is modified several times on a weekly or daily basis. The continuous integration of new code helps reflect the changes that the customers experience with the updated code.
3. Continuous testing
At this stage, the developed software is continuously tested for bugs with the help of automated tools. This phase can be repositioned around the continuous integration phase as well.
Testing helps developers save effort and time that is usually lost in manual testing. Plus, reports generated help them improve the test evaluation process. This ensures flawless functionality and inter-networking of the application.
4. Continuous feedback
Continuous feedback allows for further analysis of the improvements. The feedback from customers is assessed promptly enabling the developer to release new versions of the software application.
5. Continuous monitoring
This phase is of key importance for application developers as it sustains the availability of services in the application. Continuous monitoring helps determine the root causes of recurring system errors and helps resolve security issues and other problems.
6. Continuous deployment
Although continuous deployment takes place before continuous monitoring, developers ensure that this phase remains active throughout the DevOps lifecycle. Containerization tools are used to achieve continuous deployment. This nullifies all sorts of production failures and system errors.
7. Continuous operations
This is the shortest of all phases. The continuous operation allows developers to automate the process and accelerate the time-to-market for the application.
Use of DevOps in Different Industries
Manufacturing industries: The use of DevOps in car manufacturing can help manufacturers identify errors early on in the production process.
Online financial trading companies: DevOps reduces the overall process time and increases the customer base. DevOps contributes to a drastic reduction in regression testing time which in turn reduced the funding period.
Get Faster, Bigger, and Better with DevOps
It is clear that the DevOps strategy benefits enterprise software development in many ways. DevOps take the legwork out of the software development process and has emerged to be a crucial component for the growth of a business. DevOps provides a wide range of benefits that are measurable and real in implementation.
DevOps can create an astounding long-term impact for internet-based businesses. All businesses need DevOps for faster testing and implementations.
If you are not adopting DevOps practices in your technology projects, then you are increasing the risk of delay on your technology projects and increasing technical debt. The longer you wait, the more effort is required to implement DevOps into your workflow. So, if you are considering implementing DevOps, act quickly! Call us today.
How DevOps Uses Test Automation Tools to Accelerate Software Development
The goal of DevOps is to build faster, effective, and responsive applications by bringing together the development team and the operations team. It is a cultural shift to remove all barriers between Dev and Ops and provide shorter as well as frequent software deliveries, thus enabling organizations to respond in a much agile manner with respect to the constantly changing customer demands and expectations.
In a nutshell, DevOps via effective collaboration, communication, streamlined delivery, and automation of processes will accelerate software development in the following key ways:
- Faster time to market
- Reduces risks of failures in each release
- Enhances error fixing and recovery time
- Improves the checking process efficiency
- Speeds up the rate of change
- Allows managers to make improved and effective trade-off decisions
- Enables rapid and continuous feedback
- Offers flawless continuity throughout the Software Development Lifecycle
Testing in DevOps starts from the very beginning of application development and hence it is important to make sure that the development team and the operations team work closely with each other to ensure continuous integration and prompt delivery by continuous testing and monitoring.
Related Reading: Test Automation Trends to Accelerate Development Cycles in 2020
Automation Testing in a DevOps Environment
DevOps is categorized into the following 4 processes:
- Continuous Integration
- Continuous Delivery
- Continuous Testing
- Continuous Monitoring
The testing teams require to align their test design, automation, as well as test case development along with DevOps to ensure that the frequent changes made have not affected the final product.
Unlike the traditional approach, automation testing in a DevOps environment requires moving test automation scripts to a control tool which is of an enterprise version. This system of centralized enterprise-level testing results in an integrated test suite that offers centralized execution and reporting.
Let us walk through the different ways in which DevOps makes use of test automation tools:
How DevOps Uses Test Automation to Speed Up Software Development and Delivery
DevOps testing lays its core focus on test automation within the application’s development pipeline to ensure that by the time the application is deployable, it is done without any further confusion. Some of the popular test automation tools of DevOps are Selenium and Water.
Here is a quick rundown on the popular DevOps tools:
1. New Relic– New Relic offers an end to end visibility along with improved customer experience and dynamic infrastructure. It also helps the DevOps team to save their time spent in monitoring applications.
2. Jenkins – Jenkins is a DevOps automation tool used for checking the execution of redundant tasks. Jenkins is an open-source CI/CD (Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery) server that allows users to automate various phases involved in the application delivery pipeline.
3. Splunk – This automation tool is used to access machine data. It offers operational effectiveness to both the development as well as the operations teams in DevOps. It offers enterprises the ability to be more productive, competitive, secure, and reliable.
4. Selenium – Being the most popular automation testing tool for DevOps, Selenium is designed to meet the specific needs of a wide range of different browsers. It makes use of lesser resources and supports parallel test execution which reduces the overall time required for the testing process. The test cases prepared can be run on any operating system as well.
Cucumber, Jasmine, JUnit, and JMeter are other popular test automation tools used by DevOps to accelerate application development and deployment.
Related Reading: How To Measure The Effectiveness Of Your DevOps Program
Future of Test Automation in DevOps: Enhancing Application Development
With the evolution of continuous testing, DevOps has enhanced its test automation strategies where it is supported by practices such as a test-case design that is risk-based, stateful test data management, service virtualization, as well as seamless integration into the DevOps set of test automation tools.
To get the best out of test automation and to learn how to incorporate test automation tools using DevOps to accelerate your application development and deployment, talk to our experts today.
In the wake of the age of mobility, and increasing demands for high-quality web and mobile applications, DevOps is fast becoming the most reliable and preferred strategy for most organizations. It’s cross-functional collaboration and speed are making it more like a go-to strategy, as it enables quick delivery of software solutions, which is precisely what is needed in the current business scenario. Moreover, as businesses are in the process of digital transformation around the world, an agile environment is only a necessity, as a lot of business aspects linked to the transformation process like growth, customer loyalty, and satisfaction, competition differentiation etc., need to be taken care of well. DevOps helps in creating such a responsive IT environment, enabling organizations in rapid development and deployment of high-end software solutions.
But how far is DevOps successful? How can an organization judge for itself whether it’s DevOps initiative was, or will be successful? Sure, a lot of organizations are following it, but given the transformational scenario that most organizations are in, it could be difficult to measure its success, because DevOps by itself is not exactly a formal framework and it doesn’t provide a lot of guidance. Organizations simply have to learn into it.
There are some metrics or elements that accurately help in measuring the success of DevOps. Most organizations make the mistake of measuring a number of elements, which often may not be necessary and retreat to ones that can be easily collected. But, the issue is that some of these metrics that matter for DevOps may not be as familiar to organizations. For example, the speed of deployment, rate of change and the like are metrics that are only applicable to DevOps, which in turn is a comparatively new concept for organizations.
So what are the metrics that should be considered for DevOps?
The elements that matter
Importantly, we need to consider people-centric metrics, and process and technology centric metrics as well for DevOps. Out of these, people-centric metrics are probably the most difficult to collect, but often prove to be the most useful. They can actually be one of the most powerful influencers on a DevOps program. Hence, internal metrics like staff training and retention rates should be strongly considered.
When it comes to
When it comes to process metrics, we need elements that help to measure the effectiveness of interlinked processes throughout the delivery process. It helps to see if the collaboration is effective. It also helps to identify deficiencies within the processes that need more work.
Technology metrics are those such as uptime and capacity to support expected web traffic, which basically help in reviewing the technologies used in the DevOps process. It also includes insights derived from failures or errors like failed releases, code defects and the like.
Another important thing to note while determining metrics is to sustain a comprehensive or holistic approach. Sticking to just one or two aspects of measurement like operational or developmental metrics, may not provide the required results. As a matter of fact, there are chances of it having a negative impact on behavioral improvements in the organization.
To start off, here are a few dimensions which can be used to measure the effectiveness of DevOps:
- Collaboration and sharing – This literally forms the base of a DevOps program and is hence the most important measure. They help in judging the acceptance or resistance to the program, on an ongoing basis, which is a valuable indicator of the effectiveness of DevOps. As mentioned before, some of the metrics in this dimension might be easier to collect such as staff retention rates, training, and turnover, while others like employee morale might be more difficult. Another aspect to look into here, is how metrics in other dimensions are affecting elements in this dimension. For example, how far are MTTR (Mean Time To Repair) changes affecting employee morale, retention, absenteeism and the like. Automated surveys and other means to get employee feedback are other areas that may be considered for this dimension.
- Efficiency – This dimension mainly focuses on developmental and operational aspects. The capacities and capabilities. Moving from the traditional ratios like server to admin, businesses are now using customer-centric ratios like FTE (Hours worked by a Full-Time Employee) to customers. This value is expected to increase in the coming years, as more enterprises are now moving to automation and the cloud. Other metrics such as examining costs on an application basis and cost of release are good measures in improving data center efficiencies.
- Quality – This dimension focuses on elements related to service delivery. For example, metrics like percentage of applications rolled-back because of code defects. Now this metric could initially be high for organizations that have just begun on their DevOps initiative. This is probably due to extra time required for the purpose of making the new processes effective, and other related things. These metrics might give other useful insights when combined with other indicators. For example, the rate of rollbacks when combined with the change volume indicator, could provide more important insights.
These are some other metrics in this dimension:
Cycle time – time required to complete a stage or several stages within a project
MTTR – average time taken to restore a service or repair a defective part
- Business value – This dimension is focused on external things – like the impact of DevOps on meeting business goals. It includes elements like customer value or loyalty, time to market and the like. The lead time too provides businesses with an analogous metric that helps to know how well DevOps is meeting the need to deliver high-quality software services fast. This is specifically important as a long lead time may mean more defects in code and issues in testing.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is another important metric, which is a simple method to measure customer loyalty. Even though this measure has been traditionally used for marketing purposes for a long time, customer loyalty is also affected by the fast and timely delivery of software services through high-quality web and mobile apps.
All these metrics contribute towards analyzing the effectiveness and success of DevOps. Keeping track of these, can help an organization in deciding whether to continue with the program or do the needful to make it further effective.
Image credits: Prashant Arora’s blog
Enterprises these days, are always looking to adopt the best technologies and applications for their various business requirements. In fact, it is almost inevitable for organizations to use software to automate their processes and improve efficiency so as to gain competitive advantage. Along with it, organizations also need ways to have more sustainable development processes, and the good news is that they have already started to realize it with DevOps. According to a recent research by International Data Group (IDG), there are only 10% of organizations that do not have any DevOps plans in the near future.
Do you think DevOps is that necessary for your business?
To answer that question, it would be worthwhile to discuss a little history of DevOps, how it came into being, and how it is used by businesses these days.
What is DevOps
According to Wikipedia, DevOps is a culture in business enterprises that emphasizes the need for collaboration, communication and coordination between the software developers and other information technology professionals in the organization, while automating the various processes of software delivery and infrastructure changes. It basically aims at promoting an environment, where application development, testing, as well as release, can be more frequent, fast and reliable. In the traditional setup of organizations, there was a lack of integration of these functions with the IT department, which often led to unsatisfactory results. DevOps seeks to bring about a culture, where the processes and procedures in an organization promote communication and collaboration among the development team, the Quality Assurance (QA) team and the IT operations team.
Nowadays, as more and more applications are being built to meet different business requirements, and they are constantly updated to adapt to the changing needs, the processes become seemingly never ending. This is where DevOps would particularly be useful. It accelerates development, testing as well as deployment of applications with the help of tools and techniques that automate tasks for operations, while at the same time give the developers more control and command over the entire application life.
A brief history
It was in 2009 that the term DevOps became popularized through a series of devopsdays in Belgium. Since then, it has been widely used among web-based businesses, like Netflix and Etsy.7 Although, that is not the case now, when enterprises know and have seen the benefits of DevOps and are capitalizing on adoption.
How enterprises are utilizing DevOps now
According to the IDG research, almost 61% of organizations are embracing new strategies and techniques, like the agile development methodology and DevOps in the upcoming year, which is an increase from 48% this year. This only proves the level at which DevOps has grown in adoption and how much popular it is in increasing efficiency. Up to 77% of organizations say that their software development team and IT operations team collaborate frequently, and 56% of them also say that their IT operations team plays an increasing role in the management of outsourced development activities. This again goes on to prove that DevOps is definitely the way to go. With the increased role of the IT team and considering how important their association is with the development team, a combined culture will go a long way.
Considering that DevOps is a whole culture change and not just a kind of technology that can be adopted and used easily, enterprises do need their time to adapt themselves and get used to the new ways of interaction and working.
Michael Rembetsy, VP of Technical operations, Etsy says, “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of effort from people at the top and it takes effort from people at the bottom as well. It’s not just the CEO saying, ‘Next year we’re going to be DevOps’. That doesn’t work. It has to be a cultural change in the way people are interacting.”
According to the research, almost 60% of organizations still use a waterfall development approach, which is a linear progression through the development stages of a project. It often leads to misinterpretations and failures, as there may be change requests by the client after the entire process is complete.
41% of organizations use an agile development process, which involves smaller and more frequent builds, regular and continuous planning, testing and integration and a more welcoming attitude towards new requirements. It leads to a faster time to market as well. DevOps clearly serves the needs of this approach, as it involves frequent interactions as well. Simply put, it leads to more sustainable processes.
Another reason why DevOps is necessary is because of the rise in demand for innovative web and mobile applications. Since such applications are required to connect and interact with customers and partners regularly, and capture their preferences and needs at all times, there is no such thing as “one-and-done” with them. They are always changing to adapt to the different needs of customers. DevOps helps to shorten the time of productions of these apps. It adds automation and streamlines workflows so that the developers can build, test and deploy applications smoothly. The research report says that 49% of organizations are planning to increase their investment in custom mobile app development, out of which 57% of organizations are planning to mobilize customer relationship management apps, 51% are planning to go for enterprise relationship management apps and 50% of them for field force automation apps. This only means that DevOps is all the more necessary to keep up with the changing environment.
Benefits of DevOps methodology
According to the report, using DevOps can lead to:
- 41% more automated development processes, which can free up a lot of time for other important activities.
- 38% more positive interactions with the operations team
- 38% accelerated time to production
- 38% ability to improve the product for which a developer is responsible
Not using a DevOps approach can lead to problems like, lack of proper visibility into IT operations requirements in the development processes, increased development costs because of redundant jobs resulting from lack of timely communication and the like. Apart from all these, there will be much less collaboration between the development team, the operations team and the business.
DevOps is definitely becoming increasingly prevalent for all the above mentioned reasons. It is indeed better to shift to a more dynamic and interactive culture today, as the already fast paced business environment is rapidly changing to become even more so in future.