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Innovation has become a commodity in its own right in the modern marketplace. It’s inevitable, with the constant evolution of technology and the increasingly central role it plays in our personal and professional lives, that the ability to innovate is what separates the businesses that thrive from the ones that stagnate. And in a practical sense, innovation in enterprise largely comes down to software. Every business today relies on software to various extents. It follows, then, that any process that facilitates software innovation is an invaluable asset for businesses in any industry today. In this blog, we’ll look at what makes DevOps the perfect catalyst for innovation in software development, and a powerful tool for organisations looking to stay relevant in an ever-changing market.
Faster, more agile development means more time to innovate with less risk involved.
One of the main benefits of DevOps is that it allows you to deploy software products faster by replacing a siloed culture within your organisation with one of shared accountability and objectives. This allows developers to spend more time experimenting with new features and innovating on existing ones and less time worrying about how they will be deployed and operated. DevOps enables you to quickly and easily set up development and testing environments to execute a Proof of Concept (POC) or deliver a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and evaluate its feasibility. If needs be, it can then be discarded with little to no impact on the project, or incorporated into existing Continuous Delivery or Continuous Testing pipelines as necessary. This ‘fail-fast’ approach keeps Dev and Ops agile and ready to innovate whenever necessary.
In a practical sense, faster and more agile development also makes it easier to remain competitive in an ever-changing market: a Continuous Deployment pipeline doesn’t only result in more regular releases and updates, it shortens the feedback loop with your customer. It allows you to have continuous feedback on how your software is received, provides insight into how it could be improved, and lets you identify opportunities for innovation more easily and critically, much earlier.
In a DevOps culture, requirement documents become starting blocks rather than perimeters.
In traditional software development, the requirements of the project were set out in the beginning, Dev went off and worked towards their objectives and at some point usually late in the project Ops become involved working towards their own objectives. This meant that the scope of the project wouldn’t change from its conception to the time of release. In contrast, DevOps brings together the workflows of development and operations teams through methodologies such as Continuous Delivery, leaving the project constantly open to innovation, optimisation and changes in direction. Requirements documents in a DevOps world become more about providing a central concept that informs the purpose of the software, rather than acting as a set of restrictions that must be adhered to. By opening communication channels and breaking down silos, DevOps gives software projects the room they need to evolve and thrive.
It isn’t just theory – DevOps provides real, quantifiable benefit to the bottom line.
Even though DevOps can be a radical transformation of an organisation’s IT culture, processes and tools, it also has significant impacts on the bottom line. A study by Gene Kim in 2014, which included more than 9,000 organisations across over 100 countries, showed that among those who had successfully implemented DevOps, lead times were an average of 8,000 times faster – yes, that’s thousand – deployments 30 times faster, and speed-to-recovery 12 times faster than those that hadn’t. Being able to deliver at rates like this doesn’t just make innovation easier for companies who live and breathe DevOps – it makes it nearly impossible for those that don’t to survive.
ECS Digital is a DevOps consultancy with 12 years’ experience implementing DevOps solutions in a variety of organisations around the world. For more information on our extensive experience with a range of open source and proprietary DevOps tools and how you can use them to bring new levels of innovation to your business, download our presentation on “Transforming Organizational Culture, Processes & Practices” today.