DevOps 101 — How to Make It Work for Your Organization

How do you make your company faster deliver better products that fit market demands? This is the question that DevOps was created to address — a question of central importance to business leaders across the board.

Building on different methodologies, the DevOps approach focuses on breaking the wall between development and operations teams and helps them communicate better along the way of conceptualizing, developing, and launching a product. Fostering internal collaboration, DevOps aims for agility. It spurs a fundamental change that affects all aspects of how an organization functions.

Most importantly, DevOps is not solely focused on processes or lifecycles. It leads to a profound cultural shift, as it embraces the interdependability of different teams. Its results are all-encompassing: from flexibility and speed to lower costs and authentic customer-centricity.

Knowing that DevOps can help your business is not enough. By learning how exactly you can employ it, you can reap the biggest benefits from it for your organization.

The benefits of DevOps for organizations

From Amazon and Google to Netflix and Facebook, large corporations are applying DevOps to get a step ahead. But can DevOps be useful for smaller companies? When implemented the right way, DevOps can certainly help smaller and medium-sized organizations, too. It brings a huge boost in efficiency and multiple benefits such as:

  • Rapid innovation. With DevOps, companies can stay relevant in a quickly developing digital world allowing businesses to experiment with new technologies on the go. Development cycle times are shorter while making changes is easier and faster.
  • Higher customer-centricity. DevOps allows companies to work in a continuous way. This helps them deliver exactly what the market demands due to the rapid iterations and real-life feedback. It also leads to improved customer experience.
  • Decreased time-to-market. The need for speed is ever more relevant in today’s landscape. DevOps allows businesses to boost their internal processes so that they create products and bring them to market much faster.
  • Increases team flexibility. When it comes to rapid adaptation and frequent changes in direction, acting like a start-up is not easy for larger companies. DevOps makes it possible, as it sets the ground for real organizational agility.
  • Lowers costs and optimizes results. Businesses need to be competitive in terms of costs and margins. The faster delivery and increased efficiency that DevOps offer brings down the overall costs of an organization. While not the sole focus of these practices, profitability inevitably goes up when a company functions better and quicker.

What makes DevOps different from CI/CD and Agile

In an ocean of different methodologies today, it can be difficult to see immediately how DevOps is different. Its approach has proven its efficiency, as it not only builds upon the principles of CI/CD and Agile but takes them a step further.

The Аgile methodology came to existence as a huge leap away from the traditional waterfall methods. It allows companies to optimize their development processes, so they can deliver faster.

CI/CD stands for continuous integration and continuous delivery or deployment. It is a workflow for development teams that enables automation and removes bottlenecks in software delivery.

DevOps is based on the principles of Agile and embeds continuous integration, delivery, and deployment. On top, it embraces a wholesome approach that focuses on a continuous way of overall operations.

Rather than simply focusing on improving processes or optimizing software lifecycles, DevOps goes beyond development. It emphasizes company culture, thus expanding the method to the functioning of the whole organization. Applying the principles of DevOps, companies shift towards enhanced collaboration, higher personal and team responsibility, and a striving for continuous improvement.

DevOps is not a single method, but rather a congregation of practices, processes, technologies, and tools. It fosters deep inter-team collaboration and communication that enables the faster creation of products of higher quality. It does so by bridging the gap between the development and operations teams, which is a common hurdle for companies.

By introducing continuous exchanges, DevOps helps all team members know where their responsibility lies and how it interconnects with other people’s roles. This, in turn, makes cross-functional teams create better products.

The top 5 tips for unlocking the value of DevOps

How do you make DevOps bring the best results for your business? Our team has gathered the top 5 principles that we follow for success.

#1. Get wide stakeholder buy-in

It is essential to have people on-board when transitioning to DevOps. That’s the only way to apply it successfully.

All teams involved in the initiation, development, and delivery of a product have to be in sync with your idea. To this end, getting the buy-in of product, engineering, sales and marketing, and support is key.

It’s worth helping all team members grasp why this holistic approach to product development makes sense. To achieve this, it’s best to speak with people honestly and directly and inspire them for making the change.

Having DevOps champions can be of great help in gaining active stakeholder support. It’s worth identifying the team members who are most enthusiastic about the shift and motivating them to become the internal leaders of this process.

#2. Create a solid DevOps plan

You need to know what you’re aiming for and how you can achieve it.

The best way to go about it is to create a roadmap before you start, one that includes the milestones your team has to achieve during the transition. Naturally, it’s also important to define tangible deliverables and measurable KPIs.

Our advice is to select project owners whose efforts will be essential for the shift. That’s how you can leverage the strengths of your team on the way to solid DevOps.

#3. Leave legacy systems behind

While DevOps is not only about technology, you have to set the ground for it to run smoothly.

If you truly want to ride the DevOps wave and reap its numerous advantages, you have to go for digital innovation first. It may not entail a full digital transformation, but you would certainly need to undertake active modernization efforts. (Read more on the differences between digital modernization and digital modernization to understand what’s right for you). This may include creating new infrastructure, moving to the Cloud, and finding out the right emerging technologies for your business. The most critical step is the first: understanding what legacy IT modernization means to your organization. Resolute Software can help you get a detailed evaluation of your existing software development strategy and product architecture delivered by a team of experienced professionals. Learn more about our modernization assessment package.

#4. Empower your product teams and nurture trust

DevOps is based upon fostering personal and team responsibility. Thus, empowering your product development department is essential.

In traditional approaches, organizations use audit-based controls to ensure quality and compliance. For DevOps to work, however, some control functions have to be delegated to the teams. It’s best to allow them to set their own checks on processes.

Giving more trust to product team members would ensure proper testing and management of risks. This higher degree of autonomy can help prevent the common bottlenecks that occur when controls are imposed externally.

#5. Embrace a culture of collaboration and transparency

The idea of undergoing a meaningful cultural shift is at the very heart of applying DevOps. It’s a fundamental prerequisite for its success.

To this end, getting stakeholder buy-in is not enough. Your whole organization has to move on the principles of transparency and collaboration so that internal relationships flourish. Only then you can expect to get visible results from DevOps and its intended cultural shift.

In our extensive experience with diverse businesses across the globe, we’ve seen in practice that the role of leadership is indispensable in the shift to DevOps. It’s important to listen to your team and allow open communication, both with management and within teams. You also have to foster cross-team collaboration relentlessly through common work meetings and team-building activities.

Making DevOps work for your business with Resolute Software

Getting started with DevOps can be a challenging process for an organization. It brings immense benefits, but it also requires substantial efforts for preparation and execution.

Resolute Software can help your business make this transition while providing you with the right digital modernization and transformation services. Our DevOps experts will be there for you along the way while implementing CI/CD practices in your organization.

Ready to get started? Get in touch.

Originally published at https://www.resolutesoftware.com on December 10, 2020

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