The Rise of DevOps—Why Every IT Operation Should Have a Focus on DevOps The Rise of DevOps—Why Every IT Operation Should Have a Focus on DevOps

The Rise of DevOps—Why Every IT Operation Should Have a Focus on DevOps

Author: Rich Kopeikin, Application Development Manager, Prime TSR

The tools, theories, and practices used to develop and deliver software have gone through extensive changes over the years. As software development technologies have continued to evolve, so to have development process methodologies.

The notion of DevOps, short for development operations, is the latest development ideology to excite and stir the IT community.

The purpose of this article is to give an overview of DevOps and answer some basic questions like: What really is DevOps? Why is DevOps so important? And why is DevOps suddenly so popular?

What is DevOps?

The obvious definition of DevOps is that it is a union of Software Development and IT Operations. But a better explanation is that it is a well-balanced integration of various IT disciplines, including:

  • Infrastructure, Platforms, Environments, and Access Control
  • Source Code Management and Version Control
  • Building, Compiling, and Packaging Code
  • Releases and Deployment Pipelines
  • Testing
  • Software Life Cycle Management

Seamlessly integrating and automating these critical IT functions is the heart of DevOps.

A fully balanced and matured DevOps process will significantly shorten a development life cycle while also providing increased system stability and overall project status clarity.

Why is DevOps currently so popular?

The fundamental building blocks of DevOps have existed since the earliest days of enterprise application development. Project life cycle management, version control, and release management are all staples of the software delivery process. So why is DevOps so popular all of a sudden?

A few important IT advancements and cultural shifts lead to the realization that there are considerable benefits when tightly integrating various IT disciplines:

  • Rapid Development and Agile Processes
  • Increased availability of Automation Tools
  • Breaking the Organizational Silo Mentality

These three advancements all have one thing in common: Speed. The need for speed has driven IT process improvements while pushing teams and leaders to deliver faster, cheaper, and more reliable results.

The term “DevOps” was coined and caught traction around 2010. The concept was made popular by a series of technical conferences called DevOps Days which helped to solidify the basic principles. Books such as “The Phoenix Project” and “The DevOps Handbook” provided real-world examples of how DevOps can improve the lives of IT professionals from CIOs all the way down to Project Managers and Developers.

Why is DevOps important?

Each function of DevOps is essential for delivering and maintaining IT solutions. Below is a list of each field including an overview of the value they deliver:

  • Infrastructure, Platforms, Environments, and Access Control
    • Provides isolated environments for each stage of the development process
    • Manages access control so the DevOps process cannot be broken
  • Source Code Management and Version Control
    • Maintains a history of each code change, including who, when, and why
    • Allows for collaboration on individual features as well as parallel development of multiple features, fixes, and projects
    • Critical to release planning and the flexibility to deploy any individual feature
  • Building, Compiling, and Packaging Code
    • Pre-processes and packages code for quick and efficient deployments or installations
    • Maintains a history of application versions
  • Releases and Deployment Pipelines
    • Provides a workflow for new features to progress through each development environment all the way to go-live
    • Increases stability by creating a repeatable and testable deployment process
  • Testing
    • Catches bugs and issues prior to go-live
  • Software Life Cycle Management
    • Tracks work progress through the various phases of development
      • Analysis, Estimation, and Prioritization
      • Design and Implementation
      • Testing and Remediation
    • Provides project status and KPIs, such as:
      • Status of releases, features, and tasks
      • Team velocity, estimation accuracy, bug frequency, stability

The aim of DevOps is to automate and fuse each of these fields into a well-oiled machine which churns out value and solutions ever faster. DevOps is essentially the analysis and improvement of the supply chain and assembly line of IT work.

It’s time to take DevOps seriously

Without an eye on DevOps, projects will suffer from sluggish development, lousy quality, inaccurate estimates, cost over-runs, and a high risk of failure. If any of these issues sound familiar, perhaps it is worth analyzing your DevOps process and looking for areas of improvement.

It’s not hard to understand why this concept has gained popularity within the IT community. Who in IT doesn’t love automation and efficiency? Everyone understands the value. IT professionals are often tasked with delivering the same kind of automation for business processes. Why wouldn’t IT experts want to give themselves the same gifts they deliver to their customers time and time again?

Substantial benefits can be gained by enabling and growing DevOps within an IT organization. The next question is: What’s the best way to invest? Be on the lookout for part 2 of the series for how to facilitate and advance DevOps within your team or organization… If your organization is considering investing in DevOps, please reach out to us here.