Engineering teams that successfully implement DevOps practices often deliver software with higher business value. These organizations can easily identify areas where problematic code exists, quickly eliminate issues and deliver high-performance applications more quickly than their competitors that use traditional delivery methodologies. DevOps practitioners understand that creating an efficient model for performance testing goes hand-in-hand with four key objectives of digital transformation: extending performance testing to new roles; integration into continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes; end-to-end performance monitoring; and continuous optimization.
Reduce Cycle Time and Time to Market
In order to meet the requirements of rapid, high-quality application delivery, modern software teams need an approach that goes beyond conventional performance testing. This is where DevOps-centric approaches can provide faster, more efficient development and help ensure the delivery of high-quality software. Building the components of an application using agile approaches and validating features as they are created ensures that applications can be tested and verified more quickly, with no increase in associated costs or resources.
By adopting DevOps practices, individual steps within the application delivery process can be automated as part of a DevOps tool-chain. For example, automating quality assurance test runs can eliminate – or significantly reduce – time-consuming human or analog searches for defects in code. Test automation can lead to an increased volume and expanded scope of testing, which, in turn, leads to a reduction in the defect escape rate. That saves resources, time and money.
Shift Left to Increase Agility
To mitigate performance errors and to address issues as early as possible in the application delivery cycle, tests should be executed during the build stage of the development process. By shifting left – running the tests as early as possible, ideally as part of a code commit – enterprises reduce the risk of discovering defects or issues with the product after significant amounts of development work have been completed. It is widely accepted that addressing defects later in development cycles takes significantly more time and money versus identifying and remediating defects early in the development cycle.
As developers perform rapid, high quality, incremental changes, business analysts or product owners can more easily share changes, concepts or suggestions with their development teams. This continuous flow of communication can significantly reduce feedback time, increasing an organization’s ability to react to changing market requirements and allowing a level of flexibility within the development process that drives competitive advantage.
DevOps in a Hybrid Landscape
By supporting a wide range of tools and technologies, organizations that adopt DevOps practices can support applications that run in a local network environment, in cloud-based environments or, more commonly, in hybrid IT environments. As companies continue cloud migrations and transformations, well-designed DevOps tools can help simplify this transition while continuing to provide support for the legacy applications that provide core capabilities and processing for many enterprises. These hybrid tools are fully integrated into existing application development processes, allowing all application delivery teams to successfully transition to DevOps-centric practices without leaving any teams behind.
One particularly important DevOps practice is performance optimization through continuous analysis. By using a centralized store and a common approach for quality-centric data collation, this practice helps analyze, enforce and improve the connections between software developer, CI Build and end-to-end performance testing to ensure a “quality first” mentality and higher-value delivery outcomes. The application of data visualization techniques allows teams to access code – build – test results in real-time and make decisions based on up-to-date insights.
If DevOps practices are successfully established within a team or organization, they not only support more efficient software development and delivery but also are cost-effective. However, in order to successfully implement DevOps practices, enterprises need to understand and implement both technological and cultural changes. Through a combination of process, tooling and cultural simplification, and aligning teams toward common business objectives, organizations can deliver their end goal of creating high-quality, high-value software that satisfies the needs of the end user. By focusing on the common goal, and understanding the journey necessary to get there, enterprises can do so more quickly and at less cost – a win-win!