Expanding on agile and lean principles, DevOps—the bringing together of software development and IT operations—can help shorten the product lifecycle and enable your organisation to consistently deliver high-quality performance, benefitting your users and your customers.
This cultural shift involves fostering a collaborative and cross-functional work environment where development and operations teams work together seamlessly. This change is essential to support automation and tools, moving away from an on-prem product-centric approach towards a SaaS service-centric alternative, which is at the heart of digital transformation and modernisation. But how well you implement it, and how efficient your DevOps teams are, are crucial to its success.
What does DevOps efficiency look like?
When DevOps is done right, you can improve flow—from idea to delivery. But just having the right technology will not cut it; you need a cultural shift within the organisation where teams are trusted and given the opportunity to innovate, as well as the tools and practices, particularly automation, required to get the job done quickly and reliably.
Let’s take a closer look at the key areas that contribute to DevOps efficiency in software delivery:
The need for speed
A successful DevOps strategy supports rapid deployment so new features, products, services, and essential updates can start generating value for users and customers much faster than through traditional methods. Rapid deployment impacts the organisation's competitive edge, market responsiveness, and overall customer satisfaction. Rapid delivery of new features and updates can translate to significant business value and quicker return on investment.
DevOps teams rely on automation to achieve this agility. Automation helps improve workflows, keep costs down, and optimise resources. Employees spend less time on manual toil, freeing them up to focus on higher-value tasks, while the user and/or customer benefits from faster product evolution and innovation.
Experience is everything
In times past, organisations didn't give much thought to developer experience—essentially, how developers interact with their company and feel about their work. Now, we recognise that a poor developer experience leads to siloed working, a lack of knowledge sharing, and drudgery that detracts from getting the job done. A positive developer experience not only boosts productivity but also indirectly affects customer experience. Happier developers are more likely to create high-quality, customer-centric software.
Prioritising developer experience to create an enjoyable development process means applying customer thinking to make developers’ work as seamless and simple as possible. A good developer experience includes:
- Streamlined workflows with source code management.
- Greater visibility with a single source of truth.
- Operational insights for prioritising issues.
- Collaboration tools to share knowledge.
- Automation to manage code more efficiently.
- Fast feedback loops for small, iterative changes.
- Comprehensive, accessible documentation.
- Continuous learning opportunities.
With a great developer experience on offer, you can hire and keep the best talent, boost productivity and accelerate innovation, help less experienced staff to find their feet, and support developers to get on with what they do best: code.
Information at your fingertips
For developers to create apps and services fast and deliver them to the cloud with minimal input from ops teams, they need easy access to vital resources and information. With everything at their fingertips, they can take care of tasks like setting up and maintaining infrastructure, version control, and configuration management.
A key component of this is self-service, such as an internal developer portal—essentially a centralised hub that brings together resources for developers; tools; and documentation such as code repositories, an API catalogue, software development kits, and monitoring tools. It provides a one-stop shop for developers to collaborate, share knowledge, and self-source all the information they need quickly, without being siloed.
Strong and stable platforms
Efficient DevOps helps to build a robust platform for reliable application development and deployment. With automated and predictable testing and deployment practices in place, security is baked in, reducing the risk of human error or malicious code breaches. Several DevOps practices help improve this reliability:
- Having a single source of truth with alignment on which methodologies, data, reports, and tools everyone is using.
- Using monitoring and observability to understand how systems behave and how application issues impact customers and business operations.
- Centralising monitoring and observability of data insights and making them actionable by leveraging automation.
- Connecting customer needs and business metrics with monitoring, observability, and automation for optimal value stream delivery.
Available and scalable
With automatic code testing and validation in place early in your software development life cycle, you can prevent errors in production and decrease the mean time between failures. You can also use canary deployment, pushing new code out to a subset of users. If something goes wrong, you can roll back to the previous version with only that group being affected.
Automated monitoring also provides real-time awareness and insights into errors, so you know when the error occurred, where in the code, and what the impact was. That makes it easier to get the issue to the right developer so they can resolve it quickly.
Automating processes and streamlining your workflows makes it much easier to scale your applications, too—quickly adding more users or being able to process more data without the hassle of manually reconfiguring your infrastructure to cope.
Always be improving
By supporting small, frequent updates, DevOps enables constant improvements to your software. An efficient DevOps strategy encourages a fast customer feedback loop to ensure you’re always delivering high-value improvements for your users. By embracing gradual change over time, you can reduce the impact of updating your application's availability and stability too.
There are many reasons to strategically invest in optimising your DevOps processes—from improving system resilience and reliability to accelerating value delivery. If you want support to boost your DevOps teams' efforts, our experts can help.