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P2 Consulting was started by a group of award winning consultants who recognised the opportunity to build a global consultancy firm that had clients’ needs at its heart. We understand the challenges clients face – the pace of globalisation, technology change and increasing regulation – and the pressure they are under to respond to these changes rapidly and efficiently.

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DevOps - is it just a buzzword?

Darren Stocks, Managing Consultant and Head of Testing & Quality Assurance, P2 Consulting

12.06.18

There is clearly a lot of momentum with DevOps but that has created confusion with its definition and uncertainty about what DevOps actually is. The danger is that DevOps can be viewed as the latest buzzword and the real opportunity to embrace the objectives and benefits of DevOps can become misunderstood.

So what is DevOps and how can organisations understand how this can help them to achieve their business benefit? Does it really align to agile or is DevOps independent from all development lifecycles such as waterfall and agile? And more importantly what are the key considerations in implementing DevOps and continuous integrations?

 

Improving the end to end process

In summary DevOps is being implemented to improve IT service delivery agility, focussing collaboration, communication, consistency and integration across development teams and IT operations. There is also a view that DevOps is the next phase of agile development lifecycle where agile has delivered completed releases ready for deployment into production, but operations are not ready to deploy, manage and control. DevOps aims to address this through the removal of the Dev and Ops silo effect, focussing on collaboration and communication across these groups to ensure increased productivity and speed to market.

But does DevOps totally rely on the agile framework already being in place? Is there a natural progression from agile to DevOps? There are certainly blogs and whitepapers that detail how agile and DevOps have common traits and although their goals may seem the same but in reality, they are different, whereas agile is focussed on releasing software and managing change more frequently with DevOps more focused on improving the value of IT by closely aligning development, IT operations and the business.

So, can you implement DevOps with a waterfall framework? In short, yes you can but the key point here is that waterfall projects are slow, have long durations and are not responsive to change. Yes, you may be improving the end to end process from development to IT operations but surely the focus is on business agility and accelerating customer value?

What are the benefits of these tools?

Tools across the whole development and release lifecycle are also a big aspect of DevOps and there are clearly a number of tools out there that will support the DevOps lifecycle, including visibility into servers and virtual machines, configuration management, testing and data automation, portability to applications and real time resolution of issues.

But what are the benefits of these tools and how can they help? Well, let’s remember the fact that the key focus here is the removal of manual processes, risk of human error and speed to market, which will in turn will make you more agile. Being more agile comes with greater risk of something going wrong and the implementation of DevOps tools will help to mitigate that risk if implemented properly across the development lifecycle. However, will tools be effective if the end to end model to deliver software is not consistently applied? Tools alone are not a silver bullet and careful consideration needs to be given to the tools that need to align to the overall DevOps lifecycle.

So for any organisation who is planning to implement DevOps what are the key considerations that need to be considered? Our view at P2 Consulting is that the first step to successfully implement DevOps is to understand the true definition of DevOps and the cultural change to break the silo effect between development and IT operations, which is fundamental to the success of DevOps. Leadership mind sets also need to embrace DevOps to ensure successful changes with your strategy and changing processes. The implementation of tools to support your DevOps strategy is also a key consideration to support your agility and speed to market, and finally to focus on continuous integration and improvements, building on collaboration and communication to increase your speed to market and customer value.

Find out more about our range of Testing capabilities by emailing Darren Stocks or call +44 (0) 20 7099 0803.