DevOps principles help companies get quality products to market faster to increase profit margins and recognize growth opportunities. These principles promote DevOps as a business capability. One that equips businesses with the tools and processes necessary to enable systematic release planning, predictability and profitability. Here we’ll discuss these principles in detail and give you insight into why they are important to a company’s success.
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Business Value of DevOps
DevOps combines best practices from the development and operations teams. At the core of this approach is a continuous loop of activities:
1. Release quickly and frequently
2. Get customer feedback
3. Use the feedback to improve the product
Historically, this process wasn't feasible. The segregation of duties between Development and Operations teams created bottlenecks in the release cycle. Rather than working as separate entities, the new process encourages them to collaborate and combine priorities to achieve business results.
DevOps principles help teams improve their revenue margin and gain a competitive advantage. They help companies release products quickly and more often. Getting products in front of customers faster gives companies a market-leader advantage. DevOps principles empower companies to take advantage of speed to deliver value faster. This ultimately improves their profit margin.
Top DevOps Principles That Foster Agility and Innovation
In a market where change happens fast, DevOps tools and processes help companies remain relevant. These processes enable companies to remain at the forefront of this change. By using frequent releases and continuous feedback, companies can react quickly to any market changes.
These principles work because it keeps the team focused on a continuous set of actions to achieve results. Continuous Integration (CI) plays a pivotal role in DevOps. It encourages developers to merge code often. Doing so helps teams validate that the changes from each developer work together and don’t cause issues. This lets teams catch errors before they reach production. Continuous delivery (CD) encourages rapid release cycles. With this approach, the team releases code to customers more quickly. And because the process is automated, these releases can happen more frequently.
Continuous monitoring refers to the processes and technology to monitor each phase of the DevOps cycle. It helps monitor the app’s health and performance as it moves from development to production This requires monitoring apps, logs, infrastructure and systems. When the team detects an issue, they can address it immediately.
Shift-Left DevOps principle refers to performing processes as early in the pipeline as possible. In other words, these processes are shifted “to the left” of the pipeline. Testing is one of the most beneficial processes to shift left. Performing testing early in the process helps teams catch problems before the product gets released to the customer. With this approach, testing no longer happens at the end of the cycle. Testing starts as soon as the code is merged.
Performing incremental releases rather than all-in-one deployments creates better quality products. Incremental releases work on the concept of releasing smaller code “chunks.” Deploying code this way makes testing easier. Incremental releases promote developer flexibility. They can respond to sudden changes and fix issues immediately.
Having a customer-centric development approach helps companies focus on the needs of their customers. Too often teams develop products in isolation. As a result, they build something that rarely meets customer needs. Keeping the customer at the center of development means the company builds solutions based on true customer needs.
A successful DevOps culture thrives on collaboration and shared responsibility. HIstorically, developers and operations were siloed units. Developers worked with the code. Operations handled deployments. However, each team had competing priorities that caused tension. Developers needed to make changes quickly. However, the Operations team focused on stability, and thus hesitated to allow these quick changes.
In contrast, DevOps principles bring together each of these teams to share responsibility for the product. Collaboration establishes trust between teams. It fosters open communication and feedback throughout the process. Collaboration supports a single unit with one priority: deliver quality products to customers quickly to support business objectives.
Automation streamlines the development workflow to allow developers to focus solely on developing new features. This principle involves automating anything that would take a developer away from that goal. Teams implement this practice via a CI/CD pipeline and a set of tools that introduces automation through the entire development and deployment cycle. The tools and processes automate code check-ins, testing, delivery and deployment.
As an example, consider code check-ins. Instead of manually compiling and merging code, teams use automation to build and test the application automatically. If there are errors in the code, the automaton alerts the developer of the issue.
Failure As a Learning Opportunity
Teams must fail fast and fail often to be successful. The only way to know what works is through experimenting and evaluating the results. Through experimenting, teams try out ideas to figure out what works. Many of these experiments fail. However, it is the lessons learned from those failed attempts that help teams improve.
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