DevOps: The Future of Business
Unless you have been on a desert island you will have undoubtedly heard of DevOps. DevOps is a method of software development where development and operations teams are merged with the aim to shorted the time to build, update and release software and it works by continuously testing it during the build, allowing early detection of problems and a shorter time from development to market.
DevOps has been implemented in organizations of many shapes and sizes as a way to increase the speed of development cycles and enhance stability. It has many advantages but the most obvious is the speed of the development cycle. DevOps drastically reduces the time from inception to delivery allowing the organization to realize the value of the product much sooner. The feedback loop it provides means that any bugs are seen early in the process and can be fixed without huge expense.
Users like the method too — the frequent and smaller releases means that learning the new changes can be done gradually rather than having to learn a lot in a short space of time. If bugs are found it is easier than ever to simply roll back to an earlier, more stable version but because of the way DevOps works this is not required as often.
Digital companies are undergoing a transformation — more and more organizations are software driven and as a result have become more agile in their approach. DevOps is not only essential to achieve these goals but also ideal and major companies have been quick to embrace it to streamline and speed up software pipelines.
DevOps isn’t just limited to the world of IT and its principles can be applied in multiple facets of an organization. As example of this is Scrum — a framework that looks at business challenges through a project-based lens. Scrum creates cross functional teams who establish and work towards a goal in a series of short work periods or ‘sprints’ which last between 7-14 days. During this time tasks are planned, executed and tested and then fed back to the scrum for evaluation.
While DevOps can undoubtedly bring multiple benefits to a business, an established company with a traditional structure may find implementing it a challenge and should have a clear plan based on identifiable goals from the start. Part of this should be sitting down with experts in the field of digital disruptions and discuss how the technology can work with your specific needs in mind. It is vital to make sure that everyone from management down has committed to the idea of the DevOps strategy as well as making sure that the technical tools that are needed are in place.
One of the essentials of DevOps is version control — these make sure the rapid deployment of tested code can take place and that roll-backs are swift and efficient when needed. Version control systems come in many shapes and forms such as Git, CVS and Team Foundation Version Control but they all allow tracking of code iterations and the ability to work collaborative as a team. They often work alongside GitHub and other similar code-sharing platforms which enable the team collaboration necessary for successful DevOps and they can integrate with multiple other workflow automation tools.
Another vital part of the DevOps tool chain are continuous integration and continuous delivery These will work in line with version control and code sharing so that developers can work in different aspects of code without negatively impacting their colleagues.
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And finally there is Infrastructure as Code where networks, etc are treated in the same was as the code it contains. You can set up new environments based on templates to ensure that all the environment are identical unless specified. This ameliorates a side affect of DevOps where the creation of multiple environments for testing means lots of subtle differences over multiple environments. The Infrastructure as Code platform ensures consistency is maintained.