DevOps—the continuous development, deployment and delivery of software—is here to stay, and it’s an approach to be seriously considered for any business that wants to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced world. DevOps means faster time to market, higher productivity, more stable applications, quicker fixes when issues do arise, and reduced costs and security issues, to name only a few of the benefits.
According to the 2016 State of DevOps Report, the high-performing organizations that have adapted a DevOps approach:
- Deploy 200 times more frequently
- Have 2,555 times faster lead times
- Have 24 times faster recovery times
- Have three times lower change failure rates
- Spend 50 percent less time remediating security issues
- Spend 22 percent less time on unplanned work and rework
These benefits are measurable and significant. However, an organization does not morph into a DevOps environment overnight. It takes time. It takes failures and reboots. It takes work and rethinking old ways of doing things. And it takes effective management, increased communication, and strategic monitoring to help navigate the chaos and come out the other side faster, better, and more agile than ever before.
DevOps requires organizational change. There’s no way around that. Management’s job is to mitigate the chaos and enable the change. This doesn’t mean more management, but rather insightful management, perhaps less at times. You might need to adapt new policies and get rid outdated ones. You’ll need to encourage collaboration and teamwork in situations where perhaps departments felt not only isolated from each other before but even slightly antagonistic. Your management has to help to break down those barriers to enable the cross-department efforts required.
First, we broke down the silos that kept data isolated and inaccessible except by certain applications. Now we’re breaking down the departmental silos as well. DevOps means initiatives driven by the whole company, not just one department. It requires everyone to be on board and in the loop, with open and continuous communication. Every kind of communication must improve, not just between the development and operations teams, but as part of the organizational change.
You also want to create continuous feedback loops, from the developers to the product managers and everyone in between—and back again. DevOps is not a linear, progressive thing. It’s is a fluid, fast-moving environment that requires real-time input and feedback. Without open and easy communication all the way around, the benefits of DevOps will be hard to achieve.
As you start this change process, develop a monitoring strategy to keep track of the DevOps process. Obviously you’ll have some straightforward KPIs in terms of time to market, revenue, reliability and uptime, customer satisfaction, as well as industry specific KPIs. When you’re consistently monitoring performance and productivity, you’ll be able to track progress as well as identify and react to issues early on—plus make sure your organization is moving forward and evolving into the DevOps culture you’re aiming for. Consider having a dashboard built to provide the visibility you’ll need. With a DevOps environment, you should be able to get it built faster—and give the feedback to make it better.
Your monitoring (and management) should also include ways to measure the people part of this equation as well, however, as your people are what make DevOps possible—and ultimately profitable.