Your enterprise is moving to stabilize your software systems, emphasizing collaboration across teams and using automation tools to help speed up implementation. You’re building a roadmap for DevOps to deliver applications faster. Considerations for you and your stakeholders to examine include setting up feedback loops to refine the development process, harnessing automation, hiring from within whenever possible, and using artificial intelligence to streamline development.
Identify Current Constraints
It’s best to become familiar with whatever limits there are in your enterprise before you start implementing DevOps. As Forbes suggests, “Above all, be sure to continuously identify and aggressively eliminate your organization’s greatest constraint at the current time. Often, it’s something you wouldn’t suspect.”
Forbes explained that the primary cause for delays in DevOps was testing, which 47% of respondents to a GitLab survey said was their biggest time sink. Planning took up the next largest chunk of time, at 36%. You might be shocked to learn that the smallest factor in delays was writing the code itself. The statistics suggest that you may be able to speed up code delivery by allocating less time (staff will always appreciate fewer meetings, after all) to planning and testing, directing more of your attention and efforts toward actual development.
Enable Feedback to Verify You’re Delivering What Customers Need
When you arrange for ongoing feedback in your DevOps implementation, it will be the quickest way to ensure your customers get what they expect.
“This can be made possible by deploying a system that offers a continuous feedback loop with the help of KPIs and real-time data in the DevOps toolchain,” according to a report from Cuelogic. It noted that feedback is needed for your enterprise to be able to deliver services and products according to the specifications of the end-users.
Therefore, you will build transparency into the system, with monitoring tools to offer real-time insight into the applications in development. Open communication is key to meeting your key performance indicators.
Faster DevOps implementation will rely on automation in your enterprise. As Cigniti pointed out, “Automation can be employed and extended to code development, middleware configuration, database, and networking changes, and essential testing including regression testing and load testing.”
Your teams in operations, testing, and development will be motivated to automate work during the entire software development life cycle to save time. After all, “embracing DevOps without implementing continuous integration and continuous delivery will be inefficient and unsuccessful.” You can consider continuous integration to be at the heart of your agile processes, with some users always testing and giving feedback to coders, to clean up errors in an ongoing effort.
Hire From Within
As you look at your budget and financial projections for the year, you might raise your eyebrows at the thought of onboarding new talent for the DevOps effort.
You may make a case for hiring from within, though, instead. The DevOps Institute, which monitors trends in how enterprises roll out their programming projects, said that “DevOps requires trying out new technologies. Recent research from the DevOps Institute found that 55 percent of survey respondents prefer to hire into their DevOps teams from within their organization.”
But with many businesses not having employees in-house with the required knowledge, skills, and experience, hiring outsiders could present a major challenge.
Hiring from within could be your best option, in such conditions. DevOps provides an example of one enterprise’s success in setting up an internal training university within the company itself: “This is what the courier delivery services firm FedEx did. The company knew it did not have adequate skills in its talent pool of engineers, leading their CIO to initiate the FedEx Cloud Dojo, which teaches its own engineers modern software development and technologies and functions as a university for FedEx.”
To date, FedEx’s university has educated more than 2,500 programmers. While your enterprise may not have such a large talent pool from which to draw, the delivery company’s example could inspire you to start cultivating your internal talent now in anticipation of starting a DevOps initiative soon.
Remember to Promote the ‘Soft Skills’
While DevOps has to do with computer hardware and software development, don’t forget the human element. You are working on improving the software for your customers, and this involves open communication.
That’s essential for getting customers to delineate what they want and what they truly need in the software. And understanding what they are looking for in an interface will involve programmers putting themselves in other people’s shoes. That’s the central idea of empathy and it does have a role in developing software solutions.
Communication doesn’t go very well if people lack experience in areas of collaboration and customer service, or if they haven’t cultivated their empathy skills. There’s a case to be made for encouraging employees to practice listening to one another before gearing up for a new software development project.
Use Artificial Intelligence Tools
Artificial intelligence use is on the upswing and you can count on it being more tightly integrated into your company’s processes going forward. The DevOps Institute weighed in on AI and machine learning having been rated as the most vital technology for use in the enterprise, per data in a recent ISACA report. “AIOps will give DevOps teams the ability to analyze more data faster, allowing them to improve key processes, tasks, and decision making.”
You can anticipate opening up the currently segregated information silos in your enterprise for all to access freely, with the DevOps team using tools to take in huge amounts of data and then use machine learning to process the information as inputs for making decisions with automated assistance.
Ongoing Maintenance and Development
Over the long haul, your organization will continue to develop applications and upgrade them to meet new business challenges and opportunities. Your DevOps setup will naturally include a schedule for regular maintenance of the systems.
The maintenance will go hand in hand with adding new features as your customers determine what needs improvement next and at what priority, in an ongoing feedback loop. That’s how you will stay nimble and able to react to market conditions at a pace to rival your business competitors.