What is DevOps and How Does It Benefit Businesses?

In a recent blog post, you read a broad overview of the three key elements of Launch, which are the puzzle pieces — so to speak — that funnel your product through to market. This article kicks off a three-part series where we’ll take an in-depth look at each of these aspects, giving you a deeper understanding of what goes into a successful product launch.

Before we can launch there must be a product. Thus we begin Part One with DevOps. This is a method of software development that places a high priority on communication and collaboration, which in turn helps us rapidly produce software and improve operations performance for a better end product.

While not all software development agencies use a DevOps method, the benefits for businesses cannot be understated. These include …

  • Faster time to market: Reduced cycle times and higher deployment rates
  • Improved quality: More stable operating environments
  • Operational effectiveness: More time available to add value for the customer, rather than to fix and maintain

DevOps has a daily deployment cycle. There are multiple releases per day with smaller changes, along with automated systems that take less time away from development.  Each version of the product goes to staging and/or production so our clients and/or beta testers can interact with the product and provide feedback. The purpose of this is to test performance and other technical aspects, but it also validates app design and development assumptions. Continuous feedback with clients and users is also critical to making a product the market wants.

Additionally, DevOps incorporates a symbiotic approach to software development. Like a camera tripod, there are three equally important legs for which it stands on: Development, Quality Assurance (QA), and Technology Operations.

When we break the word into two parts, Dev points to software development, while Ops refers operations. Now, imagine for a moment that you’re in the downtown, highrise offices at a slick software agency in anywhere USA.

Developer guys and gals have their noses glued to monitors as they tediously write code, implement said code, test code and then repeat the process, all while drinking copious amounts of coffee to keep from going cross eyed.

In another corner of the agency, the Ops team works out how to make it secure and reliable, how to make it run efficiently, and how to keep it running. You might also find that there is much coffee consumed here.

These two teams work on the same systems, yet you notice they seem to be engaged in a tug of war that is slowing progress to a snail’s pace. In their quest to make the software run more reliably, Operations has broken the code. They then take off to the break room for another cuppa Joe. Meanwhile, the guys and gals in development claw at their hair, mumbling under their breath whilst trying to find — and fix — the glitch in the Matrix.

Now, wipe that scenario from your mind, as we welcome DevOps into the agency. Suddenly, Development and Operations are embraced in a highly transparent and intense collaboration. Workflow is improved, along with the software quality and performance. The development team supports operational requirements from the beginning of the cycle; and the operations team provides knowledgeable support and feedback before, during, and after each deployment. Last but not least, the customers and stakeholders are all ecstatic because they’re seeing new features rolled out daily with little or no disruption of service.

With this bird’s eye view of the process, it’s easy to see why DevOps is so important and should always be an integral part of any successful product launch.

Click here to learn more about the CabForward Launch Process.

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