DevOps is the top software development methodology worldwide, with the global market size estimated to reach £48.2 billion by 2030. But what is it? And how can it benefit your organisation?
DevOps is a set of practices that combine a company's development and operations teams to increase efficiency and agility in software development. DevOps services are an extension of agile software development. They encompass a wide range of solutions, consulting, and best practices that help organisations improve their development processes, from continuous integration and delivery to infrastructure as code and IT automation.
In today's digital age, businesses must constantly move quickly and innovate to stay competitive. A DevOps culture provides a foundation that helps organisations achieve faster and more frequent software releases, which is essential for keeping up with the pace of the market.
DevOps allows for faster delivery of software products and services while still ensuring high levels of quality and reliability. By automating key aspects of the software development lifecycle, such as testing and deployment, DevOps helps organisations reduce the risk of errors, downtime, and customer dissatisfaction.
In addition to faster time to market, DevOps deployment also empowers organisations to improve collaboration and communication between development and operations teams. This leads to better alignment of goals, rapid issue resolution, and more efficient use of resources.
Think of a conventional construction project where different teams work on different building parts. Architects design the structure, builders construct it, and the maintenance team ensures it stays in good condition. In a traditional setup, these teams work in silos with minimal communication, leading to delays and errors.
A DevOps strategy involves having a single team responsible for the entire project, from designing the blueprints to maintaining the building. The team members collaborate closely, leveraging their unique skills and tools to ensure the building is constructed to a high standard. They leverage automation to make the process more efficient and have a shared responsibility for the project's success. This approach reduces errors, mitigates risk, speeds delivery, and ensures the final product meets customer expectations.
DevOps achieves these same benefits in the context of software development. According to a study by McKinsey, shifting to DevOps results in a 25 to 30 per cent increase in capacity creation and a 50 to 75 per cent drop in time to market. Critically, it helps teams achieve a more than 50 per cent reduction in failure rates.
DevOps solutions eliminate silos and increase collaboration between development, operations, and other teams involved in software development. It focuses on delivering value to the customer quickly and efficiently – with 65 per cent of consumers willing to switch brands due to a poor customer experience, this benefit is integral to sustainable company growth.
How is the DevOps methodology distinct from traditional software development? The table below summarises the differences:
|Traditional software development||DevOps methodology|
|Siloed development and operations teams||Cross-functional teams that work collaboratively|
|Manual processes and handoffs between teams||Automated processes and tools for continuous integration, delivery, and deployment|
|Longer release cycles with big-bang releases||Shorter release cycles with frequent releases and updates|
|Testing done at the end of the development cycle||Continuous DevOps testing throughout the development process|
|Limited feedback from customers||Frequent feedback from customers through continuous delivery and monitoring|
DevOps transforms software development into a collaborative, iterative, and continuous process that enables organisations to respond quickly to changing business needs and customer requirements. It's in high demand, with 36 per cent of developers looking to acquire DevOps skills. By adopting DevOps, you, too, can benefit from faster delivery of high-quality software products, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
DevSecOps is an approach to agile development that incorporates security into every stage of the DevOps lifecycle. The term "DevSecOps" is a combination of "development," "security," and "operations." In this approach, security is not treated as an afterthought but rather is integrated into the entire process, from design and development to testing and deployment.
DevSecOps aims to address security vulnerabilities early in the software development process by including security experts in cross-functional teams and using automated tools for security testing and DevOps monitoring.
By adopting DevOps tools and services, you can experience numerous advantages that positively impact your software development process and organisation more broadly. DevOps benefits include the following:
DevOps consulting and services encompass a range of solutions that can improve and optimise your software development processes. Here are three types of DevOps services:
Continuous Integration (CI) is a practice that involves frequently integrating code changes into a shared repository. This practice allows teams to flag and address problems early, saving time and producing higher-quality software. By automating the process of integrating code changes, CI can reduce the time and effort required to add and test code. For example, a team of developers working on a web application might use a CI tool like Jenkins to automatically build and test their code changes every time they push code to the repository. This helps catch any errors or conflicts immediately, making it easier to fix issues and reducing the risk of bugs in the final product.
Continuous Delivery (CD) involves automating the process of deploying code changes to production environments. By automating this process, CD decreases the risk of human error and enables faster release cycles. This can result in faster time to market and increased customer satisfaction. For example, an e-commerce company can use CD to
quickly deploy new product offerings and promotions to their online store, allowing them to stay ahead of trends and respond to customer demand faster.
Continuous Deployment (CDp) involves automating the process of releasing code changes to production environments. CDp automatically releases every code change that passes the automated testing and quality assurance processes to production. This practice enables faster release cycles and reduces the risk of errors or delays caused by manual processes. For example, a cloud-based software company might leverage CDp to automatically release code changes to their production environment as soon as they pass testing and quality assurance. This allows them to release new features and updates to their customers fast and with minimal resources.
DevOps services are beneficial for a wide range of industries, including healthcare, finance, and retail:
• Healthcare: DevOps can improve patient care and experience in the healthcare industry by enabling faster and more efficient software development. For example, a DevOps methodology empowers healthcare organisations to quickly develop and deploy new patient care applications, electronic health record systems, and medical devices. By reducing the time it takes to create and deploy these systems, DevOps can improve patient outcomes and overall healthcare efficiency.
• Finance: In the finance industry, DevOps can streamline software development processes, reduce risk, and ensure regulatory requirements are met. For example, DevOps can help finance organisations rapidly create and deploy banking applications, trading systems, and risk management tools. This enhances operational efficiency and market competitiveness without compromising on compliance.
• Retail: In the retail industry, DevOps ensures new e-commerce applications and digital solutions – such as point-of-sale systems, inventory DevOps management tools, and supply chain management systems – are developed and deployed quickly and to a high standard. By leveraging DevOps, retail organisations can improve their customer experience, increase revenue, and stay competitive in a rapidly changing market.
The success of your DevOps initiative relies heavily on choosing the right partner to provide the necessary services and support. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind as you navigate the selection process:
To help you vet potential partners, here are some questions to ask:
It's also important to conduct thorough due diligence when selecting a services provider to ensure they follow the latest DevOps best practices. You might undertake the following research:
By taking the time to find the right provider for your organisation, you can ensure that you get the most out of your DevOps investment.
The cost of DevOps services can vary widely depending on the specific needs and goals of your organisation.
The actual cost of DevOps services will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size and complexity of the organisation, the scope of the project or application development, and the level of expertise and experience required.
For example, basic DevOps services might include continuous integration and delivery, along with essential monitoring and management. These services may be a good fit for smaller organisations with less complex needs, and the cost may be relatively affordable.
On the other hand, more advanced DevOps services include things like custom software development, infrastructure as code, and complex automation solutions. These services may be necessary for larger organisations, and the cost may be significantly higher.
Furthermore, the actual investment needed may be higher or lower depending on the specific provider and their location. Therefore, doing your own research and getting quotes from different providers is always a good idea. That way, you get an accurate picture of the cost of DevOps services for your specific needs.
DevOps services have become a critical component of modern software development in today's fast-paced business environment. By enabling faster time to market, improved collaboration between development and operations teams, and enhanced application performance, a DevOps transformation can help organisations stay competitive and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.
When selecting DevOps services, it's essential to consider your specific business needs and goals, as well as the expertise and experience of the provider you choose. By doing so, you can ensure that you get the most out of your DevOps investment and position your organisation for success in the years to come.