Do You Need a DevOps? Pros and Cons of the DevOps Methodology
DevOps is one of the most widespread and effective software development practices today. By automating and promoting communication between developers, ops teams, and stakeholders, DevOps speeds up the software development process while ensuring high-quality product releases. Do you need a DevOps, though?
Read on if you want to learn more about DevOps, why it can be beneficial to your business, and whether or not it's a methodology you should still take into consideration.
What Is DevOps?
To understand whether or not your business needs a DevOps solution, it's essential to first understand what DevOps is and why it has become such a popular software development practice.
DevOps is a set of tools, methodologies, and principles that aim to promote communication and collaboration between developers and ops teams. The goal of DevOps is to speed up the software development process while ensuring high-quality product releases.
Introduced in 2007-2008, DevOps is the brainchild of Patrick Debois and Andrew Shafer, as a response to the drawbacks of Agile (particularly the fact that the Agile methodology involved a lot of back and forth between Development and Operations.) In some ways, DevOps can be considered an evolution from Agile — but it is very important to note that it differs from both Agile and Waterfall in its focus on collaboration, communication, and automation.
In a nutshell, DevOps best practices include:
In DevOps, developers push code changes to a central repository where they are automatically built and tested. As a result, they can detect errors early on in the process and make sure that all code changes are properly tested before they’re deployed to production. This continuous integration process helps everyone work more efficiently and deliver better quality in the end.
Code changes are automatically deployed to production as soon as they are approved. This allows for faster delivery of new features and bug fixes to users.
The software is constantly monitored in production to identify issues and errors. This allows for quick resolution of problems and improved user experience.
Each of these practices aims to streamline the software development process by automating tasks and promoting communication between different teams. By doing so, DevOps speeds up the software development process while ensuring high-quality product releases.
Do You Need a DevOps? Top Advantages of the DevOps Methodology
Reputable companies such as Amazon's AWS, Google, IBM, Facebook, and Netflix have all adopted DevOps practices to one extent or another. Moreover, studies say the entire DevOps market valuation will reach $17 billion by 2026.
There are plenty of advantages to using the DevOps methodology, and some of the most important ones include:
One of the most important benefits of DevOps is that it speeds up the software development process, thereby allowing for faster time-to-market. In a world with more than 30,000 SaaS businesses already on the market (a number that continues to grow by the day), getting your product out there as quickly as possible is crucial.
Implementing DevOps in your organization can help reduce expenses by automating tasks and eliminating the need for manual labor. If you’re on a tight budget, expense reduction can come as a real benefit, particularly if you can avoid spending money on unnecessary tasks. For example, you could automate backups, monitoring and logging, and other mundane tasks, so your team can focus on more important matters.
Improved Workflow and Reducing Silos
DevOps can also help improve your workflow and reduce silos. Because DevOps improves how development professionals and Operations teams collaborate, it removes the gaps in communication that can often lead to problems. Consequently, there will be less friction between teams and everyone will know what everyone else is working on.
Better Bug Detection and Quality Assurance
DevOps can also help improve the quality of your software products by automating testing and delivery. In consequence, you will be able to detect bugs and errors early on in the process and fix them before the code is deployed to production. Early fixes will also help you save time and deliver a better product.
Quicker Updates and Integration
Because DevOps helps teams push products to market in a faster and more efficient way, the whole set of processes behind this methodology also helps businesses to quickly integrate new features and functionality into their software products. This is especially important in fast-paced markets (like Software as a Service, for example.)
Higher Productivity and Efficiency
In addition to all of the above, DevOps also helps improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace. How come? DevOps was created to improve collaboration and efficiency between teams. The results often lead to less friction, more effectiveness at work, better resource allocation, and, overall, a better quality product or service.
Better Operational Support
Operational support is another big advantage of DevOps because helps businesses quickly identify and fix errors in their software products. As a result, DevOps can reduce friction between teams, help you avoid multiple back-and-forths between different specialists, and eventually release a quality product.
Whether you work with in-house teams, agencies, or freelancers, keeping your staff motivated is essential. DevOps helps people develop cross-functional skills and grow professionally — and thus, keeps them more motivated throughout the entire life-cycle of a project.
Reduced Product Failure Rate
Last but not least, DevOps also helps reduce the product failure rate. In DevOps, code changes are automatically deployed to production as soon as they're ready. Consequently, the chance of any human error slipping through the cracks of the process is significantly reduced as well.
The Disadvantages of DevOps
Nothing is ever perfect, and DevOps makes no exception. Most of those who use DevOps believe its advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Even so, being aware of the less beneficial aspects of DevOps is still important if you want to make an informed decision.
Here are some of the most commonly touted cons of using the DevOps methodology:
DevOps is not just a tool or a set of processes. It's an entire organizational culture change, which includes a fresh mindset, new tools, processes, and ways of working. For this reason, it can be quite complex to implement — particularly for larger businesses.
There's No Standardized Version
Unfortunately, there is no standardized version of DevOps. Therefore, it can be difficult to find the right tools and processes for your business. It's also important to note that DevOps is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so you'll need to tailor it to the specific needs of your organization.
Like any new way of working, DevOps is likely to come with some teething problems. These can include everything from resistance to change within the company to technical issues with the new tools and processes. Not everyone’s open to changing how things are done right now, but with good communication and proper implementation, this is a battle you can win.
Early DevOps implementation can be costly, as it frequently requires investment in new tools, processes, and staff training. However, long term, these costs will not only be offset — you will start saving money. More operational efficiency and less communication will make your team’s time at work more effective and your resource allocation more financially savvy too.
From an operational standpoint, DevOps is not always the easiest solution. Implementing DevOps can lead to increased pressure on IT staff and can make it difficult to maintain control over your operations. Sure, the result might be better operational efficiency, but things might be a little bumpy before you get there.
DevOps isn't a security concern in itself. However, a continuous delivery process can make it difficult to track and manage changes, which can lead to security breaches. As such, it is very important to keep in mind that maintaining DevOps security systems and practices are both essential and a special challenge.
Conclusion: Do You Need a DevOps?
Every business is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not you need DevOps — or to hire a DevOps engineer, for that matter.
However, if you're looking for a way to improve your software development process and speed up your time to market, then DevOps may well be worth considering. Just remember that, like any new way of working, it's not without its challenges. The question is whether or not the advantages of DevOps outweigh the challenges and disadvantages of adopting it.
As a general rule, large teams and enterprise businesses are usually keener on adopting DevOps — but it can sometimes work for small to medium businesses as well. For instance, if you have the resources to invest in training and tooling, then DevOps could help you improve your efficiency and speed up your software development process. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to adopt DevOps comes down to what's best for your business. If you think it could help you achieve your goals, then it's worth considering!
Q1. What happens without DevOps?
Without DevOps, you risk falling victim to slow operations, miscommunication, and, overall, a sub-optimum relationship between development and operations. Of course, DevOps is not mandatory, but the methodology and tools behind the whole DevOps concept can help you automate tasks, manage configurations, and deploy code changes with minimal errors. As a result, team efficiency can be improved and the final product will be more likely to succeed. Furthermore, the time it takes to push the product to market can be significantly lowered as well (which is particularly useful in a fast-paced industry).
Q2. Is DevOps still a thing?
Yes, DevOps is a growing industry with a lot of potential. In fact, it's estimated that the DevOps market will be worth $17 billion by 2026, and major organizations continue to invest in it because it helps them create and push to market better products — and faster too. Furthermore, DevOps has come to be one of the most in-demand job titles in many organizations, showing there’s a clear (and growing) interest in DevOps implementation and success.
Q3. When should you not use DevOps?
DevOps is not very suitable for companies with short development cycles, or those with very infrequent code changes. In these cases, the investment in learning DevOps and setting up the required infrastructure may not be worth the significant investment of implementation time or financial resources. Furthermore, if you have a very small team, DevOps might not provide you with all the benefits it’s meant to (because processes and communication are not as complex in small businesses as they are in larger enterprises).
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