Best Practices for a Successful DevOps Transformation
In this competitive world, every organization is moving towards digital transformation. To stay ahead of the competition businesses are trying to improve their existing IT infrastructure, methodologies, welcoming new technology and software development approaches. To be successful in achieving all of this, organizations depend a lot on how inclined they are towards adopting best practices for a successful DevOps transformation. This shift to DevOps implementation makes organizations capable of faster quality releases with lesser performance issues. This shift cannot be taken lightly and should be based on thorough research on the organization’s cultural foundation on which it is built because every company’s journey is different. So, to take this plunge, one must adopt the following DevOps best practices for a successful DevOps transformation.
Let’s move ahead and discuss the most impactful DevOps Best Practices that help businesses achieve successful DevOps transformation and help them realize their objectives.
A. Alignment with the business goal
The path to the DevOps journey should include the three main pillars responsible for successful DevOps transformation. Those three aspects are the right people, the right processes, and the right tools. Identifying the right combination and keeping the stakeholders involved in the process would help you align your goals with the business objectives. The decision to adopt DevOps should match your business goals. DevOps should be implemented if your business goals demand it, not because it is the latest trend.
B. Encourage team collaboration
The involvement of all relevant teams should start right from specifying the requirements to developing the prototypes, to testing and various deployment stages. A collaborative culture and good communication among the team members leave fewer chances of errors and failures. Any critical input or feedback coming from the team will help us understand the challenges and help to lead to the overall DevOps transformation. Breaking the organizational silos allows everyone to have access to the information, helps in decision making, encourages innovative ideas, and brings out the best outcomes. You should never forget the DevOps philosophy that focuses on collaborating operations, development and other teams to function as a unit and not as separate functions. The coordination and cooperation among these teams will lead to a flourishing DevOps transformation.
C. Start small and then step-up
DevOps is a new concept for any organization before it begins to adopt this approach. Apart from other changes adopting DevOps demands your organization to be flexible enough to embrace this philosophy. It encourages breaking the traditional rules of communication between the teams and being more receptive and accepting of each other’s ideas. So, with all this happening, it is recommended that organizations should start by implementing the DevOps approach to smaller releases before applying it to the whole architecture.
D. Defining Performance Standards
Implementation of the DevOps transformational strategy should bring better results. In this kind of DevOps best practice, the team of stakeholders should work backward and focus on fixing relevant performance parameters from the start of the project to reap the maximum benefits of the adopted DevOps transformational method.
E. Incorporating Automation tools and technologies
Developers build quality code that needs to be tested frequently and regularly. With the help of DevOps, they can test early to resolve any emerging issues. So, incorporating automation at every step of the Software Development Life Cycle will help to expedite the delivery process. With the help of the right set of automation tools and technologies, a business can make faster market-ready software releases. There are lots of automation tools, such as Selenium that are easily available today to ease the process of automation and bring efficiency, reliability and enable businesses to push any new feature faster. Some of the popular DevOps-based tools are Kubernetes, Docker technology, Jenkins, etc.
F. Implement and Monitor Continuous Integration and Delivery Pipelines
Implementing CI/CD is one of the most important DevOps transformation steps in the DevOps journey. Continuous Integration and Delivery pipeline provide machinery for software quick fixes and releases through automation. By monitoring the CI/CD pipelines, businesses can identify the failures quickly with the help of DevOps monitoring tools that are cloud-based, on-premise, or containerized. Effective and efficient CI/CD monitoring helps teams gather information about threats early to deliver a quality software product faster to production. DevOps monitoring can help study critical data gathered from these four important performance-based metrics like Failure Rate, Average time taken to Repair, deployment frequency, and Lead time. An organizational benchmarking should also be conducted to estimate the team members required, the number of processes automated, and infrastructure requirements. This exercise will justify the time and money invested in the project. The right information provides a helpful DevOps transformation roadmap and brings their attention towards achieving the common goal.
G. Continuous Customer Feedback Monitoring
If your organization does not deliver the product that satisfies the customer’s requirements, there is no meaning to its existence. The software should always be customer-centric and should fulfill customers’ expectations. DevOps is driven by a continuous feedback mechanism that helps to collect important customer information critical to the business. Also, if the information is gathered early, it will support all the important teams like quality assurance, product, development, and operations teams in making quality decisions based on the feedback. It will also be a crucial determinant of successful DevOps transformation.
H. Monitor Production Environment
It is the most important DevOps transformation step that will strengthen your transformation journey. Once the code is written, tested, built, and the software is ready to go to the production environment for release. The teams should ensure that the firewalls are configured, everything is backed up, physical controls are taken care of so that you can smoothly access the software physically and remotely. This DevOps best practice ensures that the production environment is prepared well for the release. If it is not ready, it might act as a hindrance in the DevOps transformation journey.
I. Go Serverless
Going serverless will save a lot of time for developers because then, instead of focusing on infrastructure management, they can focus on building and deploying software. You can choose from various tools like Google Cloud, Azure, AWS, Lambda, etc., that will allow you to execute code on them by providing a serverless infrastructure.
J. Go-to-Market Timing
The present market demands faster software releases. Any new features should be pushed to the ever-evolving market quickly and frequently. DevOps CI/CD processes, in combination with compatible automation tools, enable the business to make the latest releases faster.
K. Improved IT Governance
Any business can face security risks at any point in time. For avoiding such situations, the business should have a strong support system backed by robust compliance and a regulatory framework. It will provide the relevant team access and visibility to all important areas and shield all the vulnerable aspects to avoid any potential security risk.
L. Accepting that Failures are Inevitable
Failures in any service are unavoidable. What is important is how your organization deals with the failure and helps to get over the downtimes. Being open and adopting a mindset of embracing the risks with utter power is a healthy way to turn down any problematic scenario. Seeing every failure as learning instead of demotivation helps you carve out a way to deal with other unavoidable situations like these that might arise in the future.
M. DevOps is just not a role, but more than that
In earlier times, DevOps was introduced as a transformational approach to change the way development processes worked. As time passed, this approach got converted into a mere job role where the DevOps engineers only handled infrastructure, and DevOps implementation only meant adding more DevOps engineers to the team. Businesses should revisit that point in time and understand why DevOps was adopted in the first place? What was the intention behind incorporating DevOps? Also, DevOps is not just a role but a standalone, transformational software development methodology in itself. Just tweaking the approach to DevOps will help in successful DevOps transformation.
These few best practices mentioned above are a DevOps transformation roadmap to rebuild the organization and nurture overall organizational success. DevOps adoption is key to providing impeccable digital experiences to your customers that bring value to the business. Implementing DevOps best practices is a journey in itself. It is not an overnight process; it requires expertise, awareness, and long-term commitment to transform your business. The success of your DevOps Transformation will depend upon the DevOps best practices the business adopts. The best rule is starting small and simple. You will not transform the entire business altogether, but apply DevOps step-by-step to some parts first and then implement it across the whole organization after understanding the pros and cons of implementation and lessons from the previous experiences. It is an ongoing journey, and with the right adoption of the best practices, you can start your DevOps transformational journey with ease.