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How to Adopt a DevOps Model for Your Business

Posted on by Andrew Hartnett | Updated:
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Thinking about adopting DevOps but not sure where to start?

As organizations are ever more eager to digitize and automate processes, the number looking into adopting DevOps models has increased greatly. Because the approach typically depends on each company’s objectives and teams, there is no universal secret to adopting it.

This can make the leap into DevOps daunting.

Most organizations want to get on board with the DevOps approach to make their teams more agile and competitive while cutting down costs and building revenue.

In order to do this, they need to get into a DevOps mindset to create common goals not only for engineering teams but also for CEOs and CIOs who need to work together and establish an agenda that incorporates the most important objectives.

Here’s how to adopt that mindset enterprise-wide.

Steps to Easily Get Started with DevOps

First of all, companies need to investigate and find out what the process of getting the software from development to production looks like in their world.

This includes considering all roadblocks in the delivery process, what does not work, and then deciding what needs immediate revision. Businesses should understand that before a DevOps model works enterprise-wide, they need to test different tools.

Be ready to fail fast and move on to the next experiment.

Most importantly, all teams involved need to be well aware of the reasons they are involved in the project, what was done in the past and why it did not work well, and what can be done in the present to make it more productive in the future. DevOps is not just about automating processes, but about real teamwork and communication to improve software development, delivery, and testing.

DevOps is a mindset, not a destination.”

Another important step in adopting a DevOps model after identifying the value streams and roadblocks is to come up with honest key performance indicators to measure both failures and progress.

Some examples could include deployment speed and frequency, time spent from deployment to production, and failure rates.

All team members need to be kept in the loop about all progress because visibility and transparency are critical in adopting a DevOps model that works.

No matter what some would advertise, there is no such thing as a universal DevOps tool or DevOps model that will deliver instant success, because each company is unique and has specific needs to focus on.

The most important step in the entire process is to start slowly and not rush deployment across the entire organization from day one. It takes time to get things up and running, so it is wise to just start with a small pilot project that will help understand value stream roadblocks, impact, and how long it takes to fix them, as well as conduct thorough quality assurance.

The most important tip is to test everything and then use all the lessons learned at this early stage to step-by-step scale the model across the entire organization.”

Organizations can have a hard time reaching the true potential of a DevOps model, yet a managed service provider with hands-on customer support can guide them in understanding the tools they need to implement, and how to do so based on their business objectives.

The Benefits of Adopting a DevOps Model

The Benefits of Adopting a DevOps Model

DevOps is based on collaboration between development and operations, but to be successful, all departments involved have to think outside the box of traditional software development and understand all steps of the process. This starts with understanding the reasons behind the product or service they are developing, followed by the testing and deployment stages to ultimately deliver quality faster to market.

It is almost impossible to adopt a DevOps model if all teams involved do not reach common ground on benefits and objectives for the entire company instead of a single team. These can range from reducing costs, automating processes, and better support and faster repair times, all the way to enhancing agility and better working teams. To reach such work bliss among departments, it may require months or years of deployment across the entire enterprise, depending on the size of the organization.

A company cannot decide to adopt a DevOps model overnight and expect it to deliver results immediately. It needs to implement an overall DevOps culture that puts team collaboration first to eventually build better software faster, scale the business, and set up more efficient teams.”

In the DevOps journey, absolutely all team members are equally responsible for the entire process from development to operations, and have complete visibility over the project, which could lead to new team roles.

Businesses need to be innovative in an increasingly competitive market, so speed and agility are critical in a world of extensive interest in digitization with high demand for companies to stay relevant. To achieve this, they need to adopt a DevOps environment for software development to phase out roadblocks and ensure a seamless workflow between development and operations.

A more dynamic and flexible development life cycle will optimize response time for customer demands, no matter how often changes are requested.

Starting Enterprise Changes for DevOps

As previously mentioned, each organization adopts a DevOps approach based on its company values, culture, and workflow, because DevOps is a mix of approaches and tools that creates a more efficient work process and establishes a culture of teamwork between departments that used to be separate.

Although they might end up using similar tools, companies will still have unique workflows and business needs so one approach could not work for the other, which is why it typically takes so long to make an organizational change without compromising quality.

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About the Author

Andrew Hartnett

Andrew Hartnett helped to create an SRE organization and culture operating at the intersection of Development, Security, and Operations during his former role at Liquid Web as Head of Engineering, Infrastructure, and SRE. He has an extensive background working with startups, large institutions, and large corporations developing, running, and maintaining tools and infrastructure. Also, while at Rackspace, Andrew co-founded and led Engineering and Development for Managed Security.

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