DevOps is what you get when you combine the workflows of development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams. But it’s about much more than pipelines and automation; it’s an organisational approach that creates a culture of agility, allows for faster development of applications, and streamlines the maintenance of existing platforms. DevOps allows businesses to create stronger relationships between development, operations and other stakeholders within the organisation while enabling shorter, more controllable, and collaborative iterations through uptake of new tools and best practices.
Essentially, DevOps isn’t a technology but it does encompass everything from culture to workflows and processes.
Traditionally, software developers and IT operations professionals have operated in silos where miscommunication and misalignment on metrics has prevailed. Enter Belgian consultant, agile practitioner and project manager, Patrick Debois who coined the term in 2009 and began putting his concept into practice. He created DevOps teams which combined development and operations professionals to work collaboratively across the software development lifecycle.
The DevOps toolchain helps teams to successfully navigate continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD), collaboration, and automation to create DevOps software. Due to the cyclical nature of DevOps, practitioners use an infinity symbol to show how stages of the DevOps lifecycle relate to one another. While the phases appear to flow consecutively, the loop represents the need for constant collaboration and iterative improvement throughout the development lifecycle.
Image source: Atlassian, https://www.atlassian.com/devops
Patrick Debois has stated that the most significant advantage of DevOps is the insights it is able to provide. It forces businesses to “optimise the whole system” by removing silos and improving processes across the board.
Making your business agile can help you to stay ahead of the pack. Thanks to DevOps, it is now possible to obtain the scalability required to transform your business. Plus, DevOps allows you to become data-driven and adaptive for alignment with both customer and business needs.
DevOps is the fuel for the fire of business transformation as it incorporates culture, people and process changes. DevOps transformation strategies are typically centered around structural improvements that build community and require a collective mindset that allows for collaboration between teams.
DevOps manages the software engineering process from end-to-end and puts emphasis on deploying software more frequently, employing automation tools to ensure security and reliability. This faster and more frequent delivery of features and updates will satisfy both your customers’ needs while also helping your company grow its market share.
Fast and efficient software development teams are the teams that thrive. DevOps allows for full transparency and effective communication which in turn minimises downtime and enables faster resolving of issues.
If you aren’t able to resolve critical issues quickly, then your customer satisfaction is going to plummet. These issues can fall through the cracks when teams aren’t able to effectively communicate with one another but with DevOps practices in place, development and operations can jump onto any issues, amend them, and unblock the release pipeline faster.
Since its inception in 2009 DevOps has grown significantly, and now entering its third decade it continues to evolve. The upside of still being in the relatively early days of DevOps is that there are many trends and insights to discuss (not to mention the impact COVID-19 had on it) and while the tools and strategies of DevOps may change, the core tenants will remain.
Microservices architecture is the process of cutting applications into smaller bits (independent units, services, or elements) which are scalable and flexible. Essentially, it’s the opposite of traditional monolithic software architecture where even deploying a small change or deviation can be quite a hassle. Traditional architecture requires multiple developers to get a product across the line, whereas microservice architecture can be built, tested and deployed independently.
While it sounds like a no-brainer for organisations to shift their development into microservices, it’s not necessarily the default in a fair few industries. The move to microservices is one of the key motivators behind DevOps as they are both deeply intertwined with DevOps actually being the catalyst for microservice architecture. These two functions will continue to promote concepts of improved operational agility, modularity, and efficiency.
Automation has and will continue to play a big part in DevOps transformation, and Artificial Intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) will enable organisations to succeed in their DevOps goals. The core aspects of AIOps; automated root cause analyst (RCA), machine learning, predictive insights, and performance baselining, work in conjunction to streamline routine tasks. This emerging tech functionality is set to transform how organisations manage and resolve issues, thus playing a key role in the future of DevOps.
The agility and scalability of cloud technology really came through for us during the pandemic where we suddenly needed to digitise everything. Many companies have since moved all or parts of their infrastructure and systems to the cloud or have built their own internal cloud infrastructure. If you combine this to the increased adoption of SaaS and PaaS, it’s clear that companies and customers are getting used to consuming services and platforms digitally as opposed to on-premise installations. The centralised nature of the cloud provides DevOps automation with a platform for planning, testing, deploying, and producing software.