Changing market dynamics are pushing the need to include DevOps in your software testing exercise to help meet business objectives in providing a consistent and flawless user experience.
Digital transformation is not an easy task for business enterprises. There are myriad issues to conquer, such as department silos, legacy systems and a well-entrenched work culture that often refuses to align with the business goals. Needless to say, the imperatives of reaching out to the market quickly and with quality products often are not achieved because of these issues. To eliminate the bottlenecks that end up blighting business enterprises, a growing number of organizations are adopting DevOps, which involves an end-to-end automation of processes, be it for development, testing or deployment.
DevOps takes the Agile methodology a step further by involving all the stakeholders of an enterprise. The DevOps testing strategy encompasses continuous improvement of software products to address the changing customer preferences.
In DevOps software testing, the aim is to detect and eliminate glitches proactively to reduce the cost and time to fix issues that can lead to a poor user experience. In the highly competitive digital market, a poor user experience can stymie a business’s market readiness.
However, businesses should realize that the DevOps software testing approach is a journey and should be leveraged to enhance the user experience on a continuous basis.
What’s the Key Value Expected from DevOps?
Considering that the development and operations teams of an enterprise each have different work cultures, systems, goals, tools and approaches, the quality and delivery schedule of applications can be thrown off. Hence, the significance of DevOps testing strategy comes into play to bring synergy between the teams and to enhance the quality and delivery of applications consistently.
DevOps calls for the integration of development and operations teams, wherein QA is made everyone’s responsibility. The synergy helps in breaking the departmental silos and posits the role of QA as an enabler of value addition and to achieve customer delight. This not only ensures quality, but also enables faster turnaround on application development process. Ultimately, enterprises are better equipped for the changing market dynamics and challenges with their business applications.
Key Drivers to Adopt DevOps
George Spafford, research director at Gartner, said:
“A DevOps initiative must focus on business requirements and not on ‘doing DevOps for the sake of DevOps,’ wherein the methods and tools become more important than what customers need. Organizations must avoid the all-too-common mistake of launching a DevOps initiative before establishing that a business reason exists to do so. For example, instead of focusing on release rates and doing things faster, start with the business value by asking what that will enable.”
Hence, it’s important to work with a DevOps strategy that resonates with the business objectives. These are some key drivers for considering DevOps.
- Quick deployment of quality applications across devices, platforms, operating systems and networks.
- Increasing competition necessitating the faster release of apps.
- Emerging technological platforms whetting the appetite of customers for better products.
- The emergence of complex applications with footprints in the physical and virtual world.
How Does DevOps Enable Effective Quality Assurance?
- It makes QA a collective responsibility rather than being assigned to a single department or organization.
- It enables better collaboration between teams through a shift of culture.
- It ensures faster identification and elimination of glitches.
- It is responsible for accelerating the time to market and keeps a tab on the software quality through customer feedback.
- It provides continuous improvement of software through timely releases.
- It reduces cost due to the absence of rework.
- It optimizes the utilization of resources and prevents waste.
- It helps to cut down the software development life cycle (SDLC) by adopting quick sprints.
- It ensures continuous development, testing, integration, deployment, monitoring and innovation of applications.
The Need to Measure DevOps
Digital transformation has necessitated the need for rapid innovation, development, testing and deployment of applications. Post deployment, appropriate customer feedback should be considered and absorbed into the product to improve its performance further. The success of DevOps QA depends on the level of automation, not to speak of the degree of collaboration among various stakeholders.
In fact, enterprises should use a robust automation software to execute quality assurance across platforms and devices. The automation software should be able to test the code as part of the development sprint on a variety of devices and test environments. The DevOps QA approach should be measurable based on certain metrics to ensure its effectiveness. The measurement platform can include the following:
- The QA team dealing with continuous integration should be able to work with all the tools to find out glitches.
- The entire setup should be simple to facilitate quicker learning, adoption and execution.
- The test data including dependencies should be easy to access.
- The entire build, deploy, release, verify and rework processes should be streamlined.
In the fast-changing digital landscape, the objective of reaching out to the customers quickly and with better quality of products is paramount. This is where the DevOps specialists turn things around with continuous improvement, innovation and deployment.
As Gartner’s Spafford rightly stated, “DevOps challenges conventional IT thinking with its lack of a standard definition and approach, its constant evolution, and its requirement for acceptance and management of risk.”