Companies need DevOps to be competitive but must follow best practices to reduce risk

Software development and IT operations, known together as DevOps, play an important role in the development of modern applications. DevOps is based on a set of continuous delivery principles to create a repeatable and reliable software release process.

The concept of DevOps has been around for the better part of a decade. However, it has only gained widespread traction in the past few years. There are still many companies that haven’t embraced it, mainly because change is hard and can be risky, but the benefits are generally well worth it. I’ve spoken to companies that have seen software deployment times shrink by a factor of 10 while lead times for changes are faster by multiple orders of magnitude. Appdev groups that don’t embrace DevOps hold their companies back and will eventually lag behind their peers.

Best practices can reduce the risk of DevOps development

There are DevOps best practices that organizations can follow to ensure that they release software with quality and speed, which can remove risks from its adoption. Deepti Chauhan, General Manager of kesette Atlanta Software Design Center shared some best practices and own company experience with DevOps In a recent webinarwhich was part of a larger, “Improving DevOps with Keysight Continuous Testing Bootcamp”.

Almost everything in software development is changing due to the need to innovate quickly while reducing risk and delivering an optimal customer experience. Chauhan said DevOps is an opportunity for organizations to consistently deliver value to customers. The key to successful DevOps is to get ideas into production quickly, get feedback from customers frequently, and then iterate the process.

CI/CD is critical to the success of DevOps

DevOps requires Continuous Integration and Delivery/Deployment (CI/CD), which typically includes continuous automation and continuous monitoring throughout the software lifecycle. CI is the process of automation for developers, while CD refers to the changes that developers make at other stages of the pipeline. Continuous testing (CT) is also an important part of DevOps to ensure that bugs and issues can be fixed quickly.

According to Chauhan, developers should run running tests every time a build occurs, including unit tests and integration tests. Organizations that still have manual processes in place struggle with rapid software delivery and cannot keep up with the pace of modern application development. Today, the program must be expanded to hundreds of clients, not just one client at a time.

Chauhan provided an example of Keysight implementing DevOps into its software products to address integration and testing issues and build resilience. One product contains 15 million lines of code and nearly 400 components. With DevOps, Keysight was able to automate 85 percent of the tests. It reduced build time and cycle time by 30 and 40 percent, respectively. In addition, more than 160 components have been migrated to CI/CD pipelines.

DevOps and Agile methods lead to success

The perfect recipe, Chauhan said, is to combine DevOps with agile methods. Agile is a comprehensive approach to the various stages of the DevOps lifecycle, including planning, development, delivery, and operations. DevOps has evolved from agile and other disciplines like Waterfall, a traditional approach to program development in phases. When implemented effectively, DevOps results in faster and more reliable software releases.

“DevOps is a journey, not a destination,” Chauhan concluded. “The main focus should be the customers. While the company’s leadership should be committed to making this happen, it is a shared responsibility. Every developer and every team should feel that they have a stake in the transformation of DevOps.”

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