In a world of technology-driven systems, the customer experience is king. Everyone wants businesses to deliver quick and reliable products that show results. Companies must consistently meet customer expectations if they are to unlock valuable possibilities and opportunities.
After reading the above, you are probably asking ‘how can I do this?’
The answer is DevOps.
DevOps can innovate and transform. It drives value to customers by organizing enterprise workflows to maximize the speed and cost-efficiency of operations. According to openPR, a study by Allied Market Research reveals that the worldwide DevOps market generated $3.36 billion in 2017 and this figure is likely to reach $9.40 billion by 2023. The demand for cost-savings and operational efficiency is not the only factor responsible for the growth in the global DevOps market. Other reasons include a rise in the need for automated software as well as the adoption of cloud computing via PaaS solutions.
Today, companies implement modern Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) to deliver software with speed, safety, and reliability. They merge development and operations with best practices that ensure CI, CD, continuous testing, continuous monitoring, and continuous feedback.
Although these are crucial, the secret sauce is measuring the business value of DevOps. How do we know if it works for us? What are the bottlenecks or problems with software delivery speed? Without appropriate measurement, DevOps translates into hype instead of value. We wouldn’t want this to happen, so let’s study the best ways to offer business value and the advantages of doing so.
Identify Customer Pain Points
Have you heard the famous saying about selling a solution and not a product? Your customers are interested in how you can alleviate their pain points. For this to be possible, you should explain how things work in a DevOps environment. Firstly, conduct R&D and collect the data and metrics to support your reasons. Here are a couple of questions you can bring up:
- How long does it take to deploy a new feature?
- What is the response time for fixes, features, and applications?
Illustrate the reduction of time and money through solid examples. For instance, you can talk about Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and link it to revenue generation. With IaC, you can enable containerization, an OS-level technique that deploys and runs distributed apps without launching a whole VM for each app. This method enables optimal resource utilization and portability between various clouds and platforms.
Focus on reducing the cycle time from task execution to production. See if your engineers regularly experiment and determine what simplifies your customers’ lives so you can focus on giving them exactly what they want. By applying the ‘better, faster, sooner’ philosophy, you can improve productivity and serve your clients in the way they expect. To strengthen your business case, explain why they should move to the cloud, or pursue DevOps.
Offer secure code with actionable insights. When you deliver a new software version, it can run alongside the existing version and you can even compare performance analytics. Make incremental changes to applications in progress. Test and deploy whenever you can. Invest in digital capabilities to increase agility and respond proactively to customer demands.
Focus on building a company culture that increases software consistency and delivers high-quality applications to generate value efficiently. When you have dev and ops working together, you can fix problems quickly and create a level of bonding that leads to better code and applications.
Explore Your Options
Planning and design mark the beginning of every execution process. Invest in DevOps workshops, design sessions, and assessments. Create a roadmap and collaborate with your teams to understand the flow across departments and activities. These will help you identify waste and touch on areas requiring improvements. Organize everything from the operating model and pilot deployment to the delivery and deployment pipeline. Conduct R&D on how DevOps toolchains can transform monolithic apps into microservices that enhance product quality and releases.
Here is an overview of how you can form your strategy:
- Design Thinking
Evaluate the issue and identify unique ideas through an in-depth understanding of how you can provide true value.
- Lean Six Sigma
This will help you define the scope and the future process so you know the right things to prioritize.
- Agile Development Frameworks
This gives you the framework to investigate, allowing you to ensure complete visibility and transparency. It also becomes easier to adapt to tools that build things quickly and reliably.
Measurement is not the same for everyone. It will differ depending on your unique goals and what you intend to achieve in the long run. So, how do you collect the necessary data? Here are some KPIs to kickstart things:
- Mean Time Between Failure
This is the forecasted average time between when you identify an issue in production and when you fix it.
- Defect Rate
This is crucial if you want to test metrics and review the quality of your testing strategy. It includes the number of defects that you discover during a given amount of time.
- Mean Time To Change
This is the time it takes for a new feature, bug fix, or any other change to go from ideation to deployment, and finally, production.
- Rework Level
This represents the amount of rework that you have to invest in a process to boost operational efficiency.
- Unplanned Work Rate
This is the percentage of unplanned issues that arise along the way.
Share all this information with your teams in presentations or use it to raise alerts and trigger events in the life cycle. Doing so offers a deep understanding of the value and impact as data flows through a value stream. Feel free to adjust the model to present the information differently, and if your teams find a new metric to track, add that. This should not stop your system from continuing to build up a data model that displays times, success rates, and other analytics.
DevOps Benefits For Business
Investing in DevOps saves time and money, increases software lifecycle predictability, and builds a corporate culture around innovation. How? Let’s see this next.
- Time & Money Saving
You would be surprised to know that even today, many IT operations involve mundane tasks. While companies can automate them using scripts, they only set themselves up for failure if the scenarios differ and the scripts fail. The reason is scenarios in production tend to vary greatly.
Implementing the DevOps principles of CI and CD makes sure that task scenarios remain uniform. Automation becomes highly efficient, reducing the amount of time, effort, and resources that one would otherwise spend on routine tasks.
- Fast Delivery
The DevOps concepts of continuous production, automation, and feedback allow for rapid and effective software development. As a critical component of the Agile approach, DevOps leverages automation to maintain smooth SDLC operations. Consistent reviews allow teams to resolve bugs in record time and roll out updates more quickly.
- Increased Software Lifecycle Predictability
Have you experienced project delays because of critical glitches you discovered right before a release or some security checks you had to implement at crunch time? These are examples of unfortunate but everyday realities that affected software delivery for quite a while before the rise of DevOps.
Now, you can incorporate security checks into an automated unit and integrity testing from the ground-up. The code is written in chunks and you can integrate them into the project’s main trunk instead of building long branches that do not merge afterward down the track. DevOps also improves the predictability, performances, and outcomes of software development programs.
- Use Of Top Technologies
DevOps harnesses the power of technologies that define the future of work. These include serverless computing, managed Kubernetes-as-a-Service, edge computing for IoT, AI, and ML, etc. All these offer actionable insights and lessons that professionals can learn from. They are then able to share relevant experiences in maximizing product quality and streamlining workflows.
Based on our experience of providing DevOps and cloud services, we at Clouve know that businesses face different types of problems with their IT operations. We custom design and engineer solutions for every niche and use case. Whether it is a common or unique challenge, we have you covered. Please contact us to find out how we can help you achieve your goals!