DevOps: The Gateway to Digital Transformation
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” - Charles Darwin
With the current business environment becoming increasingly competitive, organizations are eagerly looking for new and more advanced technologies that successfully fulfill the frequently changing customer demands as well as deliver more accurate results and quality solutions and services.
This demand inaugurated the development of several techs of tomorrow such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, DevOps, and more in the past few years, which not only allow the development of reliable and more advanced software products but also promote quick product delivery and constant improvement.
Among these, DevOps is a technology that is prominently growing and believed to have a tremendous impact on development processes in 2021. As predicted by most IT industry experts, DevOps in the coming future “will be something organizations of all sizes in the IT department will look forward to, and no one will be able to survive without” it. Be it helping companies drive success or improving collaboration within teams, DevOps will lead to a drastic change in the current IT practices and lead to better and far more improved processes. Considering this, it is not surprising to believe that the size of the DevOps market will be $12.85 billion by 2025, as reported in the study by Grand View Research, Inc.
Hence, it is important to understand this impact of DevOps and what led to its sudden popularity among IT professionals. Therefore, in this guide, we will focus on unraveling the Concepts of DevOps while trying to answer some questions like how and why it is considered the gateway to digital transformation, what is the future of DevOps, among other things.
Let's get started.
What is DevOps?
“DevOps is the union of People, Process, and Products to enable continuous delivery of value to end customer.” - Microsoft
Patrick Debois first coined the term DevOps in 2009 in the first conference named DevOpsdays, held in Ghent, Belgium. The idea was developed to keep up with the need for increased software velocity and achieve a holistic approach to the end-to-end software delivery lifecycle. Though the technology did not have any unique definition, it was known for its well-established concepts. However, since then DevOps has been used in multiple contexts and is defined by different industry experts differently.
For example, while Atlassian, a prominent software development company defines DevOps as a “set of practices that automates the processes between software development and IT teams, in order that they can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably”, Amazon believes DevOps to be “the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization's ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.”
Based on these definitions, we can define DevOps as:
An amalgamation of development (Dev) and operations (Ops), DevOps is an ethos or set of practices that emphasize the significance of collaboration as well as communication among teams- software developers and production IT professionals. Its main objective is to shorten the software development cycle and provide continuous delivery, with the highest software quality possible. It is a process that ensures efficient development, deployment, and operation of the highest quality software possible.
Moreover, DevOps is a common approach to agile development that is used by the development and operations team to build, test, deploy, and monitor software applications with speed, quality, and control. It is one of the most prominent technologies that aim to create a working environment wherein software development, testing, and deployment is quick, reliable, and frequent.
Due to its various advanced qualities and characteristics, today, DevOps is widely adopted by IT-driven companies, as it allows them to improve their processes and practice for rapid delivery. In short, in this day and age, where speed and quality are the need of the hour, DevOps offers organizations the power to implement quick development and a faster release cycle, which further helps them become more customer-oriented.
Importance of DevOps:
Ever since its introduction into the field of software development, DevOps has transformed processes to make them more agile and continuous. Today, the majority of experts in the IT industry rely on this tech to enhance the quality of development as well as to make them agile and more rewarding.
Hence, let us look at some of the factors that make this DevOps a favorable choice for software development and deployment.
- Improves collaboration between stakeholders.
- Reduces the failure rate of new releases.
- Helps achieve faster time to market.
- Improves the deployment frequency.
- Shortens the lead time between fixes.
- Improves the mean time for recovery purposes.
Now that we understand the basics of the concepts of DevOps, let us move on to understanding its workings and other critical processes.
How DevOps Works?
In the past few years, DevOps has revolutionized the workspace and led a fundamental cultural and mental shift in organizations. Today, an increasing number of organizations are switching to DevOps to achieve operational excellence and business agility.
However, DevOps is intended to be a cross-functional mode of working that relies on certain components for ultimate success. Each development cycle of the DevOps process goes through these phases and is responsible for the seamless deployment of a quality product. These prioritize the iterative processes and accelerate the development process, which further improves the quality and security of the products.
- Collaboration: One of the keys to the success of the DevOps lifecycle is a collaboration between teams. The objective is to foster communication and break down silos between the development, operations, and QA teams to accomplish faster development and deployment. It is this collaboration that acts as a foundation for DevOps success.
- Automation: From workflows to the testing code DevOps involves automating all manual processes, which helps organizations to innovate faster and streamline the software development and infrastructure management processes.
- Continuous Integration: Another integral part of DevOps, continuous integration consists of various processes that prepare the code for deployment. It helps create an automated pipeline that ships the deployment-ready code.
- Continuous Testing: A critical piece of DevOps, continuous testing helps eliminate testing bottlenecks and create virtualized test environments that are easy to deploy, share, and update.
- Continuous Delivery: This is the process of constantly delivering software to the customer, where developers make the final decision on when they need to deploy the code.
- Continuous Monitoring: DevOps facilitates observability and monitoring, which helps the team measure the performance of the software to improve its stability. Moreover, it allows teams to identify the root causes of issues, which further prevents system outages and minimizes user issues.
Introduced to shorten the software/system development life cycle, DevOps helps deliver the highest quality features, fixes, and updates frequently that further align with business objectives. However, as mentioned earlier, numerous phases constitute the DevOps lifecycle and are responsible for the quick and reliable development of superior quality software. These different phases of the DevOps lifecycle are:
- Development: This is the initial phase, where the focus is on planning and coding the software, along with determining the vision of the project. Here, the team initiates the application code development and uses several DevOps tools for maintenance.
- Integration: One of the most critical stages of the development lifecycle, during this phase the source code goes through frequent changes and modifications, which are then built and integrated into the existing code to create more functionalities. These changes allow developers to detect bugs in the source code early in the life cycle and maintain its quality and functionality.
To further generate new code that adds new functionalities to the existing application, developers perform unit testing, code review, integration testing, compilation, and packaging, using tools like Jenkins. This continuous integration of the new code into the existing source code allows developers to get an insight into the changes the end-users would experience.
- Testing: After continuous integration, the developed software is continuously tested for bugs, with the help of various automation testing tools like Selenium, JUnit, TestNG, and more that allow the team to thoroughly test multiple code-bases in parallel and validate functionality. It also saves on time, efforts, and creates reports that further improve the test evaluation process. Moreover, Docker containers are used to simulate the test environment to further simplify the process of testing.
Continuous testing can be repositioned before continuous integration, as practiced by some developers because the tested code is re-sent to the continuous integration phase for updating the source code.
- Feedback: In this phase of the DevOps life cycle, the continuous improvements implemented during continuous integration and testing are analyzed. The objective here is to consistently improve application development by analyzing the results from the software operations by placing constant feedback between the operations and the development of the next version of the software.
Here, developers gauge the outcomes of the implemented modification on the final product and gather the experience of users who tested the application in the earlier stages.
- Monitoring: A crucial stage of the DevOps life cycle, Continuous Monitoring, as the name suggests involves continuously monitoring the performance of the application and recording vital details about the use of the software. Performed to maintain the security of services as well as improve productivity, here the team processes the accumulated information to identify proper application functionality.
Moreover, this stage helps identify the root cause of issues like low memory, unreachable server, network issues, etc., and enables the team to rectify them as soon as they are detected through various tools., such as ELK Stack, NewRelic, Splunk, Sensu, and Nagios.
- Deployment: Though, conventionally, performed before continuous monitoring, deployment during the DevOps lifecycle remains continuously active, specifically once the application goes live and receives high user load/traffic. During this phase, the team finally deploys the application code to the production servers and uses various Configuration Management tools like Chef, Puppet, Ansible, etc. to execute tasks continuously and quickly while ensuring quality and precision.
Moreover, to ensure continuous deployment through the Configuration Management process, the team also uses containerization tools such as Docker, Vagrant, etc. to integrate consistency across the process, from development to testing and production environment, as well as to swiftly scale up and down the instances. These tools replicate and package the couplings from different phases of SDLC and prevent production failures and system errors, which ultimately ensures the application runs smoothly, without any issue on different devices.
- Operations: The shortest and last phase of the DevOps Lifecycle, continuous operations involves automating application release and its subsequent updates. This allows developers to accelerate software development and its time-to-market.
Powered by automation, collaboration, and continuity, the DevOps lifecycle eliminates steps that make software development time consuming and tedious, replacing it with multi-purpose tools that revive the speed of development and improve user experiences simultaneously.
Why is DevOps used?
As an approach that efficiently removes barriers between two traditionally soiled teams- development and operations, DevOps has something for everyone, from developers, operations team, to testers, project managers, and more. It does not simply allow agile development and deployment, but it also improves collaboration and innovation, increases security integration, ensures rapid delivery, reduces outages and costs, among other things, which has led to an increase in its adoption worldwide, in different domains and industries.
That's not all.
There are various other functions performed by DevOps, which further solidify its usefulness, such as:
- Predictability: DevOps offers more predictability in the development process as it significantly lowers the failure rate of new releases.
- Reproducibility: It allows teams to version everything, which makes it easy to reproduce and restore anytime.
- Time to Market: This is one of the most prominent reasons for the adoption of DevOps, as it significantly reduces the time-to-market up to 50% by streamlining software delivery.
- Reduced Risks: With the added security aspects of DevOps in the development life cycle, it becomes easy to detect issues early on, which reduces risks and makes development secure.
- Cost Efficiency: By incorporating collaboration and streamlining development with the help of automation tools, DevOps efficiently reduces the cost of development.
- Maintainability: DevOps involves an integrated process of recovery making it easier to maintain new releases, manage system crashes, or disabling the current system.
- Code Management: As DevOps is based on agile programming, it breaks larger codes into smaller pieces, which improves code management.
DevOps, initially, came into being to cater to the need for innovation and has now transformed into a technology that is all about improved experiences, high performing applications, and enhanced business success.
An extension of agile methodology and continuous delivery approaches, DevOps and its various principles have now become a measure for the success of any organization. So, here is a look at these principles of DevOps that play a critical role in the tech's frequent adoption across industries. These are:
- No Silos: One of the main principles of DevOps is that it breaks the silos structure within an organization, which facilitates communication among the team members and allows them to work in tandem toward common objectives. It streamlines workflow and increases work efficiency, which further helps organizations scale effectively.
- Fosters Collaborative Environment: Before DevOps, the development and operations teams operated in a vacuum, independent of one another, which at times impeded the process of development and made it time-consuming. However, DevOps eliminated this hindrance by fostering a collaborative environment where the dev and operations team came together to work towards a unified goal of agile development and iterative delivery.
- End-to-End Responsibility: Unlike the traditional development model, where Developers first develop the product and then hand it to the Operations team, in DevOps, the team is accountable for the entire project from its concept and planning to deployment and delivery. Moreover, the DevOps team also offers performance support, until it reaches its final stage, which helps improve the level of responsibility as well as the quality of the end product.
- Continuous Improvement: One of the core reasons for the popularity of DevOps is that it fosters continuous improvement and allows organizations to adapt continuously to the changing customer requirements. From minimizing waste and cost to optimizing speed, integrating ease of delivery, and improving the quality of product engineered, DevOps allows continuous improvement throughout the development cycle.
- Automate Process: With DevOps, organizations have been able to not only implement automation during the software development processes but also to the entire infrastructure landscape through container-based cloud platforms that version the infrastructure and allow it to be treated as code.
- Customer-Centric Approach: DevOps enables teams to take a customer-centric approach where the focus is on constantly improving, innovating, and investing in strategies and ideas that result in maximum customer satisfaction.
By now it is a known fact that automation and continuity are two integral parts of DevOps for ensuring continuous integration, continuous testing, and continuous delivery in the software development life cycle. However, to achieve complete success with DevOps, one needs efficient automation tools that offer benefits like faster delivery, quick customer feedback, reduced crash recovery time, minimize defects, and more.
Today, one can find a variety of such DevOps tools that make this possible. But, the challenge is finding the best and most suitable one from this abundance. Therefore, here is a list of some prominent DevOps tools to help you make an informed decision:
- Kamatera: A popular tool used by DevOps teams across the world, Kamatera allows software developers to develop an application over a public network using the computer through data centers that offer complete access to computer system resources, like data storage, computing power, and more. With the help of this tool, one can deploy applications across multiple locations with ease and without any complications.
- ActiveControl: A new approach to release management, ActiveControl is a prominent DevOps automation technology specially engineered for SAP that allows organizations to effectively move their SAP applications to fixed release cycles to an on-demand delivery model. Moreover, it enables organizations to smoothly adopt DevOps and CI/CD and increase business agility, accelerate delivery, reduce cost and risk, control quality, and more.
- Nagios: The free and open-source DevOps tool, written in C language, Nagios is used for the continuous monitoring of systems, applications, services, networks, infrastructures, and business processes in a DevOps culture. Used by organizations like Cisco, United Health Care, PayPal, and more, Nagios is the perfect solution for identifying network or server issues, finding the root cause problems, and actively monitoring the entire infrastructure and business processes.
- Docker: Docker, the software platform for building applications based on containers, is one of the most popular open-source DevOps tools used worldwide. It allows developers to build lightweight and portable software containers and container apps, which help simplify software development, testing, and deployment. Built for Linux, Docker is now compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
- Jenkins: A free and open-source tool, known for identifying issues in the code quickly, Jenkins helps automate the delivery pipeline and test and report changes in real-time, which facilitates continuous integration and continuous delivery. It helps organizations automate and accelerate software development processes, while effortlessly managing and controlling the delivery processes from the build to deployment, static code analysis, and more.
- Git: Git is a highly popular, free, and open-source distributed version control system that supports a variety of the version control features like commits, branches, merging, labels, push and pull to/from GitHub, among others. Used by organizations like Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, Git is easy to learn, use, and maintain and helps track the progress of software development and ensures work coordination among the team members.
- Chef: Used by organizations like Firefox, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, Google Cloud Platform, and more, Chef is a powerful, open-source configuration management tool that helps automate infrastructure and streamline configuration tasks and server management. It can easily integrate with any Cloud technology, which further makes it the most suitable choice for configuration management.
- Puppet: A popular software configuration management tool that is used for centralizing and automating the configuration management process as well as for managing, deploying, and orchestrating applications and services across an organization's entire infrastructure. This open-source configuration management software is a model-driven solution that requires only limited knowledge of programming.
- Ansible: Ansible is the one-stop solution for developer's configuration management, software provisioning, and application deployment needs. This open-source, simple, and easy to use tool is written in Python, PowerShell, and Ruby and can configure Unix-like systems and Microsoft Windows. Today, organizations like Cisco, Juniper, DLT, and more, are using
- Vagrant: Developed by HashiCorp and written in Ruby, Vagrant is open-source software used for building and maintaining portable virtual software development environments. With Vagrant, users can effortlessly create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments, while enjoying the flexibility to use their favorite editor, IDE, and browser. Another factor that makes this tool worth considering is that it can easily integrate with the existing configuration management tools such as Ansible, Puppet, Chef, Docker, etc.
- Splunk: Trusted by organizations like Coca, Discovery, Domino's, Hyatt, and more, Splunk Enterprise helps organizations improve velocity, quality, and the business impact of app delivery by providing real-time insights across all stages of the delivery lifecycle. It offers a feature-rich software platform for converting machine data into valuable information by aggregating and analyzing it.
- Prometheus: Originally built at SoundCloud, Prometheus is an open-source tool for system monitoring and alerting. The tool has various beneficial components written in Go, which make them easy to build and deploy as static binaries. Companies like Ericsson, Maven, Argus, etc. are currently using this tool to collect data and metrics from different services and store them with a unique identifier and time stamp.
DevOps Best Practices:
To get the most out of any technology, it is important to inculcate or adopt the best practices, as they not only guarantee seamless workflow but also ensure efficient time management, avoid redundancy, save efforts and cost, among other things. Similarly, organizations need to use certain practices and techniques while implementing various DevOps concepts and processes to innovate faster, ensure consistency, and streamlining successful application/software development and infrastructure management. These best practices include:
- Continuous Integration: A critical development practice, Continuous Integration helps avoid operational issues by identifying and addressing issues and bugs quicker, improving software quality and reducing the time taken in software update validation and release. Here developers continuously combine the code changes into a central repository and run automated builds and tests, which aims to improve productivity and help deliver faster updates.
- Continuous Delivery: To ensure the quality of the end product, continuous delivery comes into play and is integrated into the DevOps development cycle, as it allows developers to automatically prepare code changes for production release and automate the entire software release process. Expanding upon continuous integration, here code changes are deployed to a testing/production environment after the build stage.
- Microservices: An important design approach, the microservices architecture helps build a single application as a set of small services, each of which has a single purpose and runs in its processes while communicating with other services through a well-defined interface. This is made possible by the lightweight mechanisms of an HTTP resource API.
- Communication and Collaboration: One of the key practices of DevOps, communication, and collaboration which facilitate improved product quality and faster delivery within an organization by bringing together the workflows and responsibilities of development and operations teams as well as aligning their goals and projects.
- Monitoring and Logging: Ensuring continuous monitoring and logging during software development helps organizations understand the impact of changes and updates on users, get insights into the root causes of problems or unexpected changes. Moreover, it allows businesses to perform real-time analysis of the data for proactively monitoring their services for a better experience for their end-users.
- Infrastructure as code: Provision and manage your infrastructure with the help of code and software development techniques like version control, continuous integration, etc. and ensure agile infrastructure and server deployment using standardized patterns. This becomes further beneficial as teams can interface with the infrastructure through various code-based tools, which reduces the complexity of development.
- Shift Left with CI/CD: To ensure better results as well as improved user experience, the team needs to adopt shift left with CI/CD, as it helps them detect issues early, which leads to an easier resolution of errors. Moreover, it helps shorten the testing time, preserve the quality of the code, and reduce the feedback loop between developers and end-users.
- Test Automation: Implementing test automation in the DevOps framework allows the team to avoid repeating mundane tasks and focus on innovating better quality test cases. Moreover, with the help of test automation, they can run more tests and increase the testing frequency, which prevents bugs, ensures early bug fixing, and enhances the overall quality of the product.
By implementing these best practices, along with efficiency, patience, and a centralized unit for all tools, organizations can deliver quality software products rapidly in a safe manner with more reliable features and updates.
Benefits of DevOps:
The incorporation of DevOps practices into the existing development model has allowed organizations to get more done in a shorter time and with reduced efforts. Leveraging the concepts and principles of DevOps, enterprises, both small and large, are reaping a range of benefits including continuous and faster software and feature delivery, higher employee management, more stable operating environments, faster resolution of problems, enhanced communication and collaboration, among various other benefits, such as:
- Speed: With the help of DevOps, organizations worldwide are now capable of moving at a high velocity to adapt to new trends, innovate faster, and grow more efficiently. Be it microservices, automation, continuous improvement, and delivery, or more contribute to making the development and delivery process faster and ensuring improved quality.
- Rapid Delivery: Automation, continuous integration and delivery, and faster feedback cycle are critical DevOps practices that foster agility and efficiency into the software development process and allow the development and operations team to quickly release new features, fix bugs, respond to customer requirements, and build a competitive advantage. These, in short, play a crucial role in ensuring rapid product innovation, improvement, and delivery.
- Reliability: Organizations today rely on DevOps for reliable and agile solutions, as it ensures the quality and reliability of application updates, infrastructure, and other software components and allows them to maintain a positive user experience. Practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery help teams to validate functionality and safety of changes while the monitoring and logging practices help get real-time performance insight, which contributes to maintaining the reliability of the product to the end-user.
- Improved Collaboration: By adopting the DevOps culture, organizations can bring the development and operations team together and facilitate collaboration, ownership, and accountability. DevOps teams work in tandem towards a unified goal, which leads to better communication among team members, seamless development cycle and workflows, reduced inefficiencies, improved error discovery/resolution, and faster route to market.
- Security: The DevOps team is highly focused on security during the software designing and development stages, which prevents security issues in the system and saves time and effort. Moreover, by integrating DevOps models like DevSecOps and other important practices like automation, policy and governance, configuration management techniques, and more, teams effectively enhance the security and quality of the development process, ensure compliance, and retain control.
- Customer Satisfaction: Faster delivery cycles, a stable environment with CI/CD, quality testing, effective and rapid customer response, and reduced costs, are some key aspects of the DevOps culture that allow any organization to effectively meet customer demands, deliver at a faster pace, and ensure complete customer satisfaction.
- Increased Efficiency: DevOps uses various automation tools to establish a collaborative culture and increase the efficiency of the team. This allows the developers to give undivided attention to critical tasks that cannot be automated, leaving other tasks to automation to further accelerate and enhance the development process. These parallel processes of workflows lead to smoother operations of continuous delivery.
Challenges Associated with DevOps:
Organizations worldwide are increasingly adopting DevOps to improve workflows and productivity. However, this has also given way to increasing concerns regarding its implementation, as the DevOps process is not an easy one and organizations encountered several challenges during its implementation.
Hence, with the world focused on the benefits of DevOps, it has become critical to highlight these challenges, which are:
- Change In Culture: A prominent challenge presented by DevOps during implementation is the transformation of culture at the workplace, which at times become tedious and slow. This requires immense patience and endurance as well as a positive and transparent environment.
- Switching from Legacy Infrastructure to Microservices: To avoid stability issues and promote agile development, organizations have now shifted from legacy infrastructure and are adopting infrastructure as a service along with microservices. This has further made the process challenging, as they have to regularly update the software and hardware to ensure the new system can co-exist with the existing one.
- No Plans: No plans during DevOps implementation becomes a major hurdle as it prevents teams to work seamlessly towards a unified goal. Hence, it is crucial to have a clear plan, with fixed and achievable milestones, well-defined deliverables, and owners to ensure smooth DevOps implementation and software development.
- Tools: DevOps implementation involves the use of tools for various trivial and complicated tasks in the software development life cycle. However, this adoption of tools can impose operational overhead and make the team dependent on such tools for even the smallest of tasks. Hence, make sure to provide a set of tools to the team to select from to avoid dependency as well as to control cost.
- Skillset: Since the DevOps team is responsible for the entire development cycle from build and planning to deployment, delivery, and maintenance, the process requires an extensive team skillset. Hence, training team members and the standardizing process can become both challenging and time-consuming for the organization.
- Test Automation: Test automation becomes another major hurdle for DevOps teams as it requires communication, collaboration, selecting the right tool, KPIs, and metrics, as well as ensuring adequate test coverage through proper test planning and strategy. This further becomes challenging if the team is not aware of when to start testing, especially when the functionality and UI change across Sprints frequently.
- Managing Environment: From hosting development, test, and production environments to moving services to Cloud, combining modern and legacy applications, and more, managing multiple environments in DevOps is another critical challenge encountered by teams during DevOps adoption/implementation. Hence, it is important to automate and standardize the DevOps environment with Cloud.
- Budget: The use of various tools and frameworks in DevOps factor into increasing the budget for an organization. Hence, it is essential to understand that open-source does not mean free. Factor in various factors like integration and operational complexity before opting for any tool.
Industries Changed by DevOps:
The past decade saw a spike in the DevOps implementation, which is bound to grow in the coming years due to its constantly evolving features and collaborative practices. Hence, it is no wonder that DevOps' collaborative culture and advanced characteristics make it one of the most sought after technologies in the IT industry. However, its impact and popularity are not just limited to one sector/industry. Enterprises across the globe are adopting the tech to improve productivity and effectively meet the demands for rapid expansion, faster delivery, and innovation.
With nations like America, India, China, Canada, Mexico, and Russia already leveraging the tech to reduce development complexities and assist organizations in delivering quality software solutions, there is no surprise that the DevOps Market size will grow to USD 10.31 Billion by 2023 (Markets and Markets Research Report) and USD 21.3 Billion by the year 2027 (Reportlinker, Global DevOps Industry). Even other statistics surrounding the technology and its adoption conclude a brighter future for DevOps in various sectors and industries.
So, let us have a look at some prominent areas where DevOps is currently revolutionizing processes and optimizing innovation, functionality, and speed.
- Information Technology:
One of the key industries where DevOps had a tremendous impact is in the field of Information Technology, which leveraged the DevOps practices like Automation, Monitoring, Collaboration, and more to deliver measurable business value, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce Cloud/server infrastructure cost.
It allowed IT organizations to facilitate project management, development cycles and enhance security and application reliability. DevOps has, in short, helped the field of Information Technology to stay relevant while continuously evolving and improving to delivering quality and secure applications and services at high velocity.
DevOps accelerated the digital transformation in the banking and the financial sector, enabling them to sustain in this rapidly changing business environment and significantly improve business outcomes. Organizations like RBS, UBS, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Chartered, etc. for example, embraced DevOps, CI/CD, and DevOps principles to support their customers' demand for digital banking solutions, break dependencies, enhance and improve security, regulations, and safety, among other things.
By employing DevOps practices, these organizations could reduce the development-deployment time and deliver new offerings and feature upgrades rapidly. Moreover, the continuous measurement and monitoring across the delivery pipeline followed by improvement initiatives helped ensure a smooth delivery.
Like other industries, the global insurance industry has also embarked on its digital transformation journey leveraging DevOps. The technology helped improve technology development and deployment time by enabling successful IT transformation across complex architectures and offered team flexibility through collaboration and automation.
From redesigning the existing infrastructure for improved operational resilience, data security, faster performance, and higher cost-efficiency to automating manual processes, reducing user downtime, and more DevOps has helped insurance companies reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Healthcare organizations have recently realized the potential of DevOps in helping them launch data-driven initiatives to better cater to the requirements of their patients while containing cost.
By implementing DevOps principles like Microservices, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), and Automation, healthcare organizations have been able to efficiently manage resources and massive amounts of data (pharmacies, lab reports, EHRs, medical devices, insurance claims, etc.) while facilitating regulatory compliance and information security. It has also allowed them to directly address patients' needs and deliver the required quality care and solutions that ensure patient satisfaction and engagement.
The impact of DevOps was tremendously felt by the travel and hospitality industry, which leveraged the technology to overcome various business challenges, swiftly meet increasing customer requirements, and stay relevant in the highly competitive industry.
DevOps helped these organizations transform their management processes and shorten the development and testing time of new offerings and speed up the product time-to-market. This further helped these organizations to efficiently manage customer bookings and ensure franchisee satisfaction and be well-equipped to meet guests' changing needs while maintaining complete convenience, confidentiality, and security.
The introduction of DevOps to the manufacturing industry was an extremely rewarding one, as it is an industry that is highly dependent on continuous and organized workflow. DevOps broke the siloed system of working and ushered seamless interaction of the various teams involved in the production or manufacturing cycle, which resulted in seamless productivity, faster delivery cycles, and long term sustainability.
DevOps, in short, helped maintain rapid, efficient, and robust development and deployment, streamlined communication, reduced feedback loops, and automated time-consuming tasks to make the process most efficient and customer-centric.
- Inventory Management:
Another major impact of DevOps can be felt in the inventory management industry, where the tech is helping organizations inculcate speed, reliability, scalability, and security into their process while ensuring improved collaboration among departments and rapid delivery.
DevOps has enabled inventory management companies to keep track of stock numbers and product categories, align their goals and ensure quick responsiveness to client feedback with rapid execution, which has further helped them maintain complete customer satisfaction.
With the increasing demand for more efficient and quality products, the dependency on DevOps is increasing drastically. Hence, organizations are eagerly adopting the tech to enhance the quality of their products and services. Though this list of industries impacted by DevOps is non-exhaustive, it depicts how DevOps has transformed processes and made them more agile and beneficial.
DevOps: Key Market Players
Now that we understand the impact of DevOps on industries, let us have a look at various key players of the market that are using DevOps to enhance collaboration, innovation, and shorten software development and deployment.
- Amazon: One of the leading players in the market, Amazon's transition to DevOps was initiated in 2010 when the organization was moving from physical servers to Amazon Web Services (AWS), which helped them save resources, reduce spending on server capacities, and spurred a transition to a continuous deployment process. This shift further resulted in the reduction of the number as well as the duration of outages and increased revenue.
- Netflix: Netflix, one of the largest distributed systems hosted on AWS, is another important market player utilizing DevOps to automate assisted processes and achieve the desired level of confidence and quality. Netflix's tool Chaos Monkey is the finest example of DevOps that uses automation to help developers produce a desirable level of software quality.
- IBM: IBM is helping organizations worldwide modernize their applications with the help of DevOps and its various aspects like containers, automation, microservices, and tools like Kubernetes, which help reduce cost, improve operational efficiency, and standardization.
- Hewlett Packard: DevOps played a key role in transforming the user experience for Hewlett Packard and helped them improve their overall velocity and quality. HP utilized DevOps' continuous integration or as it's commonly known within the organization as trunk-based development along with automation testing to cut regression test times and reduce overall development cost.
- Google: Google offers its Cloud services with DevOps to help organizations improve the speed, stability, availability, and security of their software delivery capability. Moreover, the company launched continuous learning at Google with SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) to simplify production operations requirements management.
- Oracle: Another tech leader in the field of information technology Oracle enhanced its Cloud services leveraging the agile DevOps culture, wherein the software is quickly built, tested, and released as part of a continuous integration (CI) cycle. Moreover, Oracle Cloud empowers DevOps teams with its agile culture and enables them to automate the development cycle for enhanced efficiency.
- Microsoft: World's largest software factory, Microsoft embarked on its DevOps journey to adapt to a new way of delivering software, accelerate innovation, and transform how the company works. Microsoft One Engineering System (1ES) team oversees the company's Azure DevOps initiatives as well as Microsoft's other DevOps efforts.
- Walmart: To overcome the competition and establish an effective online presence, Walmart, the big box retailers of America, assembled and founded WalmartLab, its extension in technology innovation and development. WalmartLab initiated the company's DevOps journey, as it incorporated OneOps cloud-based technology to automate and accelerate application deployment.
- Target: Target's DevOps journey began with internal evangelizing and spread on like "wildfire". From powering development projects like Cartwheel to transforming the organization's culture, DevOps has had a tremendous impact on how Target works.
- Nordstrom: After the debacle of 2011, Nordstrom realized that to be relevant to its client base and gain a competitive edge, it needed to modify its development and testing processes. This led to the adoption of DevOps, where the organization assembled a team to implement DevOps recommendations and transitioned to infrastructure as code and embraced continuous delivery. This allowed the smooth transition to operating as a business partner, optimizing for speed.
- Facebook: One of the early adopters of DevOps principles like code ownership, incremental changes, automation, and continuous improvement, Facebook, used the tech to accelerate the development lifecycle and reshape its customer's software expectations. This allowed the company to frequently deliver updates, changes, and fixes within its mobile app.
- Adobe: A prominent digital services and software provider, Adobe needed an agile and rapid process for merging new business operations, which was made possible by DevOps automation and security agility. Moreover, to ensure continuous software updates it used CloudMunch's end-to-end DevOps platform, which helped the company automate and manage its deployments effectively and saved time and efforts.
Apart from these tech giants, there are various other organizations like NASA, Sony, Etsy, Hertz, etc. that are leveraging the quantifiable technical and business benefits of this trending software development approach and enjoying adaptive release management, shorten development cycles, increased deployment frequency, and faster time to market.
DevOps Market Trends for 2021:
The year 2020 became witness to some unforeseen challenges. However, it initiated a change in development practices and inaugurated new ways of product development, testing, and delivery. Organizations realized the significance of DevOps and leveraged it to meet customers' needs.
However, since its introduction almost two decades ago, DevOps has now come a long way and is responsible for changing the realm of IT and digital management and initiating a new digital transformation era. This tech is no longer just focused on continuous product delivery and integration but is continuously evolving to be more than an amalgamation of Dev and Ops. Today, it aims to eliminate barriers between enterprises and their customers.
Hence, the year 2021 will witness a massive surge in DevOps transformation, which will initiate a dramatic shift towards automation and artificial intelligence and lead to accelerated adoption of the technology, giving way to some remarkable DevOps market trends.
So, let us have a look at some of these DevOps market trends that we need to watch out for in the year 2021:
- Artificial Intelligence Popularity: One of the critical trends in the DevOps' future, Artificial intelligence will be integrated with DevOps to effectively meet the high demand from customers for customized solutions. It will help drive automation for metrics collection and accelerate the DevOps pipeline from continuous testing to continuous integration and delivery. Moreover, this combination of two technologies will help organizations automate and optimize business and operations feedback, improve IT operations, and better serve their customers.
- Cloud-Centric: Last year saw remarkable growth in the adoption of Cloud-centric approaches for DevOps automation, which will reach a new height in the year 2021. DevOps is leveraging the centralized nature of Cloud computing to create a standardized and centralized platform for testing, deployment, and production and effectively resolving issues with distributed complexity. Moreover, since the majority of Public and Private Cloud services support DevOps practices like CI/CD, it is using it to reduce the DevOps automation cost.
- Rise of DevSecOps: With the ever-increasing need for more secure applications and Cloud-Native security, there will be a rise in the adoption of DevSecOps in the coming year. It will help integrate security and compliance testing into the development pipelines and provide the much-needed security protection at runtime. Moreover, with DevSecOps and CI/CD tool integration, organizations will experience enhanced cybersecurity, rules, and protocol enforcement, along with compliance and improved IT effectiveness.
- DataOps: DataOps will be the most effective trend of 2021, responsible for taking DevOps to the next level. DataOps will streamline the process of big data processing, analyzing, and deriving value. It aims to break the silos in the data storage and analytics fields and automate the data processing and storage workflows to help organizations better control data and ensure greater transformation.
- Low code DevOps: In the coming years, there will be a drastic shift in application development from traditional coding to low code solutions. Developers will adopt low code tools or app development platforms to build applications rapidly, which will minimize the efforts of coding and improve the speed of development. This will allow organizations to create quality and secure application builds that are easily accessible and not very complex and effectively meet the requirements of the customers.
- Kubernetes: The most popular container orchestration tool, Kubernetes has seen an incredible rise over the past few years, which is bound to increase in 2021. Organizations are using Kubernetes to automatically scale, distribute, and handle faults on containers used for complex applications, microservices, and cloud-native applications. Kubernetes allows organizations to better respond to customer demands, without worrying about the infrastructure layer and helps the DevOps teams to automate, scale, and build resiliency into applications while minimizing the infrastructure burden.
The DevOps market trends listed here are only a blip of what is waiting for us in the year 2021 and beyond. With constant evolution in DevOps, there will be no surprise if it further revolutionized the digital transformation DevOps itself initiated.
With the world rapidly turning towards digitization, DevOps initiated a paradigm shift from traditional SDLC to DevOps lifecycle management that promoted agile application development and iterative and rapid deployment and delivery. DevOps made it possible for the formerly siloed roles to organize and work together to build more innovative, agile, and reliable products and services. Organizations today are embracing the DevOps culture at an unmatched speed and effectively addressing their customer's needs. In short, this evolving business practice has allowed organizations to become more productive, develop better products faster, deliver greater customer satisfaction, and successfully fulfill business goals.
Considering the advantages of DevOps and the speed of its adoption by enterprises worldwide, we can expect its future to be an optimistic one, where DevOps will continue to evolve and help businesses achieve success through enhanced opportunities and simplified processes.