Vladimir Fedak

@FedakV

3 Steps to Improve the Business DevOps Performance

DevOps engineers are no magicians. They need detailed guides and precise descriptions of the tasks in order to be efficient. Here are some tips on how to improve the DevOps performance.

There are two cornerstones of the DevOps services — ensuring continuous software development, implementation and delivery, and automating the routine tasks to free up human resources and reduce the risk of errors. Thus said, a solid understanding of these tasks is required, as well as a profound knowledge of the existing business IT infrastructure, processes, and operations.

Unfortunately, this goal cannot be reached by mixing the developers, Ops engineers, and QA department representatives and throwing them at the existing tasks. The only working approach is building passionate, ever-learning and self-improving teams of all-around capable specialists that follow the paradigm of “you build it, you run it”. Only when a developer is responsible for the full application delivery lifecycle and can improve any aspect of the process — only then can the true DevOps workflows emerge.

Organizing the DevOps team the right way is not enough, as the clear pipeline is needed to ensure the business continuity and optimal allocation of resources. Here is how this can be done.

1 step to improving the DevOps performance: Audit and Planning

The first stage of optimizing the existing DevOps processes contain such steps:

  • Determination of the existing business challenges
  • Evaluation of the IT infrastructure in place
  • Audit of the maturity of the software delivery lifecycle
  • Design of the roadmap of actions needed to solve the challenges the business faces
  • Introduction of the efficiency measurement metrics
  • Selection of the tools and processes appropriate for the task
  • Delivering an estimate of timeframes and expenses for each activity

2 step to improving the DevOps performance: Implementation

Once the roadmap and estimates are ready and approved, the actual work can begin:

  • Design and adoption of Agile environment for software delivery lifecycle
  • Design and adoption of procedures for ensuring operational visibility, monitoring, logging and reporting
  • Completion of the tasks and activities according to the roadmap
  • Automation of testing, integration and deployment tasks
  • Efficiency measurement according to the predefined metrics

If the challenges the company experienced are overcome, you can move to the next stage. If not — you should repeat the 1st and 2nd stage.

3 step to improving the DevOps performance: Maintenance

If the set business goals are met, the last step to improving the DevOps performance is ensuring the optimal allocation of resources and business continuity:

  • Active and proactive monitoring of the system processes, issue resolution
  • Determining the roots of the problems and correcting them
  • Continuous improvement of the workflows and operations in place
  • Updating, patching, upgrading the existing infrastructure or migrating it to a new cloud platform
  • Ensuring the operational health levels are all times high

Thus said, the third stage is the longest one, yet requires significantly less effort than the first two. Obviously, a correctly built and smoothly operating system ensures much better DevOps performance as compared to permanent issue firefighting.

Final thoughts on improving the DevOps performance

The simplified workflow above is actually a checklist for a digital transformation. Of course, the questions of Big Data analytics implementation, Machine Learning model training and imbuing your business with top-notch AI technologies were left out of the scope of this article. However, building a reliable, robust and well-performing infrastructure is the first stage of this process. Executing this correctly frees valuable resources and saves a ton of time and effort, allowing to reinvigorate the business and push it to the new level.

The main problem is that even if this process might seem simple and straightforward, there are actually quite a lot of underwater reefs in it. Vague requirements, weak infrastructure knowledge, outdated technology and lack of managerial support to transformational grassroots initiatives are just a few of these challenges.

This is why working with a trustworthy managed services provider can be a great solution, as the contractor usually has all the tools, skills and processes in place to ensure successful completion of the project.

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