For many IT managers, DevOps is neither a new concept nor something that they care much about. DevOps, the contraction of development and operations, is a philosophy that often faces significant rejection and hostility from both development as well as operations team. The reason is simple – it means change; it changes the way business processes are traditionally conducted, and aims to eliminate the complacency of the two departments. However, if all the stakeholders involved – the management, the operations and the development team, then DevOps has the potential to remove many inefficiencies in a business, and contribute towards higher value to the customers. The result is happy relationships with customers and improved speed and accuracy in products and services delivered.
IT organizations, today, work in complex external environments. In addition to the risks and threats of uncertainty arising out of this complexity, they compound the problem by increasing the internal complexity by assigning multiple teams on every project. Different teams are often responsible for development, testing, and then deployment of the products and services to clients. This multi-tier approach creates multiple layers of inefficiencies. For instance, the support team, which is the operations team, receives the information about possible errors or issues from the clients. If the product was previously tested for such issues, then the client’s complaint is forwarded to the testing department. Only when the testing department does not find anything unusual, does the problem get forwarded to the development team. Since different teams approach the problem in sequence, it not only results in delays, but also bad customer experience. DevOps resolves this by eliminating the barrier between operations and development team. Processes are automated so that development teams are involved in complex issues right away and not at a later time. Thus, any issue arising from client’s side is addressed immediately, leaving the customer happy and satisfied.
Diagnosis and Reduction of Errors
IT projects are more often than not, quite complex. It is practically impossible to test a project, product, or service, for every potential situation it will be exposed to. Although the testing departments are instrumental in detecting many issues, they often do it in ideal environments. So, if an old product is being tested, it will be tested only for the latest change it has undergone. However, the product may pose problems to customers because of the interplay of one set of product programs with the other. Often, testing departments will have a hard time finding these. DevOps overcomes this problem by establishing a holistic testing process by involving all teams in each step of the project from development to deployment to support.
Obliteration of Traditional Walls
In a typical organization, although different teams are part of the same system, they operate in vastly varied environments. For instance, operations teams operate in client-facing roles, where stability is sacrosanct. On the development side, innovation, optimization and continuous improvement take precedence. The objectives of each section are directly in conflict with the other. Moreover, the friction between the two sections is compounded by glass walls preventing seamless communications between the two. DevOps obliterates those walls and brings both sides together. This way, the development team can understand the importance of stability for clients, and operations team can realize how a change can translate to great value to both customers and the company.
To put things in a nutshell, DevOps is more than just an approach. It is a philosophy of solving an entire range of potential issues by eliminating multiple barriers within the organization. It works for many software and services companies but clearly is not the solution for all. What works in your organization? Contact our team today to understand how we can help your organization succeed in the competitive markets and environments.