What is DevOps?

DevOps is not easy to define. It is not a methodology, nor is it a set of tools and technologies. It is really an umbrella term for a set of strategies and a cultural shift in how modern organizations deliver value through IT. The goal of DevOps is to ensure that all aspects of your technology organization are aligned to a single objective; rapidly and reliably deliver business value through IT.

DevOps is “a framework of ideas and principles designed to foster cooperation, learning and coordination between development and operational groups

James Turnball VP of Engineering at Kickstarter

How does it work?

Implementing DevOps strategies and culture affects the people, processes and technology of your organization.

DevOps is built on 3 key tenets

  • Collaboration: Ultimately the success of all the principles, processes and practices involved in DevOps depend upon the collaboration between your development and IT operations teams to help you achieve business objectives.
  • Automation: Many development and operations processes are plagued with bottlenecks and manual processes prone to human error. Automation of processes (such as testing, infrastructure configuration, validation, and deployment) is key to delivering on the promise of DevOps.
  • Continuous Improvement: DevOps is heavily influenced by lessons learned in the world of Agile and Lean, in particular the need for a change to a continuous improvement culture. This requires good communication and built-in feedback loops, metrics, and monitoring. Also organisations must not be afraid to fail often and recover quickly, since often we can learn more from failure than success.

Is DevOps for me?

If any of the following problems resonate with you then it is worthwhile investigating DevOps

  • Time-to-market and software development cycle times are excessively long
  • Frequent delays and/or excessive project downtime
  • Frequent self-inflicted environment and service issues
  • A high proportion of your IT budget is “Keep the lights on” and not enough goes towards business growth
  • Operations is a bottleneck or overworked
  • Business opportunities are missed due to inflexibility

What are the benefits of DevOps?

Here are some of the benefits

  • Time to deliver real business value is much shorter because IT cycle time is greatly reduced
  • Software features are released more quickly and more often enabling you to stay ahead of the competition and delight your customers
  • Releases are stable and predictable, making them more cost-efficient and less stressful on your team
  • Collaboration and trust are built between your development and IT operations teams

Further Reading and Useful Resources

DevOps Solves Business Problems – the Ah-Ha moment

This story illustrates how much pain an organization or a business executive has to be in before there’s enough motivation to change.

Bridging the DevOps gap with Tools & Culture

A common misconception is that DevOps is about tooling. The culture of communication and trust is crucial to success and no tools can replace that. That said, tools can help facilitate the change in culture, if it forces or suggests actions that help establish trust, communication and best practices.

25% Tech, 75% Culture

This article explains how DevOps is about more than just development and operations. Ultimately DevOps enables the business to align IT with business needs.

DevOps: These Soft Parts

DevOps is about taking a holistic view of the solution. When we talk about DevOps and the importance of collaboration what exactly do we mean? This article explains and highlights the responsibility that management needs to take for cultivating co-operation between the two groups

Use DevOps to turn IT into a strategic weapon

If you can get to a successful result quicker and more reliably than your competitors, a competitive advantage has been achieved. This is what DevOps is about – getting results quicker than your competitors.

Top 10 practices for Effective DevOps

While DevOps might mean different things to different organizations, this article describes an emerging core of best practices that help teams to collaborate effectively to produce better software more quickly.

The Real Cost of Downtime, The Real Potential of DevOps

The Application Intelligence Platform adds an entire new dimension to DevOps. It focuses on the business transaction as the essential unit of measurement, and recognizes business stakeholders as essential members of the team.

5 Steps to DevOps Success with Application Analytics and BizDevOps

BizDevOps takes the concept of DevOps to a new level – by bringing the business context and insights to the day to day DevOps activities. BizDevOps ensures that Dev and Ops focus on what matters to the business and also introduces the Biz persona (line-of-business manager, product manager) as a key stakeholder in the process.