DevOps approach for SMBs: Irrefutable benefits you should be reaping

Are you among the IT leaders who believe that DevOps is merely “Agile 2.0” for software development? Does your organization shirk from embarking on ambitious DevOps projects? Is it hard to ask for sufficient budget for a mature DevOps movement within your organization?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you probably don’t understand what DevOps is. In that case, you should use this guide to make a better case for DevOps, because the approach brings irrefutable benefits to businesses of all sizes and scales.

The basics

Anything you do with the aim of improving collaboration between developers and all other IT functions, enabling the speedy delivery of high-quality code — that’s DevOps. It extends way beyond Agile, comprising concepts such as continuous integration, continuous delivery, testing automation, monitoring, automatic configuration management, and everything that traditional “Agile” brought to the table.

Industry research, in the past few years, has focused toward identifying, measuring, and showcasing the business benefits of DevOps. That’s where we’re going to focus on too: read on.

The core of DevOps — and the benefits it delivers

The core of DevOps is made of continuous integration, automated testing, and continuous deployment.

Continuous integration

The aim here is to detect problems as soon as possible. How’s it done? Well, developers are required to submit the completed parts of the code in a version control system. Then, a robot (which continuously monitors version changes) starts with project assembly. The results of the assembly are immediately shared with all stakeholders (developers included). Because the developer finds out whether or not the assembly is successful, there are no ugly surprises reserved for the latter stages of the development.

Automated testing

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How does one know whether the assembly (even though it’s successful), is bug-free? Rather than depending on manual testing (which is slow, unreliable, and often biased), DevOps relies on an automatic testing approach. Because the results of this testing are much quicker, developers can work to fix bugs almost immediately after committing their codes to the version control system. Automated testing also included application performance testing and load testing. This ensures that the developed app functionality, for instance, will be able to handle the peak load.

Continuous deployment

Once automated tests are considered successful, this phase can begin. Here, the focus is on automating installations in the suitable environment. This goes a long way in accelerating the software product delivery. Lowering the time-to-market is a key focus area for software companies, and DevOps’ continuous deployment is tuned to achieve this.

How do all these deliver benefits to SMBs?

Flickr / Paul Downey

Small and medium-sized businesses need to latch on to every little bit of advantage of technology to be able to compete with richer enterprises. So, the costs of delays in software development and deployment are huge. Any production issues caused by buggy code could result in loss of sales, loss of customers, and loss of brand equity. DevOps aims to put things in order, and here’s how.

No more downtime costs

Begin by estimating the number of downtime incidents experienced by your business applications in the last year. Then, assign a dollar value to the potential impact of each. That’s the amount of money you stand to save when you adopt DevOps. Production stability is one of the core benefits delivered to SMBs by DevOps. Particularly if your business has been at the receiving end of production-debacles because of buggy code, now’s the time to set things right by adopting DevOps.

Eliminate rework: The big and bad software development problem

Rework is killing your business software development. The amount of time and money spent every year in identifying and then fixing mistakes is massive. The DevOps approach brings in tremendous improvements to the delivery process. Mistakes get found out early and get rectified before they can cause a problem. The quality of software delivered improves significantly over a short duration of time, and the focus moves towards innovation rather than getting error-free code through to production. Businesses stand to save time and money at every step of the software development lifecycle — right from development to quality assurance and testing to operations.

Extra capacity across the delivery chain

DevOps, if done correctly, can transform the software delivery cycle for SMBs. Automation of several aspects of code integration and testing means that delivery is accelerated across the development lifecycle. Slowly and steadily, you will observe that people at every link in the chain will have more time to do innovative and value-adding work. The capacity increase is a major boost to the software development capabilities of the business and is the first step toward getting more business value from software.

Breaking down silos in IT

SMBs can ill-afford the friction that too-often occurs between different IT components. DevOps aims at bringing together all the IT functions and fostering a culture of collaboration and open communication. The “war room” concept, where development, quality assurance, and technology operations come together in a transparent setting to facilitate super-effective decision making, is what’s driving software-powered innovation in SMBs. DevOps has caused the conventional definitions of IT roles to become blurred so that the cumulative capabilities of the business’s IT department can drive quick and high-quality delivery.

Faster development to drive business forward

Software is at the core of every business. By making the software development and delivery cycle speedier, DevOps promises to bring the true power of software to business. By fine-tuning all processes in a manner such that everyone’s focus remains on collaboration and communication, DevOps helps foster synergy within the IT department, truly making it an asset for business. Low time-to-market for software products means that SMBs can reliably keep on enhancing customer experience through their applications, websites, and web projects.

DevOps: Here to stay

Although DevOps arrived on the information technology management scene as a disruptor, it’s now shown that it’s here to stay. Not only enterprises but also SMBs have a lot to gain from the principles of DevOps.

Featured image: Pixabay

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