Top 10 benefits of DevOps
If the business considers moving to DevOps workflows daunting, it is useful to keep in mind 10 main benefits of DevOps practices that make a huge difference for any company.
2018 was the “year of enterprise DevOps” according to Forrester, as more than 50% of enterprises worldwide engaged in DevOps transformation. What benefits can this step provide?
DevOps is a practical implementation of Agile principles. This means that DevOps practices aim to ensure the constant availability, stable performance and incremental improvement of the product and the underlying IT infrastructure. This is hugely different from standard Waterfall practices, where Devs want to increase change and implement new features, while Ops want to minimize change and keep the system stable.
Opting for DevOps workflows and accepting the general attitude of communication and collaboration between the customers (product owners or business stakeholders), developers and Ops engineers brings multiple benefits:
- Increased software quality
- Reliable schedule of new feature releases
- Bigger flexibility in response to changes
- Immutable infrastructure as code
- Shorter feedback loops
- Fewer bugs and no downtime
- DevOps means interchangeability of engineers
- DevOps practices boost employee loyalty
- DevOps attitude helps improve staff motivation
- Continuous self-development and education
Below I cover these points in more details.
Increased software quality
When your software delivery routine is transformed according to DevOps best practices, most of the routine development tasks are automated through the use of CI/CD pipelines. This enables automated unit testing of each new code batch, allowing to detect and fix the bugs quicker. This results in cleaner, more efficient code and increased software quality with each release.
Reliable schedule of new feature releases
This is the logical consequence of the previous point — when the code quality improves, less time is needed to fix the bugs and your team is more likely to meet the deadlines and release the new product/service features on time. This is also the reason behind the shortened time-to-market for new projects, which is essential for success in our dynamic world.
Bigger flexibility in response to changes
When your IT infrastructure is provisioned, configured and adjusted through Terraform and Kubernetes manifests, updating or replacing any part of it is much faster and simpler, than manually reconfiguring the servers.
Immutable infrastructure as code
This is one of the basic principles of DevOps: it is easier to build the infrastructure templates and provision the required states of the infrastructure than configure individual servers. Using the tools like Terraform and Kubernetes excludes the configuration drift, meaning there are no software version inconsistencies across your IT infrastructure, greatly simplifying its management and increasing the security of operations.
Shorter feedback loops
DevOps culture of communication and collaboration between teams ensures both the stakeholder input and the customer’s feedback are transformed into actions quicker. More than 80% of the time in the Waterfall software delivery process is consumed by server configuration for building and testing the code. When these operations are automated and executed in mere minutes, the software delivery process becomes much quicker and the feedback loops are minimal.
Fewer bugs and no downtime
Another consequence of applying CI/CD pipelines to automated code testing and QA. DevOps workflows enable rolling updates, where the code is automatically pushed to production after successfully completing the staging environment deployment. During such rolling updates the servers are updated separately, allowing to avoid interruption of service and downtime on updates. In addition, should any error occur — Immutable infrastructure can be immediately restored to the previous state with a couple of commands.
DevOps means interchangeability of engineers
Under the Waterfall approach, there is a strict specialization of Ops engineers, as they have to master a wide array of specific tools. DevOps tools and workflows are much more flexible and allow solving a wider array of tasks. Thus said, each of the main DevOps roles can handle nearly any task assigned to them, which means much more flexibility and fewer possible bottlenecks for your team.
DevOps practices boost employee loyalty
Recognition and gratification are essential for self-esteem. When the team is always engaged with designing and implementing interesting projects, not with doing the same actions for the thousandth time, people are more interested in each other’s challenges and achievements. Communication and collaboration between team members create bonds and increase staff satisfaction with their jobs. Thus said, companies that adopt DevOps values experience much smaller employee turnover, as the staff becomes more loyal to the team that values them.
DevOps attitude helps improve staff motivation
Routine tasks become boring after a while. When the employee is bored with their work, motivation and productivity suffer greatly. An unproductive and demotivated employee is a burden for a company and has to either quit or be fired. Employing DevOps practices allows automating the majority of routine tasks and freeing up the time needed for designing and implementing creative and engaging solutions — and I am not talking only about the IT department here.
Continuous self-development and education
Working creatively and actively experimenting is impossible without constant self-education. DevOps teams grow their skills very dynamically. This is especially true for the teams at Managed Services Providers, who engage with new projects every couple of months. These DevOps engineers have the opportunity to frequently update their skills and tools and deliver the latest and most efficient solutions to their customers.
Final thoughts on the top 10 benefits of DevOps
These benefits might be unexpected or seem not too important at first. However, remember that CI/CD processes, serverless computing, splitting the monolith apps to microservices, configuring self-healing cloud infrastructure and many other DevOps gimmicks are impossible without the team that will design and implement them.
What are the business benefits then? The business gets a working product, a stable and predictable release schedule, an ability to respond quickly to customer or stakeholder feedback. The business also receives a motivated, loyal and constantly improving the team, which is one of the most important assets of the modern business.
Did I miss any important DevOps business benefits? Please let me know in the comments!