Why DevOps Is The New Face Of Workplace Collaboration
DevOps- An Introduction
It’s no secret that the Development and Operations sectors of a business often fail to see eye to eye, with the functioning of one tampering with the planning of the other. While both departments are essential to ensure a properly functioning business and are working towards the same goal, Development is all about introducing change while Operations tends to stick to reliable, old-school means of running a business.
Oftentimes, the variations in their methods can lead to tension within the business operation, which ultimately results in lesser efficiency and decreased quality of output. Well then, how do businesses mitigate this problem? That is where DevOps comes in!
What Is DevOps?
An amalgamation of the words ‘Development’ and ‘Operations’, the term DevOps is pretty self-explanatory.
AWS defines DevOps as “The combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.”
In simpler terms, DevOps is a culture that, if adopted seamlessly by an organization, can help bridge the gap between the traditionally segregated Development and Operations departments. It’s not a defined method, process or role, but instead, a mindset that ensures collaboration across all stages and sectors in a business, ultimately helping the business consistently provide value to its end users.
The values of transparency and collaboration are at the heart of the DevOps ideology, and with continuous development fundamental to its implementation, there truly is no limit to how much a business can grow by embracing DevOps into its workings.
The DevOps Movement – Origin and Evolution
The concept of a collaborative and agile relationship between the Development and Operations teams has long existed, but the term ‘DevOps’ itself is quite new. DevOps has taken the business world by storm, celebrating its 13th or 14th anniversary as of 2021- but where did this culture really originate from?
The basic groundwork of DevOps stems from the idea of ‘Continuous Improvement’, with businesses trying to consistently implement practices that would further streamline processes while maximizing the quality of the output.
This practice started taking form in 2007 and 2008, when a Belgian project manager and business consultant, Patrick Debois took up a project from the Belgian government. His work required him to establish a relationship between the application development teams and operations teams, in which he faced great difficulty.
Although he wasn’t aware of it at the time, Debois’ frustration at the lack of communication and interaction between the two departments gave birth to an idea that would later turn the business world on its head.
Coining The Term
In 2008, Andrew Schafer was hosting an Agile Conference in Toronto, aiming to discuss ‘Agile Infrastructure’. Much to his disappointment, only one person showed up at the conference; but fate had brought the two together- that person was Patrick Debois. From that point onwards, the two discussed and shared their ideas with the world, further advancing the concept of ‘agile systems administration’.
By 2009, DevOps had become an official term that was embraced by the global business community and is still a wildly popular and successful business culture today.
Why Is DevOps Important?
Ever since the term DevOps was first coined, businesses are continuing to adopt practices based on the principles of DevOps- from small-scale startups to industry giants like Amazon, Netflix, Target, Etsy and beyond. But why is this ideology all the rage in the IT world?
The answer to this question lies in the advantages this culture offers over others and the gaps it addresses in traditional software development practices.
DevOps Vs. Traditional SDLC
The business world is ever-changing; with entire markets quite literally being reshaped overnight, thanks to the digital advancements of today’s time. With constantly shifting markets and increasingly competitive consumer demands, the need for a reliable, efficient, and fast-paced system is greater than ever before.
DevOps is able to respond to these changes in a way traditional software development practices cannot, incorporating innovation, speed, transparency and core business values within its workings.
As a system based on collaboration, DevOps is able to bring together the development and operations teams, enabling them to build and deliver high-quality output at a faster pace. Since it’s a flexible ideology based on continuous improvement, it’s able to grow and evolve alongside changes in the market, which makes it an infinitely better alternative to more rigid traditional practices.
It’s a culture that, when embraced across all business levels, can transform a business’s functioning entirely- from incident management to budgeting, development, operations, building, deployment and beyond.
Why DevOps Matters In IT
In the 21st century, software has far transcended its role as simply a support system for businesses- it’s now an integral and necessary component of every business sector, no matter its industry and reach. Not only is software used to increase operational efficiencies in every step of the value chain, but is also a means for businesses to communicate with their customers through software as a service or application.
This is exactly why organizations must consistently improve the way software is built and delivered, similar to how businesses use industrial automation to transform their products to stay atop the changing market game. DevOps makes this job a whole lot easier, and reaps a better final product, and thus is of immense value in the IT world.
How DevOps Can Help Your Business
The reason why DevOps is being globally adopted into business models of all kinds is because of the truly large-scale transformation it can bring to a business’s inner workings. The list below is in no way exhaustive, but here are just some of the ways in which adopting a DevOps approach can boost your organization’s operational efficiency and drive success.
Greater Room for Innovation
In traditional software development methods, operations teams are usually too occupied with fixing errors in their systems to actually work with the development department and introduce new and better technology and practices. This wall between development and operations extends the cycle times, leaving little space for the business to embrace innovation.
As DevOps integrates the workings of these two departments, it opens up doors for collaboration and collective efforts, accelerating the error-correcting cycles and generating time and resources for innovation and development.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of DevOps is how it addresses and closes gaps in communication between business departments, providing a much needed round-the-clock interactive work environment.
Under a well-adopted DevOps model, all teams work jointly, share responsibilities, and build a combined workflow that greatly reduces inefficiencies in the system and saves time and resources in the long run.
Increased Efficiency and Workplace Management
DevOps is highly fruitful in not only building reliable software and engineering practices that cater to consumer demands but also in generating greater revenue and ensuring operational efficiency and better workplace management across all company levels.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all methodology and system, but is largely flexible and accommodating to a business’s unique requirements and working model, and can therefore be used to target all factors that may prevent a business from growing to its full potential.
Continuous Delivery, automation and quick-feedback cycles are some of the core features of a DevOps model, which ultimately help make the software development process better organized and faster. DevOps relies heavily on maximum automation of business processes, which ensures a smooth workflow and provides scope for faster delivery times.
Greater User Satisfaction
DevOps not only helps improve deployment frequency by 200x but also ensures that the final product is of top-notch quality. By automating the delivery cycle, it can help overall enhance the stability and reliability of every new software release, allowing the organization to build a steady customer base and boast of greater user satisfaction.
How To Implement DevOps Into Your Workplace Culture
Automation is the Key
Automation is an essential need for DevOps practices, and when following an ideal DevOps model, an organization should automate whatever can be automated. From system monitoring to code generation, wide-scale DevOps automation greatly speeds up delivery times and helps maintain consistency.
Tailored to Your Needs
A common mistake organizations often make is try and fit DevOps into a rigid mould of what it can and cannot look like. A DevOps culture can look different for each company, and it’s important to have a basic understanding of what you are trying to achieve when implementing DevOps practices at your workplace.
Are you aiming for increased efficiency? Are there prominent errors in your system you would like to fix? Is your organization equipped enough to implement large-scale automation? Are your employees open to adapting to wide-ranging changes?
Once you have a clear idea of what your end goal with DevOps is, it will be all the more easy to incorporate its best practices into your organization, and you’ll be well set on your path to enjoying its many benefits.
Prepare for Large-Scale Cultural Change
DevOps is a highly transformative culture, so you should expect some significant changes in your work cycle if you’re planning on adopting it. However, an essential DevOp practice is to ensure that you perform frequent but small-scale updates. Do not make high-risk sweeping changes that your employees and organization might have a hard time adjusting to, instead; assess whether your business can handle these developments and introduce them slowly and steadily into your daily practices.
Communicate and Collaborate
The very ethos of the DevOps working model is communication and collaboration, so make sure you’re implementing these values in your organization. Try and encourage communication across various operations and teams- the more aligned all sectors of your organization are in working towards a common goal, the more likely your business is to succeed.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery are core DevOps practices that help teams deliver faster, safer and better. These are fundamental guiding principles of DevOps that, when applied correctly, allow organizations to meet the standards they are trying to reach.
Building An Efficient DevOps Toolset
In order to implement the above-mentioned practices, you will require certain tools to help you facilitate DevOps practices. Implementing DevOps practices can sometimes be challenging, and these tools can help businesses meet these challenges. As DevOps is a highly customizable culture, there is an endless list of tools for every business’s requirement.
These can range from Version Control Tools such as GitHub and Bitbucket, to Deployment and Server Monitoring tools like Splunk, Sensu, Datadog, and Configuration Management Tools like Puppet and Chef. It’s imperative to choose the right tools depending on what your end goals with DevOps are. Building an effective and comprehensive DevOps toolset will help you use this culture to its fullest potential, enabling you to provide better value and ensuring a more streamlined, efficient and collaborative work culture.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, DevOps is a culture that can work wonders for organizations of all types, reach and sectors and will yield great results when implemented properly. From building top-notch software, increasing user satisfaction, simplifying and automating workflow, to generating greater revenue and driving success- the potential of DevOps knows no bounds.
One important thing to keep in mind is that there is no ‘perfect’ DevOps culture. The very ideology is based on the concept of continuous improvement- within a DevOp model, there is always space to grow.
It’s also essential to recognize that DevOps is not an end-goal, but instead an ongoing journey, one which will take a while to hone and carry through. Adopting DevOps on a large scale can be initially very challenging, as it requires far-reaching cultural and philosophical changes in your organization, alongside the incorporation of tools, practices and a practical application of these ideas. But once you have learn to wade through these challenges, the DevOps culture is likely to bring a top-to-bottom transformation in your organization, and will help you meet even your most ambitious business goals!