Enterprise software development models have presented many innovative solutions for IT to align development efforts with business goals.
Adopting new software development lifecycle methodologies is as much a business decision as an IT decision. From an IT perspective, this means the ability to produce profitable products at lower cost without compromising quality.
Maintaining quality through the code changes to add features and push new releases has been a struggle until the inception of the DevOps-driven Continuous Testing model, which transforms costly, time-consuming IT practices into profit centers.
The DevOps Patch to Agile Pitfall
Having already adopted lean Dev and Ops strategies, Agile enterprise IT seems to have unlocked unprecedented efficiency and productivity by delivering better business value at a rapid pace.
But in all the mayhem and chaos in jumping on the bandwagon of the Agile development, IT teams ended up stockpiling a mass of false assumptions.
Simply implementing Agile processes and iteratively adding functionalities doesn’t necessarily streamline development.
With this approach, teams ultimately ignored the true Agile philosophy of adapting, collaborating and planning, and ended up following an accelerated and reinvented version of Waterfall in hopes to develop fast, deliver early and manage issues effectively.
A change was needed somewhere between design and development, and release and production phases where IT teams were failing to identify software defects and perform fixes fast enough.
The lack of early, adequate, parallel and continuous testing was transforming IT into a cost center by drawing unnecessary expenses and time investments in reworking software to meet desired quality standards.
The DevOps approach aims to address this challenge by facilitating continuous testing as an ongoing effort to identify and fix software defects early and deliver the right quality at the right time at the right cost.
Continuous testing presents the following value propositions to raise business bottom line and open doors to unprecedented revenue opportunities:
Informed Decision Making
Business expectations about the reliability and speed of application delivery vary throughout the SDLC.
Continuous Testing creates a centralized system identifying failures and defects that present business risk to the organization.
Continuous Testing as a consistent effort provides adequate visibility and useful, real-time data. This can be a huge advantage to businesses, especially when it comes to application performance monitoring and testing.
The assessment of stability and validity of software builds enables Ops and business decision-makers to trade off decisions between risk and time of release, cost investments, functionality, scope and quality.
Business Agility and Competitive Differentiation
Enterprises across all industries have development shops delivering software applications as core components of their service offerings.
These departments, often driven by DevOps, must focus on churning out new, stable and high-quality software and race to deliver a stream of features that complement primary service offerings.
For instance, mobile check deposit was a leading driver for bank selection a few years ago and financial institutions offering this online service (while doing it well) early gained valuable competitive differentiation.
In the DevOps world, Continuous Testing creates a safety net for DevOps teams to develop, test and release new features to the market faster without compromising quality. This safety net works as a trusted testing environment, suite and tool to assess the impact of code changes accurately and quickly.
With these capabilities, organizations gain the agility to bring new products to market and compete on innovation and not on the scale of business operations and investments.
All in all, great DevOps levels the playing field between the eight-person startup and the massive enterprise competing in the same space. Who releases faster with a better product is more dependant on the process, not the funding.
Stronger Business Performance
IT performance is business performance. It’s measured in terms of the quality, productivity and functionality of IT solutions delivered for internal business operations or as marketable products.
The primary objective of Continuous Testing is to ensure high quality software products are delivered on time, cost and scope. To achieve these goals, IT teams need capabilities such as automation-driven, self-testing builds in a clone of production environments.
QA is expected to leverage frameworks and automation tools that allow testing early during the lifecycle. That shrinks time spent on test setup and maintenance, using service virtualization to replicate unavailable testing environments and establishing a comprehensive quality validation process with continuous integration systems.
These practices work as core elements of Continuous Testing to test faster, sooner, more often and continuously, thereby boosting IT and business performance.
These business values not only generate unprecedented new revenue streams but also unlock cash trapped within the business IT.
The resulting increase in revenue encourages organizations to change their game entirely and pursue new DevOps-driven business models in improving service delivery, scaling operations immediately and competing on fronts of business innovation.