Even if you're not steeped in the inner workings of the IT department, chances are you've heard the term "DevOps" get thrown around a bit. It's no accident this term can be found circulating widely – DevOps promises to radically change the way IT departments operate, breaking down silos and bringing disparate teams together.
That's all great news for IT members, but why does this matter to other departments? The benefits of DevOps stretch far beyond the walls of IT, touching every corner of an organization's operations. DevOps transformation isn't a theoretical or abstract ideal. It's very much an attainable goal, and it needs to happen today.
What we mean when we talk about DevOps
DevOps is traditionally discussed in terms of software development, but it can speak to a much larger organizational shift in mindset and culture. The basic idea is instead of traditional stratified IT teams – including developers, systems engineers, quality assurance testers and operations teams and more – working in isolation and in an iterative fashion, the lines separating those positions become blurred.
"The end result is quicker release times and higher-quality software."
In a traditional development process, developers write the code, QA tests it against requirements and checks for errors before passing it along to operations to maintain. A DevOps environment, meanwhile, would have greater overlap in responsibilities for each role, and there would be a more concerted effort to get QA and operations input earlier in the production cycle. The end result is quicker release times and higher-quality software.
What DevOps means for businesses
On a software-centric level, DevOps offers a lot of benefits for businesses. Software releases can be pushed out faster than ever, eliminating the lengthy production times that often plague development projects. That could mean releasing a new app to customers sooner to drive more revenue or getting an internal platform ready to increase employee productivity.
As TechBeacon noted, the software benefits of DevOps aren't limited to quicker release cycles. The prevalence of agile methodologies and practices within DevOps environments often results in teams discovering critical errors and other software-breaking issues earlier in the production cycle. Not only does this improve the quality of the final product, but it reduces the amount of time teams spend addressing problems in the run-up to release. Sorting out major software issues at that stage in the production cycle can be an arduous, time-intensive process. By getting ahead of such concerns, teams have more time to pursue other objectives.
"As you improve delivery processes using a DevOps approach, you find mistakes earlier and eliminate the rework required to correct defects and errors late in the life cycle," TechBeacon said. "You improve the quality of software while reducing wasted effort, freeing up capacity for more innovation to deliver greater business value."
Ultimately, DevOps can help organizations get more productivity and value out of their employees – and that translates into tangible benefits for your bottom line.
There's also the cultural aspect to consider. Traditional waterfall IT setups can create a somewhat adversarial relationship between developers, testers and operations teams. Everyone's working in distinct silos, and when something goes wrong, the finger pointing starts. Divorced from the bigger picture, each team can begin to see the quality of their work questioned by stakeholders they may not interact with regularly. Honest and constructive feedback from an outside perspective can be a good thing for a team working in isolation, but when that curdles into more outright hostility between departments, problems will arise.
DevOps champions collaboration among disparate teams, and gets everyone working toward common goals and projects. That's just the kind of winning attitude you want pervading your entire organization – and it all starts with DevOps.
Making DevOps a reality
Fully embracing DevOps isn't as simple as flicking on a light switch, though. You need to lay the technological foundation to effectively link teams and demolish those pesky silos.
For instance, disparate teams may be working from different locations, making it difficult for more direct communication and collaboration. IT managed service providers can account for that geographic diversity, offering tech solutions to bridge the gap between teams and bring together. In a similar fashion, MSPs can provide the technological foundation to cultivate collaboration across disparate systems and platforms. Legacy technology shouldn't be a roadblock to DevOps enlightenment.
Organizations not accustomed to this new and innovative method of IT operations may run into obstacles along the way to total DevOps transformation. Again, managed services can help, offering around-the-clock help desk support and guidance to address any problems that might crop up.
There's no reason to go it alone when implementing a DevOps model – it's all about collaboration after all. IT managed service providers have the solutions to sync teams and platforms and drive DevOps forward within your organization. For more information, reach out to CloudSmartz today for a conversation on continuous delivery and DevOps.