What is DevOps?
DevOps stems from two distinct words, ‘development’ and ‘operations’ which are parts of the software development process or infrastructure management. In essence, DevOps is a cross-functional approach or set of practices that promote automation and collaboration of processes that occur between development and operation teams.
Today, ‘Dev teams’ in DevOps have come to also encompass Product teams, QA teams, and other teams, while ‘Ops teams‘ also refer to administrators, system engineers, release and network engineers, and security staff just to mention a few.
In short, DevOps best practices have evolved from being a methodology specific to the software domain to being one that is commonly used in the business world.
Figure 1: The DevOps process
The growth of DevOps
According to the IDC, the DevOps market is poised to grow to $8 billion. This is almost double what it was in 2017 ($3.9 billion). Some of the contributors to this kind of growth are due to the following factors:
DevOps introduces a new cultural philosophy and set of practices to the business world that makes them more efficient
DevOps brings new methods of tighter collaboration and smoother integration between business departments. This breaks the silo mentality that a lot of businesses face.
DevOps brings new tools for eliminating ineffective manual routines and for automating low value or zero-value business processes
How to change your business approach using DevOps ?
According to the 2018 State of DevOps Report, based on a statistical analysis of how organizations evolve over time, there are five main stages that businesses go through into becoming highly evolved organizations. These five phases are further analyzed to define specific practices that contribute to success in each stage. Below is a highlight of the steps and the ‘contributors to success’ that should describe how you can change your business approach using DevOps:
Normalize the technology stack. Teams should make a coordinated move towards agile methods or towards specific products or workflows. At this stage, teams should adopt version control which is the first step towards integration and continuous delivery. Additionally, teams should also normalize their tech stack and eliminate redundant systems.
Standardize and reduce variability. Teams should concentrate on further standardizing the tech stack, reducing variance, and building a standard set of technologies. At this stage, the overall complexity of the system is reduced which enables teams to scale their expertise, apply consistent management and scale up by deploying to multiple applications. The net effect is that successful patterns are shared, services are faster, errors are reduced, and the overall quality of services is enhanced.
Expand DevOps practices. The main focus of this stage is addressing the pain points now that foundational elements system is in place and there is an understanding of the system. Infrastructure changes are tested, and successful deployment patterns are reused. These practices allow for predictability and reliability which builds trust in newly adopted methods and practices. The atmosphere created becomes a fertile ground for critical cultural shifts in an organization.
Automate infrastructure delivery. This stage is defined by the automation and provisioning of systems. Automation improves the ability to deploy, the quality of the deployment, and the improved speed of implementation. Automation further encourages self-service throughout the business which leads to greater satisfaction and efficiency across the company.
Provide self-service capabilities. At the final stage, incident response is automated, and resources are available through self-service. Automation is used to boost efficiency not just in one department but throughout the entire business. Additionally, due to the trust and self-service built in earlier stages, different teams can work at their own pace and without being held back by manual approvals, tickets or long wait times.
Figure 2: The benefits of DevOps for business
Recent business trends related to DevOps
The goals of DevOps are to enhance the team’s acceptance and rapid response to change while creating a laser-like focus on the value created by each action. Also, DevOps has a focus on the steps taken to create value. With this in mind, any professional with a DevOps certification and that is worth their salt should be aware of the following business trends that are related to DevOps.
Big Data and AI are being used to make the DevOps pipeline even smarter.
Infrastructure as a Service continues to grow. Container technologies and configuration management have allowed businesses to let go of their critical infrastructure and instead have the service offered to them as a cloud service. DevOps is responsible for handling the integration between services.
DevSecOps is being prioritized because of the acceptance that compliance and security must be integrated into DevOps.
Function as a Service (FaaS) or serverless computing is becoming more accessible so that businesses can cut unnecessary expenses by not having to pay for the use of servers that they don’t really need. Technology is deployed more and more in the cloud instead of on-premises servers or on public servers.
If you are interested in using DevOps to improve your business, then some DevOps training will undoubtedly do you some good. A reputable DevOps online course will absolutely provide some structure to the information that you need to make necessary changes in your business or organization. Of course, if your goal is to build your career, DevOps online certification can help you either become more employable or rise the ranks a lot faster. All the same, you will gain useful knowledge that can bring value to businesses across the board.