How to get most from the DevOps way of implementation?

DevOps which goes by Developer friendly Operations has been a buzz now for few years now. Those who are familiar with DevOps are well aware that DevOps is not just a process that developers can follow in siloes. It is more than just about developers; it is a systemic change that should occur to bring real value to organisations. 

Now if we were to note few salient features that adds value because of DevOps it’d be the following:

  • Rapid releases of features and products –  With DevOps, there is more agility and hence IT teams can rapidly release features and products without worrying about security or production problems. Creating instances and applications for testing, production separately can eliminate the human errors that can possibly occur.
  • Continuous integration and deployment-Before developers coded first and then IT operations team would help them take that to production. However, with DevOps, developers can simultaneously integrate their code into existing application code and deploy to production version. With CI, early compilation errors can be detected and with CD, rapid rollbacks are now easily possible. 
  • Symbiotic relationship with cloud and cloud native application development – DevOps ways of doing things could be achieved in on-prem scenario too. However, organisations might not realise cost benefits as they would on cloud. One of the reasons for this is the full and integral tools and solutions offered by cloud for CI/CD and automation.
  • Underlined relationship between DevOps and Agile–DevOps and Agile become synonymous as organisations absorb DevOps ways. Agile offers incremental development, flexibility and rapid releases. DevOps on the other hand brings CI/CD, automation, orchestration and configuration on cloud. 
  • Automation to eliminate latency and scope for human error – Build Automation is key element that attracts developers and IT operations teams to DevOps. Toolsets offered on cloud for automated deployment removes error that can occur during manual deployment. 

Features above are noted to increase the performance by 52% in IT teams according to a survey of 900 IT professionals. However, organisations that used DevOps along with cloud saw an improvement in performance and efficiency upto 81% according to the same survey. 

In order to get the most from DevOps, organisations should follow certain set of practices that guarantee that 81% improvement. 

  1. If not cloud, then what? – Use of cloud and not just any cloud but the right cloud provider based on application, current development practices, and future requirements in terms of technology, application uptime/downtime.
  2. Agile is the way forward – Since DevOps emphasises importance of CI/CD methodology, organisations should work in agile manner where incremental features are released at time intervals.
  3. Going Central on cloud– Cloud supports centralised deployments whereas DevOps focuses on modularised way of implementation. So developers should know how to streamline the assembly and deployment of these components onto cloud.
  4. Let’s do Microservices – Microservices are a great tool that forms part of DevOps culture which aids in modular development and agile way of delivery. Make the most by implementing them into your application. 
  5. Scale, Scale, everything can scale – Cloud is famous for its capacity to scale applications’ instances dynamically. Now DevOps can automate such processes by using infrastructure as code. This will repeatedly monitor the scaling needs based on the traffic and help remove the need for IT operations team to manually perform it.
  6. Security, a concern? Addressed – Security which is lately a great concern is addressed in DevOps culture. However, many organisations don’t consciously use this feature. When security measures are part of DevOps implementation, these practices are famously called as DevSecOps. Also since everything is central, it is easier to monitor applications for security and governance. 

Apart from these, since cloud is centralised businesses can use application’s data to get insights into their cloud practices and further work on optimising their expenses and ways with cloud. 

To conclude, here are my two cents on DevOps and cloud development based on my experience of working with it and research:

  1. Organisations should ride on this wave if they don’t want to loose on benefits of already available tools and future possible advancements in this DevOps, cloud combination. Not adopting would lead to nothing but failure and inefficient ways of doing things that eventually would lead to losing competitive advantage 
  2. They can start with cloud first and then DevOps later or otherwise. There is no specific order when what you’re doing is right in the end
  3. Do not just jump on the wave but research and then decide the right cloud provider for you. Account for your application, developer and organisation needs when choosing your provider

Do let me know your views and experiences of working with DevOps and cloud in the comments below.