The Full Guide to Enterprise DevOps
Gain a better understanding of the business implications of DevOps and how you can find success within your organization.
Thriving businesses require faster time to insight and the agility to implement insights across the organization.
Traditional code development can be a slow and painstaking process.
Waiting for every piece of code to be touched before deploying a new or updated feature greatly limits the ability for organizations to move quickly and react to changes in the market. It also creates dev cycles that are inefficient when it comes to resources.
DevOps remedies both of these issues by synergizing software development and IT operations within an organization, making it easier to quickly bring new products and services to market.
In this resource, we walk you through the benefits of adopting DevOps, how you can navigate common challenges to DevOps adoption, and how your organization can achieve elite DevOps performance.
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Dev vs. operations—the background
Traditionally, enterprise development and operations teams have had different areas of focus.
Developers typically want to bring new features to market as quickly as possible for business drivers. Operations teams, meanwhile, are for the most part concerned with system reliability. One of the big problems with this separation of goals is it often creates tension between development and operations.
Developers are forced to wait before implementing new features and fixes until they get the go-ahead. At the same time, operations teams are under constant pressure to accelerate their process at the expense of reliability.
DevOps is designed to alleviate this pressure by merging development and operations disciplines in order to automate the application development, deployment, and recovery process. The barriers between those responsible for improving existing products and the teams tasked with keeping things alive are essentially erased.
The benefits of DevOps
Through DevOps, we now have the ability to make and deploy iterative improvements to an application. The driving force behind this is a methodology that breaks down the separation of powers between application developers and their IT operations counterparts within organizations.
DevOps is more than a development practice. Organizations that succeed in adopting it infuse the DevOps mindset throughout their business—in their culture, within their infrastructure, and among their teams.
Beyond easing the potential for competing objectives between developers and operations, adopting DevOps can help enterprises achieve substantial gains.
These gains create an environment where development is a more smooth and efficient process. Resources are put to better use and since routine tasks can be automated, teams are free to be more creative.
Specifically, you can expect to see:
Each of these gains on their own help and organizations become much more nimble and efficient. Together, they can create an ongoing atmosphere of speed, innovation, and consistent high quality.
Levels of DevOps performance
Adopting DevOps is a process and once you’ve started that process, the path to elite performance generally requires your organization to clear four hurdles. These are:
If your organization is at this level, you perhaps have a single app or team within a business unit involved with DevOps.
Visibility into your development lifecycle is complicated, you are utilizing simple CI/CD processes and tools, and you have both limited training for operational resources and limited support available for automation. As a result, your DevOps practice is ad hoc in its implementation.
Your DevOps culture is taking shape.
You have automation documented and version controlled, are starting to measure operations performance, and DevOps has moved beyond ad hoc use in your organization. You still have some work to do, though, due to some of your automation still being executed manually.
At this level, roughly 75% of your infrastructure and apps are automated, your DevOps team’s tenure is high, and operations are embedded in development teams. In addition, you are utilizing reusable templates for new initiatives and have introduced a more resilient and scalable infrastructure and application architecture.
Because of all this, your developers have more freedom, but your risk of support is greater due to a lack of refined security integration.
You are at the peak level when it comes to DevOps.
Everything is automated, from your infrastructure to application dev cycles. You are able to reliably release code iteratively, recover quickly from failures, and can fully measure operations performance. This allows your organization to be highly efficient in your deployment lifecycle, which allows you to rapidly deliver software innovation without overworking your developers—all while increasing your innovation.
Because of all this, your organization is in a position to quickly provide better products and services to customers while generating more revenue.
Building out your DevOps practice
The first thing to recognize is that adopting DevOps can require a seismic shift in how your enterprise operates.
Traditional roles will become blurred, with developers needing to acquire some level of operations expertise and vice-versa. Depending on the capabilities of your teams, this can mean a substantial amount of training for both developers and operations staff. You may also need to invest in new talent or partner with a consultant that already has the broader skill set needed to put DevOps to work.
Adopting DevOps can also require a greater focus on internal communications. Even with all team members under the same umbrella, different app teams may still have different processes—and different sets of tools—that they are comfortable with.
This can make collaboration between app teams difficult, as well as create very real headaches for operations management. One remedy is to dedicate time and training to unify your organization around a common tool set.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at building your capabilities—both from a staffing perspective as well as a tools and process perspective.
Creating DevOps culture
When adopting DevOps in your organization, you have a choice to make: invest in developing the skill sets in-house, seek outside talent for your needs, or a hybrid approach (building inside talent and using outside help).
Creating a DevOps culture vs. outsourcing
If you choose to build out your DevOps capabilities from within, it’s important to understand that the adoption process is just that—a process.
You will need buy-in throughout your organization. Team members will have to be open and willing to undertake training that may be well outside of their current skills. Plus, in order to avoid DevOps burnout, you should have tools in place that help you show positive results as you build out your capabilities.
One key to ensuring your success is to start off the DevOps adoption process with projects that are “low-hanging fruit.” These are small steps with visible results that will encourage your teams to keep pushing.
The good news is that once you’ve successfully built out your own DevOps capabilities, you’re able to transfer that knowledge throughout your organization. That fosters a culture of excellence and places your business in a better position to attract future talent.
Outsourcing your DevOps
If building out your DevOps capabilities in-house is a process, outsourcing for the expertise is an investment. Not just an investment in the hiring of new team members but an investment in the time it takes to find the right talent to meet your needs.
One big benefit of bringing on an experienced team is that it can accelerate your organization’s overall adoption of DevOps. But, as with every major shakeup of talent, tough personnel decisions will need to be made.
Another route you can take is to partner with an outside organization such as Redapt to shepherd you through the entire process of implementing DevOps.
Our extensive experience with the development process, along with our capabilities across all platforms and tools, can greatly accelerate your adoption. To learn more about our capabilities, visit our DevOps enablement page or reach out to one of our experts.
The tools of the trade
The foundation of a DevOps environment is made up of infrastructure and platforms that can be automated, tools that make that automation possible, observability, versioning, and process coordination.
- Kubernetes to orchestrate the process of deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications
- CI/CD pipelines to automate the building, testing, and deployment of applications
- Kubernetes ready-data storage
As for specific tools for DevOps implementation, we often recommend a suite of solutions. These include:
- GitHub for hosting distributed SCM
- Jenkins for CI/CD pipelines
- Docker for container platforms
Measuring your success with DevOps
At the end of the day, all your efforts to adopt DevOps will be for naught if you’re unable to realize your return on investment (ROI).
In order to measure success, you need to set expectations and define key performance indicators that measure the health of your DevOps teams and their productivity.
Two of the key metrics to focus on are throughput and stability. The former measures the amount of code that becomes usable and the time it takes you to develop it. The latter covers how long it takes for your overall systems to recover when code fails.
Beyond these two metrics, it’s important that you set your teams up for success from the outset. As you adopt DevOps, pick initial projects that can provide actionable insights and results. Then continue to track performance over time to maximize your ROI on DevOps.
If you need help measuring your ROI, we have advanced analytics services available that help you better keep track of your data.
In a nutshell…
By embracing DevOps and infusing it throughout your organization, you are able to increase your competitiveness in the crowded marketplace.
Compared to traditional development, DevOps will help you achieve greater flexibility in how—and how fast—you adapt to the ever-changing needs of your business and your customers. While adopting the development process can be a big lift, especially for smaller enterprises, this lift is offset by your ability to deliver more applications quickly, reliably, and safely. In fact, according to a 2019 industry report, those enterprises described as elite performers when it comes to employing DevOps were able to deploy code 208 times more frequently and recover from incidents 2,605 times faster than those in lower tiers.
That kind of competitive advantage is hard to quantify.
If you’re ready to begin your DevOps adoption process, schedule a call with our team.