It is a well-accepted truth that DevOps helps organizations in faster application development, more frequent delivery of features, more productive teams, and improved communication and collaboration.  However, some CXOs fail to achieve the best of speed and reliability. This is mainly due to the fact that organizations make use of aspects of DevOps that best suit their needs, and not aspects that they should actually be focusing on.

To break from these practices, and to integrate speed and reliability for more effective release cycles, CXOs need to focus more on discipline apart from process and technology. By blending agile delivery with common best practices and governance across teams, CXOs can keep up with increasing demand for high quality, rapid or frequent software releases.

The state of DevOps

As the demand for delivering high-quality applications quickly and cost-effectively increases, DevOps helps accelerate frequent delivery of good-quality software. By bringing together the development and operations teams, DevOps aims to drive better communication and collaboration thereby enable faster application delivery while reducing errors and improving quality.

However, as continuous delivery becomes the main focus, the rapid production rate often results in poor delivery quality. If not implemented properly, development teams will not appreciate the realities of ops, and ops will not understand new development strategies. The collaboration between the two teams will continue to be strained.

For DevOps teams to reach their fullest potential, teams need to shift to disciplined adoption of DevOps, that allows them to keep up with increasing demand for high-quality, rapid software releases while blending risk management and governance to support delivery assurance.

DevOps is a lot more than just technology and process

With the software market constantly demanding greater speed in release cycles, organizations are forced to quicken their release pace by embracing DevOps practices. However, DevOps is not just about implementing a set of tools; if you only focus on the technology, and implement processes without the core principles of DevOps in mind, a slew of other potential risks become a problem: more bugs get introduced, which require more testing efforts that ultimately increase deployment costs. In the end, quality suffers and releases fail. In addition, many people believe that DevDevOps is a lot about Culture. Although culture helps in best practice implementation by teams across the application lifecycle, in reality, DevOps goes far beyond it.

If CXOs focus more on any one singular aspect, the end result is lackluster releases because of various reasons such as -

  • Siloed teams: Although in theory, DevOps is supposed to integrate the development and operations teams for quicker, more efficient application delivery, with professions specializing only in certain aspects of the release process, traditional IT teams naturally become siloed. These silos hamper collaboration and ultimately delay releases when DevOps is supposed to streamline both.

  • A high rate of defects: As development teams focus on rapid-fire development by leveraging quality assurance methods, teams often become overwhelmed by release deadlines. With everyone only trying to keep up with the deadlines, quality takes a backseat; more defects might slip into the release if the manual test practices are not automated as the regression testing efforts will increase.

  • Focus on continuous delivery instead of quality delivery: Even though quick delivery isn’t the only aspect of DevOps, the demand for quicker time-to-market makes it seem like it is. DevOps teams that only focus on quick delivery instead of on other critical areas of the release cycle will quickly see an increased risk of poor-quality products – which is too severe to come back from.

Why Discipline matters

The buzz around DevOps often makes the term misunderstood and misused. Over the years, enterprises of all sizes have created their own definitions to fit their specific needs. The fundamental ideology is that DevOps aims to improve agility, speed, and collaboration by bridging the gap between development and operation teams, in a bid to get application releases into production quicker. However, it is only when DevOps teams bring in a degree discipline into the delivery process, they can achieve insight into the end-to-end process, and truly streamline application delivery.

Adoption of common development strategies, practices, and tools across the application lifecycle allow teams to shorten transition efforts, streamline release management, enabling organizations to achieve the promise of DevOps despite the increasing speed and volume demands. It helps in introducing the much-needed element of discipline to DevOps processes and strategy, enabling greater successes in an increasingly software-driven business world.

Here’s what CXOs will gain from a properly implemented disciplined DevOps strategy:  

  • Introduces governance: Disciplined DevOps integrates the governance benefits of the traditional development frameworks with the agility that companies seek when adopting DevOps. The true benefit of governance comes by putting in place a mechanism that can provide lightweight, unobtrusive governance to improve the end-to-end delivery process while providing management with a complete view of the current status along with the quality of the software release portfolio.

  • Improves visibility and compliance: Disciplined DevOps also automates compliance in the delivery process; thereby improves quality levels. By providing insights into every aspect of the delivery process, it improves end-to-end visibility and helps teams deliver better quality products, faster.

  • Enhances collaboration: When only quick delivery is the primary focus of DevOps, teams often choose specialized practitioners to carry out tasks, without taking into consideration other elements of the process. However, disciplined DevOps breaks these siloes and brings about a great degree of collaboration that enables developers, ops and support teams to work closely together on a regular basis in a bid to produce software that meets quality requirements.

  • Improves stability: When development teams bypass testing guidelines to meet their own release deadlines, Ops teams often become overwhelmed, and QA teams are left to spot far more defects. All this causes the release to fall behind schedule. However, disciplined DevOps enables the use of tools that are interoperable across the application lifecycle, increasing compatibility and improving the stability of the release process.

Improve product or application delivery

Implementing a DevOps strategy is not just about bringing applications (products/solutions) to the market (/internal teams) soon; it’s about building the right process, using the right tools, and being disciplined in following delivery processes to make it more efficient.

For CXOs looking to make the most of DevOps need to start caring about discipline; it is only then that you can enhance collaboration, improve visibility, stability, and agility to accelerate the product development process, meet time-to-market deadlines and embark upon the journey of improved product delivery and optimized costs.

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