DevOps is a word that is used to describe a set of modern IT practices which seek to more closely bring together software developers and operations staff to work on the same project in a more collaborative manner. The desire is that by breaking down barriers which have traditionally existed between these two sides of the IT department, organizations can reduce the time and friction involved in deploying new versions of software. This effort will ideally lead to shorter development cycles which ideally may save time and money, and give the organization a competitive edge against others with longer, more traditional development cycles.
Why pursue a DevOps strategy?
Rapid innovation is no longer optional. No matter what industry your organization operates in, it is almost certainly an industry that is seeing upheaval of traditional business practices due to the move towards a software-defined economy. From transportation to manufacturing, mining to farming, finance to healthcare: big data, cloud computing, mobile applications, and a slew of other technology are making software the key differentiator between those businesses and organizations that get ahead and those that fall behind.
Even if your organization wasn't competing in the software market a decade ago, today it is, and the way to get ahead is to bring better solutions forward fasters.
How do I get started?
The first steps into DevOps are about examining your culture and practices, identifying the barriers to cross-team communication and coordination, and taking the steps necessary to bridge communication between your development and operations teams. Achieving this is a challenge, but you don't have to get there overnight. Begin by taking a look at your current methodologies and ask yourself what's not working, and where the opportunities for better cross-pollination may exist.
While DevOps is in many ways about organizational culture, identifying the right software tools is an important step as well. Is your organization using for source control and revisioning tools like Git to help you manage code? Are you adopting continuous integration and build tools to make the movement from source to testing as seamless as possible? What about tools for automating the testing and packaging of their software, or for deployment and security testing? Are you looking at ways to manage your infrastructure like code with configuration management tools, to easily scale and replicate environments? And what about monitoring tools to keep an eye on the whole process from development to production?
DevOps benefits from finding the right tools to keep your development and operations teams working together and moving faster.