DevOps is a set of best practices and cultural changes that allow development, quality assurance, and operations to better meet customer needs. This integrated team approach facilitates communication, collaboration, and integration to manage today’s rapidly changing business demands.
DevOps helps your organization to bring together the key stakeholders (business, apps, and ops) by focusing on collaboration, automation, and monitoring, resulting in improved application release velocity with quality.
TechnoLava DevOps professionals recommend that you begin your DevOps journey by focusing on four keys to a successful DevOps implementation.
- Assess your DevOps strategy
- Identify the DevOps maturity of your core development and IT operations processes
- Adopt and implement change to improve velocity
- Measure progress and plan your next improvement
- Assess DevOps Strategy
- Identify DevOps Maturity
- Adopt and Implement Change
- Measure Progress & Plan Improvments
The first step on the path to DevOps is an assessment of your DevOps strategy and what you are trying to achieve. Gartner adds these thoughts on the assessment process: “Before beginning a DevOps initiative, an assessment of current systemic issues (and technical debt) is needed to develop a common understanding of costs and intended efficiency gains to assess what needs fixing.
In more specific terms, the assessment process helps you:
- Identify your DevOps business drivers, challenges, and initiatives
- Examine critical success factors and best practices from successful projects
- Review critical DevOps domains that align to your business goals
- Identify priorities for short, midsize, and long-term projects
To put your organization on the path to DevOps, you need a clear understanding of your current practices for development and operations. Do your development processes use agile or waterfall methodologies, or both? Do your operations teams follow ITIL processes? What are your current practices for planning and communication?
In some specific areas of focus, the exploration of development practices looks at your approaches to application decoupling, continuous integration and the use of an apps hub, test automation, good coding practices, configurability, and maintainability. The review of operations practices explores your approaches to an operations hub, infrastructure as code, automated release management, resolution practices, and monitoring.
Ultimately, this process helps you:
- Identify key stakeholders in business, development, QA, and operations
- Determine the app development methodologies—agile, waterfall, both—that are most important
- Determine the ITIL processes that are most important
- Understand your planning and communication practices
DevOps encompasses the entire application lifecycle. The ultimate goal is to ensure that apps can be deployed into production in an agile, automated, and continuous manner.
To that end, the DevOps journey determines areas of standards and automation and then implements them in a phased approach. The ultimate goal is to move your organization to accelerate at the speed of business. Here we focus on the people, process and technology around four key DevOps areas: (1) continuous assessment, (2) continuous integration and testing, (3) continuous delivery and deployment and (4) continuous operations. Organizational change and cultural change is addressed throughout.
Another key to the journey to DevOps is to identify the measures and metrics you will use to gauge the success of your initiative, such as business enablement, cycle times, and escaped defects. In many cases, your DevOps metrics will be different from those used today in app delivery and IT operations. The goal is to establish a common set of business-driven metrics that incorporates development, QA, and operational views.
Gartner offers this guidance: “Build new shared metrics that align with the business needs and impacts, but, more importantly, help people realize that they must work together. Goals should be service-focused, with an eye toward improving agility (velocity) and improving business value (quality).