With continuous evolution of IT systems, speed and flexibility have become of paramount importance for businesses. This requirement has caused a massive shift in the IT delivery system. Now, building and releasing a better product in the market is not enough for businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Organizations need an agile approach to understand and adapt to information, trends and new developments, and to meet the demands of time-to-market features.
DevOps is one such cultural shift in the IT field that shows how software development and IT operations can work together to reduce time to market. It has attained such a great profile in the market that people have started measuring the outcomes for businesses that adopt it.
If you’re just beginning with DevOps, here are some tips that will help you understand how you can accelerate time to market for your product and services.
How Can DevOps Accelerate Time to Market?
There are many ways in which DevOps helps organizations accelerate time to market for their product. Some of the most effective ways are:
Faster Delivery of Features and Modifications
When development teams build software, they connect with IT operations to send the software for testing. If the product is completely new, operations need to create a testing environment. If the software is an updated version of the current product and there is already a testing environment for it, operations still need to configure and add interfaces and side applications. So, a developer can only deploy code to the software when the operations team tests the product, which is a very time-consuming process.
However, DevOps eliminates such time-consuming tasks from the software development process. For example, with automated testing of web apps developers get quick feedback and automated integration allows them to make changes in the code base more quickly. Therefore, organizations can release small or incremental updates of the software while delivering new features to market faster.
DevOps encourages development teams to give more time to value-creating work. When businesses use automated testing and integration, developers don’t have to waste their time waiting for machine configuration or code integration. Both tasks can be achieved by clicking a button on the self-service portal.
For example, many European banks have implemented DevOps in their software process, which resulted in 25% efficiency improvements in providing updates for their online banking applications. It also reduces the workload for the IT operations team so that they can work on more challenging tasks to add more value to the company.
Improved Quality Code and Quick Recovery from Failures
When software is released to the market, developers often start working on their next project. So, they usually don’t have any motive to predict or prevent future problems related to software; it’s all up to the operations team. But DevOps keeps developers involved during the entire life cycle of a software product for updating any feature or application, which results in improved quality code. Also, it requires only a few fixes as developers can track and eliminate potential problems while writing code.
As developers work with smaller chunks of code, when a failure occurs in any product, bugs can be tracked easily to their resources. Also, human errors are reduced thanks to the automation that DevOps provides to the software life cycle, while allowing companies to deliver fixes faster.
Best Practices for Using DevOps
Just like agile approaches, DevOps doesn’t have any pre-planned implementation model. But, most companies that use DevOps follow these best practices:
Set a Business Standard
The improvements in an organization can never be measured without having a business standard. If you want to reduce time to market for your software development process, then have a look at the current development process and find out which areas need improvement. For example, you can review the steps involved in making a project live and identify any defects, inefficiencies and constraints in the project.
After reviewing these processes, you can set a business standard that shows the current software development process and the improvements that are required to reduce the time to market. With DevOps, you can set a business standard more quickly and improve your software deployment process.
Optimize and Eliminate Unnecessary Inputs
While reviewing your software deployment process, you might encounter some inputs that don’t add value to the process and reduce its speed. Eliminating such inputs from the development process is crucial, but make sure there is open communication between you and your team so efforts are not wasted.
What you can do is set up the right team structure and use tools that provide transparent and fast communication between the teams. For example, you can structure a team that includes marketing managers, right analysts and, most importantly, DevOps resources.
Allow Continuous Deployment in Software Process
Continuous deployment is one of the essential key factors of DevOps that helps in reducing time to market. It is the continuous delivery pipeline that doesn’t involve any manual intervention in-between. In continuous deployment, automation stimulates and simplifies communication and validates the software process to ensure timely releases.
However, not every company implements continuous deployment in its software development process. Usually, the organizations that need to move faster to provide new features, applications or security channels for their product use continuous deployment. For example, media companies and online retailers use continuous deployment in their software development process.
Improve the Quality of Automated Tests
One straightway to reduce time to market with DevOps is improving the quality of automated tests. In any organization, testers test the application for its functionality and other factors. But this testing process can be enhanced by engaging with clients and a targeted audience in the development process. Taking input on the overall functionality and user interface will not only improve the testing process, but also help you find bugs and defects earlier.
It is proven that if bugs are not tracked and eliminated in the early stages, it can greatly impact the time to market for your software product. For example, if you want to test your web application browser compatibility, then consider cross-browser compatibility testing. With end-to-end automated testing, the overall testing process can be improved, which will result in reducing time to market. Some other benefits of automated testing that can improve your DevOps are:
- Track and eliminate bugs and errors in the early stages to improve the system’s capacity.
- Improve the security of your software product.
- Enhance custom engagement and satisfaction with a high QoE score.
- Less cost of ownership.
- Meet the industry standards and compliance regulations in a better way.
An improved automation strategy helps move your product to market faster and allows your resources to do more high-value tasks. Also, the development teams will be more encouraged and confident to add new features to the application, as it will be tested more thoroughly.
Today’s businesses heavily rely on applications to collaborate, communicate, complete sales and operate more proficiently. Therefore, they strive to bring these applications to market more quickly so they don’t miss any opportunities and easily adjust to the market standards. To achieve these objectives, organizations must adopt the right DevOps practices in their software development processes to reduce time to market.