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How to Implement DevOps: Challenges, Reasons, and Best Practices

devops implementationBefore sharing any DevOps implementation steps or highlighting business process statistics, let’s define “development operations.” The term was invented by Patric Debois back in 2009. Like many before him, he was trying to find an intermediate between techniques, processes, and standards and coined a notion that would represent the cultural evolution of the IT sphere.

Development Operations is a term incorporating rules for merging development (Dev) with IT operations (Ops). It concentrates on product development steps: process automation, team-client collaboration, and blending between IT activities and programmers. When combined, this allows us to ensure fast, efficient, and reliable software development. Another bonus that goes alongside an effective DevOps implementation plan is the absence of interruptions at lower costs.

Since 2009, DevOps has taken both the development of digital solutions and systems administration and unified their skills to form a better and unified attitude to both.

In this article, we’ll cover the current and future trends in DevOps using numbers. We’ll also discuss how to implement DevOps, the challenges in adopting it, and the pros and cons.

The Now and Future of DevOps in Numbers

devops implementation

Before discussing how to implement DevOps in a project, a business owner should know the statistics: How many businesses are already using development operations services? How is project management influenced? Does the future look promising?

Back in 2019, the size of the DevOps market reached $4 billion and was projected to grow by 20% until 2026. Let’s see what is happening between 2019 and 2026:

  • In 2020: Over 95% of the implemented DevOps strategy share influenced business processes positively. 61% of them produced high-quality deliverables, while 49% of companies announced a decrease in software deployment time. 
  • In 2021: To bring more value to their customers and unlock their team’s potential, over 83% of software development agencies introduced DevOps practices.
  • In 2022: Predictions made in 2019 were unreliable since, in 2022, the DevOps market reached the point of $8,000,000,000.

Based on this data, new calculations are planned to be made. 

Why You Need to Implement a DevOps Strategy

how to implement devops in an organization

You’re a startup

Hiring a DevOps for your startup is the right thing to do if your startup team exceeds 3 full-time developers working together with other members of the team: UX/UI designers, QA engineers, business analysts, projects architecture, etc. For relatively small startups, the benefits of DevOps won’t be tangible. Once the number of full-time programmers exceeds two, screen the industry and arrange interviews.

You’re scaling a startup

Startup scaling is, in most cases, equal to hiring additional developers. However, it’s also about complex tasks, and you already need more team members for them. As volumes grow, your business must expand with its customer base, employee headcount, and income to allow you to reach larger markets or even establish dominance across some industries. It’s the perfect time to introduce the best DevOps tools.

You’re a big development agency

There are two possible options. You are a product company, meaning there are in-house programmers, designers, quality assurance engineers, BAs, etc., or you have developed a huge CRM or ERP system and a white-label solution or a back-office dashboard for a financial sector. At some point, your product will grow to an unprecedented size, and testing it and deploying it will become a true challenge: when regular developers are responsible for the full cycle, they get distracted or may omit important aspects. Thus, with the help of GitLab & DevOps services, your new development operations engineer can take over the entire deployment & server-testing infrastructure

You’re building a trusted feedback loop with the audience

Implementation of an operations engineer allows your organization to form and preserve a trusted feedback circuit between the team of programmers and clients. It’s all because people maintaining operations-related processes are skilled at working with customers at the most vital moments. They spot improvement areas for the source code, can perform quick bug fixing, and roll out new features within a limited time—everything to ensure a happy customer experience.  

Barriers to DevOps Adoption

devops implementation

Legacy software & infrastructure

An industry survey that covered IT executives shared that 17.2% of DevOps have faced legacy systems as their main challenge at a new place of work. A typical drawback of multi-year legacy software and infrastructure is its lack of stability and funding. Such applications drag behind modern technology requirements and can collapse when least expected. 

The application of microservices and IaC are the compounds of the fresh development process that help both to adjust to user needs and meet innovative market requirements. 

In most cases, it is enough to accelerate the innovation and development of an outdated system by replacing it completely or changing its parts gradually, substituting them step-by-step with up-to-date microservice architectural elements.

What a DevOps can do: Whether a web or mobile app, an operations engineer dedicates himself to stabilizing the old infrastructure before switching to microservices. This is done by means of:

  • computer hardware and software maintenance;
  • creation of pre-built automation formulas and their customization depending on the requirements and team count;
  • continuous delivery guarantees.

Introduction of test automation policy

For Continuous integration & deployment, it is critical to have automated testing. A manager’s core task here is to present a DevOps testing strategy and assist a crew with its implementation. Considering the three main BDD process methods & techniques, DevOps is expected to find proper ways out of the following challenges: How will the crew handle data for their tests? Is it relevant for this very case to utilize public/open-source libraries? What’s the correct way to structure the code-based end-to-end testing? How to figure out and explain the true intent of smoke tests?

Once these questions are answered, the next huge challenge is deploying across-organization automation, stimulating launches, and eliminating feedback loops. Unfortunately, in many cases, test automation strategies are either too complicated or find no support among the executives.

Adopting new stack

A DevOps monitoring tool guide provides the newest apparatus, frameworks, and programming tools able to handle most issues. But even with the necessary technical support on board, the true challenge of every development operations manager is to teach the whole team how to apply these tools efficiently. 

Typically, DevOps organizes training sessions where they introduce project management instruments, showcase their features, and support the whole team with planning, managing, and tracking projects. During such sessions, one uses templates to assist the crew in learning a structured method of issue-solving. In many cases, company culture is the key challenge since, according to it, some employees do not want to be taught by DevOps engineers.

Limited funding

One of the core barriers faced by DevOps is a limited budget. Unfortunately, few business owners are ready to accept that most adjustments, transitions, joining forces, role shifts, and additional process elements require time and budget. IT executives often see limited budgets as their primary challenge at a new place of work.

How to Implement DevOps In an Organization: A Roadmap

how to implement devops

Step 1: Know your current performance

No matter if your team operates in the outsourced business segment, or you develop a product internally to sell and customize later, it’s crucial to analyze your present-day pre-DevOps era situation. Go back to the reasons why you introduced DevOps and then, once again, read the barriers to understand what solution patterns can work for you: legacy system update, cloud migration, microservice architecture, etc.

Step 2: Work on the team’s culture and their frame of mind

A development operations engineer isn’t an isolated entity but a team member taking a central place between operations & developers. Before introducing one and waiting for the DevOps benefits a new crew puzzle can bring, make sure you have excluded chaos and introduced straightforward communication and trust to ensure effective collaboration between operation teams and programmers. Thus, you’ll be sure that DevOps initiatives will not fail.

Step 3: Define all the DevOps processes at the outset

  • Automated CI/CD
  • Ongoing software testing 
  • Ongoing deployment through DevOps guide tools and scripts
  • Microservices
  • Container technologies and tools

Step 4: Decide on the toolchain

It’s essential to think over a set of vital tools in conjunction with innovative transformations. A toolbox is helpful when creating a robust infrastructure, introducing tailor-made workflows, or accessing controls to ensure trouble-free functionality.

Step 5: Place compliance & security first

The DevOps environment should be protected not only through technologies. There are also strategies, processes, and policies that should be implemented. Security is ensured through the 7 continuous elements of the DevOps lifecycle:

  • Development
  • Integration
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Feedback
  • Monitoring
  • Operations

Step 6: Measure metrics and align them with KPIs

Set your nearest business goals and then ask your crew to work with metrics: gather, analyze, and measure. This is how you’ll see the data that can assist you in controlling the software creation pipeline. These metrics are frequency of deployment, time required for changes, time needed to recover service, and percentage of deployments failing.

Step 7: Re-organize your team

For product delivery optimization and making the most financial benefits of DevOps implementation, it’s critical to reorganize the crew, ensuring that from now on, it comprises people with engineering skills (code writing and testing) and those with operational ones (infrastructure management).

DevOps Advantages and Disadvantages

Even though it’s not a typical way to begin, we’ll start with the latter—disadvantages. Considering that a high percentage of businesses currently depend on DevOps to deploy applications (or plan to develop this addiction) says a lot. The only short-term disadvantage is additional salary, hardware, software, and toolchain expenses. But, in the long run, these expenses justify themselves via a long list of DevOps advantages:

  • Promotion of business agility
  • Fast and high-quality software delivery
  • Swift problem solving
  • Improved product scalability
  • Stable environment in which users run application software
  • Better KPI/metrics of resource planning
  • Automation of repetitive tasks
  • Transparency and high productivity

The above-mentioned DevOps benefits for businesses allow development agencies to avoid a horrible downward spiral. Though this technology is still relatively new, it’s already well-known to the masses. And though there is still more to be investigated, one thing is 100% certain — DevOps tools and techniques are obligatory if you want your company and software to run smoothly.

Takeaways

DevOps is a game-changer in software development. By looking at numbers, strategies, and overcoming challenges, we’ve seen its impact. It brings efficiency and collaboration but comes with some considerations. Embracing DevOps is a journey toward smoother processes and better performance in the constantly changing world of IT.

If you’re planning to implement a robust DevOps strategy, LITSLINK offers GitLab & DevOps services that make you stand out. Contact us!

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