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November 1, 2022 | Matt Pacheco

DevOps Best Practices to Give You the Competitive Advantage

When looking to implement a DevOps model, don’t forget best practices

Are you looking for a way to speed up your time to market, innovate quicker, and improve application quality? Adopting a DevOps model may be the solution.

Why? When done right, DevOps can fulfill these needs.

How? This model brings development and operations teams together to achieve a common goal: efficient collaboration throughout the development and testing of applications.

Keep in mind: implementing a DevOps transformation requires specialized skills and experience that not all businesses have on hand. To move at a competitive speed, businesses must:

  • Work to reduce risk and complexity
  • Shoot for a faster time to market
  • Improve collaboration
  • Stabilize processes
  • Enforce consistency

Now that we know more about this model, let’s examine DevOps best practices.

First, what is DevOps?

As companies look to the future, it’s necessary for them to find new and exciting ways to stay attractive to potential and current customers. It’s also crucial to remain swift and timely when it comes to product improvements. If new applications get bogged down in development, or bugs aren’t fixed fast enough, customers can slip through the cracks.

DevOps is a process approach designed to speed up application changes and reduce errors by combining software development processes (Dev) and software operations (Ops). Efficiencies come from automation and monitoring being brought together throughout the application development process. The best DevOps team can deploy faster and instill more faith in end users. Plus, with the operations team involved, end business objectives are considered along with testing.

Best practices for DevOps

The right DevOps process will do the following five things:

1. Reduce risk and complexity

In The Secret of DevOps Success, Gartner predicted that 75% of initiatives would fall short of expectations due to organizational learning issues and change. That’s a huge number to leave up to chance.

Without a team skilled in DevOps, it’s easy to succumb to common pitfalls that occur due to added risk and complexity.

Software changes are inherently risky. When new changes are launched in a production environment, a failure to test performance adequately can lead to errors and outages. One of the biggest contributors to this risk is that a development environment can differ from a production environment.

Why is this a problem? Potential errors can be hard to spot for developers who aren’t working in the production environment.

DevOps development and production environments are identical, reducing the chance of error once new IT applications or features are deployed. Using the right tools and platforms can protect your business from the risk involved in DevOps transformation.

2. Achieve a faster time to market

It’s crucial for companies to move at a competitive speed and get new developments to market quickly. Technology is changing at often breakneck speeds, requiring a similarly timely response from organizations. Ideas that get to market first stand the best chance of having true staying power and standing apart from the pack.

For some innovations, being slow to market may be a death sentence. Since time is of the essence, you want to work with a team that can help you swiftly overcome obstacles that may accompany application modernization and updates.

Some of the ways a Cloud DevOps team achieves a faster go-to-market includes:

  • Automated testing
  • Development processes (workflows, code testing, comprehensive planning, and infrastructure)

With automated tools, the DevOps team can worry about smaller pieces of code that are then tested and deployed more frequently.

When automated processes are in place, code can be tested and released faster with more reliability. Additionally, it speeds up the go-to-market time for new:

  • Applications
  • Feature
  • Bug fixes

3. Improve collaboration

DevOps, by definition, is a collaboration between departments that typically don’t work together.

Development and operations teams have different priorities based on job roles. However, working together is beneficial because they can uncover things the other side may have missed. After all, the objective of this collaborative work relationship is to improve quality assurance while speeding up deployment.

It’s easy for one side to feel frustrated by the other when a silo exists between the two.

For example, since the environments are different, the development team may feel frustrated by the operations team. Why? They cannot always predict what errors may come from new code once it moves from development to production.

On the other hand, the operations team may feel a similar frustration. They may wonder why the development team hasn’t considered the differences that seem obvious.

Building DevOps processes reduces friction, improves communication, and enhances collaboration across these two teams. It also makes it easier for development and operations teams to discuss expectations and fixes more efficiently.

4. Stabilize processes

DevOps is organized in a way that code is built and tested frequently. With that, the process enabling building and testing also must be stabilized and predictably occur. Crafting a process that allows developers and operations to work together to achieve a common goal: efficient task completion. It also enables both sides to discuss their needs and desired process.

Without constant communication and collaboration, processes can become unstable, thereby increasing the likelihood of risks and decreasing the time to market. Getting processes aligned keeps a negative domino effect from occurring. Advanced tools and platforms can also help teams drive incredible stability and quality at every step along the software delivery lifecycle.

5. Enforce consistency

Think of what happens when two databases are organized in slightly different ways, and there’s no automation to correct differences in addresses. What is the result when one person types “street” in one database, and inputs “St.” in another? Duplicate entries and data conflicts. This is what can happen with separate development and operations teams.

A different development environment from production may start as a minor issue with no real consequences. However, as small changes accumulate, they can snowball into something that becomes a big problem. Suddenly, operations teams may find themselves putting out fires for developers who pushed code they believed would work without a hitch. DevOps removes this issue by having consistent production and development environments.

Need help with DevOps services?

If you’re looking to innovate using your existing cloud infrastructure and optimize IT, a DevOps approach can help you:

  • Speed up time to market
  • Reduce risk
  • Improve collaboration
  • Experience better consistency

Ready to learn more about how this approach can benefit your business? At TierPoint, we’re happy to help. We offer DevOps consulting services that can help you build, plan, implement, and optimize your DevOps transformation. Contact us today to schedule a call with one of our DevOps specialists.

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