When your business is dependent on quickly and regularly launching new features, iterations, or applications, your team members need to accelerate delivery without sacrificing quality. Many IT innovators suggest DevOps as an ideal way to reduce SDLC costs by 50% while speeding up delivery from request to production. However, the transition is vastly more complicated than just changing your approach.
For the uninitiated, DevOps effectively combines development and operations under one roof. Where once these two functions operated on separate islands, there is now greater collaboration across unified teams throughout the lifespan of an application or solution. Members of DevOps teams contribute to development, testing, and deployment tasks within the same timeframe. As you can imagine, this fusion of principles, practices, and tools can spur innovation, enabling your company to introduce and improve new products and services at previously unheard-of velocity.
If this sounds like a promising on-ramp to greater speed to market, you’re not wrong—and you’re not alone. Capstone IT is here to make the process as smooth as possible. Here are some tips from our team to simplify your transition to DevOps and speed up your timeline for full-scale results.
Get Comfortable with Testing Often
At Capstone, we appreciate the value of the testing process, as evidenced by our Capstone Labs initiative. By investing in a “sandbox” in which to test unproven innovation—as opposed to investing in an ultimately buggy release—your chances of a successful launch are far greater. Proper testing provides you with validation of a real-world ROI before making an investment, a principle that is inherently a part of DevOps.
Rushing to market without real-world validation can lead to issues that can’t be undone. DevOps helps to sort out these issues before they happen by baking short testing cycles into the process from the start. To prevent any delays to the continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) pipeline, most of these tests are automated, achieving 100% code coverage without disrupting the deliverable chain.
With a competent product manager on hand to verify the continued improvements your new DevOps team is making, there’s nothing to keep you from perfecting your new product or service to the highest degree possible.
Once you’ve fully committed to DevOps, the testing doesn’t stop there. You’ll need to continuously track the speed at which you bring new solutions to market compared with the speed of your previous efforts. Do you see improvement? Is it not quite what you expected? Be prepared to make further refinements. And don’t neglect your team’s morale. In the end, the most important test of all might just be the enthusiasm your engineers bring to the new DevOps mindset.
Momentum Starts with You
Maven and Jenkins. Chef and Puppet. You’ve probably seen some of these tools floating around DevOps forums. There are multitudes more on the market to help with everything from version control and testing to continuous integration and configuration management. The trick is for companies still early in their DevOps journey to avoid overloading their people with a complete refresh of development lifecycle tools too soon.
Before you can start the ball rolling on automating your testing and production processes, you must understand the need to create momentum among your employees first. This requires educating your team and getting them comfortable with any new processes, not to mention the way old processes may intersect with one another. Like any new process or platform, you’ll need to identify an internal champion who can communicate the intricacies of these test-driven development practices and take charge of the culture change.
Implementing DevOps essentially changes the landscape of work for your various tech teams, so the sooner you start acclimating them to this new mindset, the more momentum you can generate early on your way to success.
“Start Up” a New Culture
Once you take all the technology, process, and hierarchy out of the equation, you’re left with the essence of adopting DevOps: a change in culture. This could be a profound shift for employees, which comes with a distinct set of growing pains. You should expect to hear a lot of talk about how that’s not how we do this or we already have a process in place for that.
Consider taking a page from the startup world by establishing a separate team within your existing organization with the sole focus of establishing DevOps. You can treat this elite team like a company within a company, fostering a sense of excitement around the changes instead of having to drag participants into the next era of innovation. You will of course have to keep asking the hard questions about what your company traditionally does and why those systems must be replaced, but you may find yourself having a much easier time of it.
A Clearer Path Forward
The transition to DevOps culture is a daunting one, even after following the above tips. But there are partners out there who can help. Capstone IT, for instance, ensures a smooth transition to DevOps through a unique approach that takes your existing infrastructure and ushers it into a new era—on your terms.
Your legacy applications can be augmented to function in the modern tech landscape; likewise, a hybrid cloud approach can help you leverage existing assets while reaping the benefits of the cloud. These offerings are no substitute for the three points outlined in this piece, but when you’re ready to execute, the right partner can help bring your transition to a DevOps culture to a satisfying conclusion.