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DevOps for Business: Ultimate Guide For 2020

Slava Vaniukov
03 January 2020 • 14 min read
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DevOps for Business: Ultimate Guide For 2020

Today when technologies are changing rapidly and the competition in any niche is increasing incrementally, more companies are seeking to find out ways to deliver their software product faster while making it more reliable. That gives them a competitive advantage on the market and pulls ahead of competitors. And that can be done by implementing DevOps practices.

 

What is DevOps

DevOps is short for development and operations. It bridges the gap between three traditionally siloed departments: development (dev), quality assurance (QA), and operations (ops). Its goal is to provide high-quality software in a shortened systems development lifecycle.

Continuous engineering in DevOps consists of methods through which you can establish an environment where builds can be created, tests can be run, and deploys can be pushed. In addition, performance can be monitored through DevOps, and feedback can be continually and automatically received.

 

Why DevOps Matters

The number of companies adopting the DevOps into their processes indicates clearly that it matters and helps businesses grow.

As under Statista, the pace of DevOps adoption by companies is increasing up to 10% each year and shortly is predicted to achieve the same numbers as the Agile adoption worldwide.

adoptions of agile and devops in software development

According to “Accelerating Velocity and Customer Value with Agile and DevOps” by CA Technologies, DevOps increases employee productivity by 73% while reduces the speed-to-market e.g. the time to release the software by 71%. This translates to lower operational costs for your entire organization.

Besides, based on DevOps.com data, on average, companies that use DevOps see a 20% increase in annual revenue. While according to the above-mentioned report applying DevOps into Agile practices the business can grow by 63% more than when following Agile only approach.

 

Benefits Of DevOps Release Management

Thus, getting to know only these numbers it seems like DevOps is worth adopting into any software development process. However, there are many other benefits of the DevOps methodology brings for business:

  • Improved Agility: implementing this practice together with agile methodology reduces the amount of redundant manual tasks, allowing employees to do more with less.
  • Higher Operational or Process Efficiency: up to 73% as this approach is based on process automation and optimization.
  • Increased Revenue and Stronger Bottom Line: a DevOps process flow allows companies to release software more frequently, which translates into lower expenses, improved KPIs, long-term growth, and stability.
  • Improved Customer Experience and Satisfaction: as they get more reliable and bug-free software faster.
  • Rapid Delivery of Innovations to the Market: as a DevOps approach requires implementing only cutting-edge technologies into the software delivery cycle.
  • Reduce Implementation Failure, Reflections, and Recovery Time: with shorter development cycles, DevOps promotes frequent code versions, which, in turn, makes it easy to detect code defects.
  • Better Team Communication and Cooperation: that results in better software and team productivity again.
  • Improved Continuous Monitoring, DevOps, and Software Development Culture: teams can focus on bringing the product to production or market, and their key performance indicators can be organized accordingly.
  • Greater Competencies: higher efficiency helps accelerate development and makes it less prone to errors.
  • Automation of Development and Operations: continuous integration servers automate the code testing process, reducing the amount of manual work.

Here is an indication of these DevOps advantages for business in KPIs numbers:

devops advantages for business

Companies that don’t use a DevOps strategy risk inefficiency and can easily make mistakes. It’s likely that they are relying on static infrastructure and prefer most of their tasks to be done manually. This can result in miscommunication, operational inefficiency, code errors, slower release times, and ultimately, lower-quality software. That leads to slowly losing their advantages to the competition.

No doubt, this methodology implementation requires time, effort and is sufficiently highly-costed if you keep in mind the DevOps engineers’ salary rates. But the real DevOps business value lies in that it’s an investment that brings long-lasting benefits. When any software is being delivered faster and in a superior state, it creates a domino effect in terms of the benefits to the business. DevOps continuous deployment is a smart use of your resources. So let’s move to understand on what pillars it is based and how to apply DevOps in the right way.

 

DevOps Principles

We’ll start by listing the DevOps principles that virtually every software engineering company would agree must be present as part of a modern, high-functioning system. This will make clear the DevOps business value, as part of the structure of this concept is that it saves both money and time.

  • Process improvement initiatives must be present to truncate feedback loops. This continuously implements needed bug fixes and vulnerability remediation earlier and in a more cost-effective manner.
  • Continual experimentation that encourages risk-taking must be a part of the system, and you should learn from success and failure. This means that continuous attempts will lead to future mastery.
  • Using DevOps automation should improve your organization’s efficiency as time passes.
  • Those involved in your DevOps system should provide continuous feedback to the entire organization.
  • You should incentivize development, test, and deployment teams to collaborate on shared goals.

 

Key Pillars of DevOps Strategies

These are the most fundamental aspects of a DevOps implementation plan, stated as succinctly as possible.

  • Identify the vision and goals. When you first engage with a client, try to have the detail you everything that they need their software to do.
  • Identify foundational factors. Once you learn what the software is supposed to do, you must be ready to set up and work within the framework that is most likely to lead to your success. Your completion of the product in a timely manner is what grows your reputation within the industry.
  • Critical success factors must be established. Draw on your team’s prior collective experience. Get an idea of what tech stack and tools you need to get through this project expediently with as few setbacks as possible.
  • Base your strategy on measurements to track the progress and realization of benefits. This means setting up checkpoints throughout the project that can be attained realistically. Don’t overwork any team members, but make sure that no one is procrastinating.

 

DevOps Stages & Toolkit

There is a wide range of processes within the DevOps software development lifecycle. There are tools to help you with DevOps each stage. So, let’s cover the most efficient instruments for each step:

  • Defining and planning
    Focus on developing a realistic DevOps workflow for iterations, issue tracking, and release management. Notable tools or tool vendors in this space are going to include IBM, Jama Software Atlassian, CA Technologies, and iRise.

  • Code, build and configure
    At this stage, your development team focus should be on code development and review, source code management, and code merging. Notable tools and vendors for this stage include Bitbucket, IBM, Gitlab, Electric Cloud, and GitHub.

  • Testing
    You must verify that the quality of the software release and code are maintained throughout the development process. Only the highest-quality code should be deployed to production. Notable tools and vendors include Delphix, FlawCheck, HP, IBM, Skytap, Microsoft, Parasoft, SonarSource, and ThoughtWorks.

  • Packaging and pre-production
    This refers to the activities involved once the release is ready for deployment. You might hear this period referred to as staging in some cases. Notable tools and vendors include IBM, Inedo’s ProGet, Jfrog’s Artifactory, and Sonatype Nexus repository.

  • Release, deployment, and orchestration phase
    This is the process of releasing the software that you have created. It usually involves changing management, releasing approval and automation, schedule orchestration, provisioning, and deploying into production. Tools and vendors in this space include Clarive, Automatic, BMC, IBM, Flexagon, VMware, and XebiaLabs.

  • Continuous management and configuration
    This stage includes various aspects of automation and management of code infrastructure. Notable tools and vendors include Ansible, Chef, IBM, Puppet Labs, Otter, and Salt.

  • Release of monitoring reports
    These should include a full work-up of application performances. This phase helps identify issues impacting the user experience. Tools and vendors include Plumbr, Big Panda, IBM, New Relic, and Wireshark.

 

The Main DevOps Trends for 2020

At this point, we’ll go over a few of the principal DevOps trends that should be readily noticeable in 2020. As you go over them, the question of why DevOps matters should be answered. Notice how this list covers virtually all aspects of software manufacturing.

 

Focus on Automation

Automation in various businesses and niches is unavoidable. It might mean speeding up the pipeline with machines or providing better response times for angry customers with chatbots. It could be better inventory management with tracking and logging systems. It might mean something else entirely.

Why is DevOps so popular? It’s because it is a discipline that embraces automation rather than trying to fight it. The most critical aspect of automating DevOps is to understand the six pillars in the DevOps process, which are:

  • Continuous Business Planning
  • Collaborative Development
  • Continuous Testing
  • Continual Release and Deployment
  • Continuous Monitoring
  • Collaborative Customer Feedback and Optimization

 

DevOps Assembly Lines: The Next Big Thing

Continuous delivery and automation have already started heavily influencing various niches in 2019. We should see considerably more of that in 2020. DevOps services and assembly lines are likely going to be synonymous in certain areas going forward.

Assembly lines should focus on bridging the gap between manual and automated tasks. They ensure that there is no redundancy while providing several tools for teams to use. Their advent means that high-quality apps are hitting the production lines as quickly as possible.

 

The Shift in Focus from CI Pipelines to More Efficient DevOps Assembly Lines

Many organizations are investing their time and effort into understanding more about automating their complete software development process. In 2020, the shift is going to happen from CI pipelines to DevOps assembly lines. As there are strong advantages of DevOps assembly lines:

  • Powerful Nested Visibility
  • Native Integrations
  • Fast Onboard and Scale with “As-Code” Philosophy
  • Perfect CD (Continuous Delivery) with Interoperability
  • Team-Based Business Intelligence and Analytics

 

Increase in the Adoption of Microservices Architecture

DevOps and microservices have started going hand-in-hand lately. Microservices architecture helps companies make deployments and easily add new features.

Implementing microservices into your DevOps team can also help companies focus on the runtime and efficient delivery of new development sources. This eliminates the hassle of creating dependency errors when something decides to malfunction.

 

Conterizations and Kubernetes

With the increasing number of platforms, devices, and deployment options that today’s applications need to support, there is a strong demand for tools that help standardize the environment in which an application runs. Containers, especially Docker, have come to dominate the field with around a quarter of companies that have adopted this platform already by the beginning of 2018 under Datadog research.

docker in devops adoption

At this point, it is quite common to deploy your application as a Docker container in order to get fast, consistent performance. At the same time, you can spin up multiple instances.

For very complex applications, including those using a microservices architecture, managing various instances and services across dozens or hundreds of containers can become overwhelming.

A notable trend in DevOps is toward container orchestration solutions that simplify and automate this task according to the rules that you write. Here, Kubernetes is the leader in the field among others as Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and its influence is growing further up to its usage in around 45% of container organizations under Datadog.

Kubernetes share among container organizations

 

AI, Data Science, and ML Will Foster DevOps Growth

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have a wide range of use cases ranging from applications of AI in healthcare, real estate, education to development operations. Indeed AI, ML, and DevOps together are a perfect fit for making software development and delivery more efficient. They’re capable of processing enormous amounts of information and helping to perform menial tasks. This frees the IT staff to do more targeted work. They can learn patterns, suggest practical solutions, and better anticipate problems. If the goal of DevOps is to unify development and operations, AI and ML can smooth out many of the tensions that have divided the two disciplines in the past. DevOps and Big Data are reaching a new level of collaboration that will contribute to the automation of processes and their configurations in the new year.

If the goal of DevOps is to unify development and operations, AI and ML can smooth out many of the tensions that have divided the two disciplines in the past. DevOps and Big Data are reaching a new level of collaboration that will contribute to the automation of processes and their configurations in the new year.

 

The methodology of “Everything as Code”

DevOps is all about easing the delivery cycle. Because of this, there’s a distinct need to bring in code which can be used to increase software production-cycle efficiency. The thought of “everything as code”, in other words considering all system parts as code, is built into the fundamentals of DevOps. It will be present in the SDLC, creating a wave in DevOps trends in 2020. Software testers are likely to suffer if they do not learn to code and write their test scripts.

 

DevSecOps: Security Will Become a Primary Focus

The CI/CD pipeline makes it possible to employ rapid changes daily to address customer needs and demands. This pipeline can be automated as well. Because of this, security has to be foremost in the mind of DevOps engineers.

Thinking about security from the beginning of a project is clearly the best way to avoid any breaches. Measures can be built into the groundwork of software instead of being bolted on. In DevOps in 2020, security features will no longer be add-ons. They will be present from the first moment a project is envisioned.

 

Scaling Up of Serverless Architecture

Serverless has been spoken of within the industry quite a bit since AWS introduced its Lambda program in 2014. Usually, serverless applications are tightly coupled with their underlying computing platforms. This means that you should be sure that you’re comfortable with that level of lock-in if you elect to use one.

After Lambda’s introduction, Azure Functions was released. Google Cloud Platform also entered the market with Cloud Run. This is a service that allows you to bring your own containers to the platform. This seems easier than requiring you to upload the code on approved runtimes that Lambda or Functions currently support.

 

Service Meshes

“Service mesh” is a loose term that includes any software that handles service-to-service communication happening within a platform. Development and operations are both easier when you implement them.

Service meshes can take care of many standard application tasks that development teams have traditionally had to solve in their own setups and code. That might include encryption, load balancing, authentication, authorization, and proxying.

Why it is the new trend in DevOps? Because making sure that these features are configurable and making them part of the application platform allows development teams to work on code improvements. They don’t get tied up in standard patterns of service management in a distributed application environment.

The noteworthy names in the service mesh arena are Istio, Consul, and Linkerd. Istio is sponsored by Google and RedHat. It’s most commonly associated with Kubernetes deployments and has a reputation for difficult maintenance and complexity.

 

Observability

It should be easy to infer from an application’s representation of its internal state what is happening with it at any given time. As applications become more distributed, determining why parts of it are failing (and therefore affecting the system as a whole) becomes more challenging. Here comes observability in development operations. However, it’s critical to not misunderstand this principle, see what O’Reilly says about this:

observability in devops

So what is the observability of the system? This is a feature that needs to be built into any system to make it testable and alerting, easy monitored, deployed and troubleshoot effectively.

 

Automated Monitoring and Recovery

CI/CD is just the first step when it comes to automating your application’s operations. Compared to traditional applications, those that utilize automated monitoring and backups are far more resilient.

It would be accurate to state that the best-automated DevOps cycles involve regular monitoring that immediately provides alerts when an error is detected. These systems can roll back to a stable version. They can spin up a new instance or automatically restore databases from a backup. They can provide other recovery options as well. This is an illustration of how DevOps can dramatically reduce recovery time after an error or disaster.

Continuous monitoring, DevOps, and the future are all intrinsically linked when you think about where software engineering and maintenance are going. It will become increasingly difficult to retain steady clients if you do not embrace the concept wholeheartedly.

You should now clearly understand what DevOps for business means and what it can do for you. If you plan on implementing it, make sure that you use the best practices that we’ve described, and be on the lookout for the trends that we mentioned as well.

Even if you outsource DevOps services for your company, make sure you hire a team that follows these trends and practices. Regardless of which case you choose, the DevOps adoption in your software process is a truly valuable investment for your future business growth.

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