Developing and releasing new software into production quickly is key to maintaining a competitive advantage in the evolving digital landscape. This has led many companies to adopt DevOps practices to improve their speed and quality.
DevOps, which stands for development and operations, is a methodology in software development that allows organizations to deliver services and applications at a higher velocity.
This approach gained immense popularity in the past few years. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 77% of organizations rely or plan to rely on DevOps to deploy software. The global DevOps market is expected to reach $20.53 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 23.08%.
But what makes DevOps such a unique practice? Is DevOps as revolutionary as the tech world, or is it just hype? In this article, we explore how DevOps differs from traditional software development and dive deeper into the benefits offered by the adoption of DevOps practices that can positively impact your organization in the long run.
DevOps vs. Traditional Models
At the dawn of the digital age organizations mostly relied on software development life cycle (SDLC) to build and deploy their applications and systems. However, traditional SDLC can be challenging to work with in today’s fast-paced, customer-focused business environment. The major issues with this approach are:
- Lack of transparency. Traditional models often involved siloed development and operations teams. The lack of transparency and communication leads to miscommunication, duplication of effort, and slower issue resolution.
- Long development cycles. SDLC models can imply lengthy development cycles. It results in delayed time-to-market and missed opportunities.
- Late fixes and updates. Because SDLC often reserves testing until the end of development, defects and bugs require significant rework. When issues are identified later, addressing them is more challenging and costly.
- Process-focused. SDLC often prioritizes a rigorous process over meeting customer needs. It results in software that doesn’t meet customer needs or expectations.
DevOps aims to overcome these limitations with an alternative approach to help organizations achieve faster time-to-market, higher-quality software, and improved customer satisfaction.
Benefits of DevOps
DevOps emphasizes collaboration, automation, and continuous improvement to enhance software outcomes. This approach has several substantial advantages over SDLC.
Top Benefits of DevOps Implementation
When deploying software, timing is everything. DevOps helps organizations work more efficiently and effectively, which leads to faster time-to-market and a critical competitive advantage. DevOps testing strategy and automation enable organizations to work faster than ever. In fact, the Accelerate State of DevOps Report found that elite DevOps teams deployed code 208 times more often and 106 times faster than conventional teams.
Continuous Software Delivery
DevOps supports continuous software delivery through multiple practices, such as continuous integration (CI), continuous deployment (CD), monitoring and feedback. Through a combination of such elements as automation, collaboration, and ongoing improvement, organizations can release new features and update their existing software significantly faster, reducing the risk of errors, and improving the overall software quality.
Automation is critical for streamlining the software development process and reducing manual, time-intensive tasks, such as testing, deployment, and monitoring. Through the strategic use of automation, DevOps saves time without compromising quality.
DevOps facilitates collaboration and communication between development, operations, and other production units. This enables DevOps engineers to identify and address issues much faster than if they used traditional models.
Better Management of Unplanned Work
While DevOps emphasizes automation, collaboration, and feedback to reduce the risk of unplanned work, it is sometimes unavoidable. Therefore, when unexpected work does occur, DevOps helps to break down silos so that teams involved can work together more effectively.
The DevOps model provides multiple strategies for managing additional workloads. For example, it gives clarity to ensure teams can address the most critical issues first, facilitating the efficient use of resources. It also allows teams to use unplanned work as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement and implement changes that eliminate the likelihood of similar issues in the future.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
While SDLC focuses on processes, DevOps emphasizes a user-centric approach to software development. This enables development and operations teams to create applications that better meet the needs and expectations of end-users. By incorporating customer feedback and testing through the development process, companies are able to release more user-friendly software, improve the customer experience, and enhance the overall business value of their product.
Improved Product Quality
With an emphasis on continuous testing and monitoring, DevOps teams are more apt to catch and address issues earlier in the development process. This leads to higher quality software with fewer bugs in comparison with traditional models.
Monitoring and feedback during development are critical to identifying issues and improving processes. By collecting and analyzing data during software development and deployment, teams can identify patterns and trends that may indicate the need for changes or improvements. It results in an overall stronger product that is less prone to the issues found in the SDLC model.
Reduced Production Cost
Cost is a significant factor organizations must take into account when developing a product. While companies may strive to build the best software, a limited budget can seriously impact their quality. DevOps helps organizations reduce production costs by automating manual tasks, eliminating inefficiencies and continuously improving processes. This results in greater profitability and a significant competitive advantage.
Common Misconceptions about DevOps
With the immense popularity of the benefits of DevOps, it’s natural that some may be skeptical of its claims. However, the common misconceptions about DevOps hold many organizations from being more productive, streamlined, and customer-centered. There are several misleading stereotypes about DevOps:
DevOps is Just Automation
While automation is a critical aspect and strength of DevOps, it’s far from being the only one. DevOps practices revolve around eliminating unnecessary manual processes and inefficiencies to create a better development process. They help break down silos and improve collaboration to create a more unified team connecting all the links of the software development lifecycle.
DevOps is Only for Large Organizations
DevOps principles benefit organizations of any size, from budding startups to established enterprises. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but it allows enough flexibility to meet your organization’s needs, challenges, and goals.
DevOps is a Replacement for IT Infrastructure Library
DevOps and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) are not at fundamental odds with each other. In fact, they can work together to optimize your software development process. Organizations use DevOps practices to focus on collaboration and automation, while ITIL improves processes and procedures. Together, they can enhance your overall software delivery and service management.
DevOps is Overly Complex
While DevOps might initially seem intimidating, it’s important to remember that it’s a journey, not a destination. Taking one step at a time, you can rest assured that your team will not burn out trying to accomplish everything at once.
Do not rush when implementing DevOps principles and processes. Focus on making process improvements rather than trying to overhaul your entire system. DevOps is about continuous progress and enhancements, so it’s okay to start with small changes and build from there.
DevOps is Just for Developers
An underlying principle of DevOps is breaking down silos and enhancing communications within organizations. That means that it requires collaboration between development and operations teams, as well as other critical stakeholders, e.g. security and QA teams. It takes buy-in at the organizational level, not just in development. In fact, experts list team culture as one of the most significant factors impacting the success of DevOps at an organization. The more organizations back away from perceiving DevOps as a developer-focused model, the greater success they can achieve.
Leveraging DevOps Benefits for Business Growth
So, is DevOps just hype? Absolutely not! Today it became a vital tool to get ahead in the competitive digital market, maintain customer satisfaction, and revolutionize business operations. By emphasizing collaboration, automation, and continuous improvement, organizations can streamline the software development process and achieve faster time-to-market, higher quality software, and improved customer experience.
However, adopting DevOps can be a significant challenge for organizations, especially ones with legacy systems and siloed development and operations teams. In these cases, hiring offshore DevOps engineers will help tremendously. A dedicated development team can help you navigate the complexities of DevOps and implement the practices that will enable your organization to achieve its goals.
At Grid Dynamics, we specialize in helping businesses adopt different DevOps practices to accelerate software development and achieve better business outcomes. With our deep expertise in DevOps, we can help you overcome the challenges of traditional software development and deliver high-quality products and services faster and more efficiently.
If you’re ready to elevate your software development and unlock the financial benefits of DevOps, contact us today!