Before we see the benefits of this great practice, let me start with the simple meaning of DevOps and its origin. It is important to understand the thought process behind this process innovation and it will help us to correlate how it is really benefiting the teams that have embraced this model.
In simple terms, we can define DevOps as a combination of tools, rules, and practices that connects the development of the software with IT operations. Patric Debois, who hailed from Belgium, coined the term “DevOps” for the first time in 2009. DevOps was mainly created to decrease the time taken for the system development life cycle, also known as SDLC. DevOps came into existence from the Agile/Scrum Methodology with more objectives, although software configuration management and build & release processes were there previously and helping the similar needs in old development models to some extent.
When software is developed using the DevOps methodology, various software development teams, who are working on the development of the same software, do not maintain isolation within themselves. All the teams are brought together and work cohesively to build software. This will ensure that there are no silos in the organization. They work on all the phases of a software development cycle that includes development to testing and deployment.
All popular cloud vendors are providing DevOps solutions as part of their services offering. AWS provides code build, code deploys as a readymade solution to build CI-CD pipelines. Microsoft provides Azure DevOps, also known as Microsoft DevOps, which is a SaaS platform. It offers an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for software development and deployment processes. It also provides integration with other tools in the industry along with customization.
Any organization that selects the right SDLC tools will be able to establish its own DevOps processes by having perfect integration among these tools in conjunction with effective project management practices. It sounds very simple, but it requires proper planning and execution strategy to be able to successfully implement DevOps practices in any organization. As it involves people, it is important to take them on this journey and show the real benefits that they can see with this model in their day-to-day work lives. This is the reason why people often refer to culture also as one of the key ingredients to show the results faster for the organizations.
What are the key features of DevOps?
Let us take a close look at the key features of DevOps:
Collaboration: Earlier with the development of software, various teams worked in isolation. DevOps brings these DevOps engineer teams together so that they can work in tandem with each other. This way, they bring out software that has passed through all the rigorous tests and required practices.
Quantification / Measurements / Metrics: Everything that you work on needs a scale of judgment through which its progress or quality can be measured. When it comes to DevOps, the number of times deployment, failures, time is taken for every deployment can serve as quantifying factors. These factors can help you see how DevOps can help the rapid development of the software compared to traditional software development practices.
Automation: The development department generally offers an increased level of automation. But the same level of automation is not seen with the other operations going on simultaneously. DevOps offer the same level of automation within all the departments to enhance consistency and efficiency which were impossible to address with traditional methods and practices.
Holistic: With DevOps practices, the entire system, DevOps engineer’s teams, and the surrounding ecosystem are considered.
Which practices does DevOps follow?
DevOps follows the list of following practices:
Configuration of self-service
Continuous integration of the systems
The release management automation
Incremental testing practices
Detecting problems early in the cycle
What are the Benefits of employing DevOps for Software Development?
DevOps brings about a lot of benefits when software development is under consideration. Let us look at the benefits it has to offer:
Collaboration and transparent communication within the teams: We saw that the teams that work within a system development life cycle work with integration with each other. Thus, a quality testing team, development team, and security team work cohesively on the same system. This brings about increased efficiency and enhanced productivity. Moreover, all the teams working with each other can communicate the problems and requirements easily. This would greatly help to set the culture for the organization.
Gradual Upgradation: The software system that the team works on, is rolled out gradually in the pieces of versions. First, its initial version is rolled out. Once, the second version is ready, the same is rolled out gradually. This way, if any version is faulty or has issues, the development team can address it and roll back the version.
Sharing the end-to-end responsibility: Every member of the team works toward a unified goal. Thus, they share the responsibility of the system from the development until the deployment phase. Moreover, this leads to the team working with each other in tight integration.
Early on solving the problems: All the tasks within the development lifecycle are performed as early as possible. Thus, all the issues, errors, or bugs within a system can be addressed as soon as they arise.
In addition to the above-listed benefits, there are other benefits of DevOps in software development companies which are as follows:
Quick problem resolution
Productive and efficient teams
Easy employee management
Opportunities for teams to develop professionally.
Benefits for the Business:
Quick delivery of the updates and the features
Stable operation environments
Enhanced communication and collaboration within the teams
Focus shifts from bug fixation to innovation
What is the future holding for DevOps in the next 5 years or so?
As the pandemic set in, it changed the way organizations work. All the teams started working from home using the computer and internet connectivity. It brought a lot of uncertainty across the business and IT sectors. Not only these, but almost every domain also stands impacted. This uncertainty brought a lot of digital transformation within the industries. Thus, with or without pandemic, the following trends will be seen in the future years:
The Rising Popularity of Microservice Architecture: The term “Microservice” means a system is looked like a set or collection of services that the teams can work on, individually. When it is used with DevOps, the teams can choose to focus on individually formed units of the system. This ensures that the delivery happens on time even though the resultant system is very complex in nature. With this approach, the teams can save a lot of time, cost, and resources while developing the system. It also offers scalability, quick testing, and easier maintenance where the system becomes easily deployable. In addition to this, the teams can also offer customizations as per the requirements of the businesses.
DevSecOps will be adopted increasingly: When a team is focused on achieving a certain level of security within the system, then the DevSecOps approach is applied. With the onset of the pandemic, the teams started working remotely which opened a lot of security loopholes within the system. In addition to this, the cyberattacks increased which brought up the requirement of security as a primary concern. Thus, businesses will take up DevSecOps rapidly to ensure agile security measures. It also offers early detection of vulnerabilities.
Improving Agility through AgileOps: In the last few years, hybrid and multi-cloud strategic management has been a trend. Moreover, it has brought tremendous success to businesses worldwide. AgileOps works on an IT operational model that uses the approach of agile ways of working. This brings about the development of high-quality and high-performance applications. With such applications, the applications become highly stable.
ML / AI solutions into the mix: Given the amount of data that DevOps tools are gathering for the organization, we can mine this data to derive insights and visualizing the possible recommendations that teams can implement further.
Wrapping it up:
DevOps will continue to be a highly adopted approach in the future years as well since it ensures team collaboration and the development of applications through incremental launches. This approach also saves the businesses a lot of time and cuts down on the costs significantly. DevOps also offers a development model that accustoms to the changing market requirements and demands.
Note: This article is just an attempt to introduce various benefits of DevOps that I have either used extensively or tried out in bits. That said, I did pick up images, words, and phrases from my recent reads and sessions.