The Benefits of DevOps


“As rapid delivery of software has become a strategic business asset, progressive IT organisations are pursuing a DevOps culture where development and operations teams, systems, and tools work in lockstep. By aligning goals and sharing tools and strategies, code velocity and quality is improved and innovation is faster.”
The goal of DevOps is to increase business value by making IT more repsonsive through continuous delivery of products and services that satisfy customer needs.
There are several tangible and intangible yet very important benefits to DevOps. But first, it’s important to understand what DevOps is not, so a better contrast can be made around how to understand its benefits.
DevOps is not about one tool or another. It is, however, about behaviour – a mindset to leverage and use the correct tools that shorten and improve software development life cycles.
DevOps doesn’t seek to erase the differences between the two disciplines of software development and IT operations, but instead builds a bridge to make them work better together while continuing to follow traditional processes in each discipline independently.
DevOps is about business agility and continuous delivery, a discipline created through understanding both development and operations. A move to DevOps engineering culture is relatively easier for a smaller company (including startups) than one that is large and established. For larger and well-established companies, it is advisable to take an incremental change approach, introducing DevOps slowly to change people behaviour and maximise adoption.

“DevOps is much more than a buzzword. DevOps is about a mindset – a culture that is made up of processes and practices that bring development and operations teams together within a company to develop and deploy software with maximum efficiency and minimal interruptions”.


Tangible Benefits

While measuring and quantifying people behaviour in regards to DevOps, may be challenging, it does not mean that the benefits of DevOps cannot be measured. One tangible benefit of DevOps is an observed decrease in development and operations cost. Other tangible benefits of DevOps include:

  • Shorter Development Cycle
  • Increased Release Velocity
  • Improved Defect Detection
  • Reduced Deployment Failures and Rollbacks
  • Reduced Time to Recover upon Failure.

These benefits can, in fact, be turned into key performance indicators (KPIs) for your company to track. Companies can track the time and cost it takes for project that develop software applications using a traditional non-DevOps approach and compare it against using DevOps to better appreciate the quantifiable benefits of DevOps.

Shorter Development Cycle – DevOps promotes a culture of increased collaboration and communication between the development and operations teams. This translates into shorter timeframes to move from engineering code into executable production code.

Increased Release Velocity – The shorter development cycle in turn creates increased frequency for release of code into production (also known as application onboarding). What conventionally used to take 3-6 months from requirements to release is now reduced to a daily, if not hourly, release build cycle. This fosters continuous development and deployment, subsequently increasing the value of IT to the business. Increased release velocity also provides companies that successfully manage DevOps a competitive advantage due to their quickness to market features that their customers need.

Improved Defect Detection – DevOps builds on top of the agile programming methodology and, in a sense, it can be considered as extending agile programming. It prescribes to several agile principles such as collaboration, iterative development, and modular programming, breaking larger codebases into smaller manageable features. This makes it easier to detect code defects.

Reduced Deployment Failures and Rollbacks – The benefits gained from faster development and deployment can be nullified by failed deployment. But software when developed using a DevOps mindset takes into account an operational viewpoint as well. This, when combined with improved defect detection, significantly decreases the number of pre- and post-deployment issues and therefore fewer rollbacks.

Reduced Time-to-Recovery – Even if the likelihood of failures is minimized, failures as a rule are inevitable. When failures do occur, the time to recover to operational efficiency is relatively reduced in a DevOps environment compared to a traditional IT environment. This is primarily due to the efficiencies gained by development team members understanding how operations teams work and vice-versa. Combined with a robust versioning process, rollbacks are made easier.

Intangible Benefits

Not all of the benefits of DevOps can be directly measured and tracked as KPIs. In fact, one could argue that the intangible benefits of DevOps hold equal, if not more weight, than the manifest outcomes of the discipline. Some of these important benefits of DevOps include:

  • Increased Communication and Collaboration
  • Improved ability to Research and Innovate
  • Performance Oriented Culture

Increased Communication and Collaboration – Since DevOps takes two disciplines, development and operations, which were traditionally siloed into one discipline, in inculcates a culture that is characterized by increased communication and collaboration.

Improved Ability to Research and Innovate – By fostering a culture of high trust between team members and sharing of risks, team members are encouraged to experiment to continuously improve the company’s products and services, making it possible for them to research newer customer needs and innovate accordingly to address those needs. A metric to track here would be to see the number of innovations that have resulted, before and after, moving to DevOps.

Performance-Oriented Culture – DevOps shifts the company culture to be more performance-based than being rule-based or power-based. This reduces the bureaucratic ‘red tape’ and fosters sharing of risks, leading to a more satisfied and therefore productive workforce, which has a direct impact on proportional to business performance. Job retention and turnover statistics, pre- and post-DevOps can be helpful in determining this cultural trend


 

ALC offers two top training courses on DevOps in Sydney and Melbourne:

#1 – DevOps Foundation

#2 – Certified Agile Service Manager

For full course details please click the course name above.

For latest dates and to register please visit our Course Schedule page.

 

Two Top DevOps Courses from ALC


DevOps Foundation

This 2-day course provides the definitive introduction to DevOps. 

Sydney 20-21 July 2015
Melbourne 22-23 July 2015

Click here for full details >>>


Certified Agile Service Manager

Get ahead of the curve with the application and integration of agile thinking into service management.

Sydney 19-21 August 2015
Melbourne 26-28 August 2015

Click here for full details >>>

 Further reading

DevOps is like Climate Change

Yes indeed, DevOps is a pressing reality for IT. We all know we need to do something about it, but there are a few entrenched deniers, a lot of people looking the other way and those who would like to do something but don’t know where to start!  Read more…

DevOps up 88%

A new survey shows 88% of more than 1,400 IT or line-of-business executives have already adopted or plan to adopt DevOps within the next five years. Read more…

The unexpected benefits of DevOps

There are many well known benefits of DevOps, including rapid software delivery, a higher degree of enterprise agility, increased system resilience, and being able to swiftly identify and resolve problems. But there are also less well-known and unexpected benefits including:  the move to continuous improvement; increased security; emphasis on metrics. Read more…

How DevOps Benefits Large Enterprises

Large companies have figured out how to benefit from DevOps too. Read more…

5 KPIs that make the case for DevOps

Are you musing on whether the DevOps ideas you’ve been reading about could be the way to a happier, more productive working life — but not sure how to make the case? People using DevOps rely on several KPIs to judge the success of their efforts. Read more…