What Is DevOps And How Does It Work? (Benefits And Adoption)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An organisation uses DevOps to establish effective collaboration, communication and integration between its development and operations teams. With DevOps, an organisation can create inventive and highly functional applications, processes and services to overcome complex business challenges. Learning about this methodology can help you better understand how a technology company manages software development and product delivery, along with how it can increase profits and meet customer requirements. In this article, we answer the question, 'What is DevOps?', discuss how it works, review how to adopt it and share some of its benefits.

What Is DevOps?

To answer the question, 'What is DevOps?', it is the practice of development and operations engineers collaborating to develop and deploy software solutions and maximise the speed and quality of product or service delivery. With this methodology, an organisation combines technology and processes to offer enhanced value to its customers. DevOps gets its name by combining the terms development and operations and typically comprises a security team, quality engineers, information technology (IT) operation and business development. Professionals from all these operations collaborate to develop high-quality products that serve the company's clients and customers.

Some of the core objectives of DevOps are to give high value to customer requirements, achieve business goals and improve operational performance. Apart from performance improvement of software development and operations, the DevOps framework can also enable organisations to enhance web service development and quality assurance (QA). With DevOps, a company aims to use Agile in IT operations, which helps them deploy reliable and predictable applications, along with increasing the speed of release cycles. When an organisation pursues Agile with software delivery, it can increase the speed of deployment and improve production environments.

Related: What Does A DevOps Engineer Do And How To Become One

How Does DevOps Work?

Here are the primary phases of a DevOps life cycle to help you understand how it works:

Continuous development

In this phase, development and IT teams monitor the improvements in software functionality. The team develops a plan, conducts tests and collects feedback to improve the product. This software development process focuses on maintaining the code of an application, which developers may write in any programming language. Developers usually maintain this code by utilising version control tools. With the help of the continuous development phase, an organisation can eliminate conflicts and incompatibilities in the code. Developers typically measure upgrades continually to identify bugs in the code and defects in the application.

Continuous testing

For this phase to be successful, it is essential for teams to automate all test cases. Developers utilise automation testing tools to perform effectively during this phase and achieve faster feedback, quicker results, reduced business expenses, improved testing efficiency and timely detection of defects. In this phase, teams generally scrutinise all aspects of the software thoroughly. With the help of continuous testing, developers can help ensure that they deliver quality code.

Related: 5 Continuous Improvement Examples (And How To Incorporate)

Continuous integration

The objective of this phase is to detect and address code errors during a product's life cycle in a timely way. Continuous integration offers developers consistency during the application builds, as it focuses on improving the code that may change several times a day. Developers employ many tools for efficient continuous integration, like a continuous integration server, source control and automation testing framework. Teams may often choose to use continuous integration alongside an Agile software development workflow, as this makes it easier to list the tasks for software engineers who can complete them for consistent delivery.

Continuous deployment

This DevOps phase is an application release process that utilises automated testing to send final code modifications to production. When a customer shares product feedback, or there are market changes, developers edit the code based on this information. This involves updating the code, fixing bugs, adding new features and improving existing ones. To make the code highly functional, several automated tests verify the viability of the code during the testing stage. If the code passes these tests, developers deploy the application to a production environment, like an application store.

Related: 12 Effective Source Control Management Tools (With Features)

Continuous monitoring

With continuous monitoring, developers actively assess the entire product life cycle. Based on this assessment, they update different processes to improve the results and reduce wastage. Sometimes, developers may fail to identify and fix code errors and bugs during the testing phase. Monitoring makes it easier to determine these issues and implement appropriate fixes. Developers in this phase evaluate key metrics to devise efficient solutions to problems in real time. With continuous monitoring, development and operations teams can effectively monitor performance issues to increase uptime and revenue.

Related: Essential Automation Testing Tools To Enhance Efficiency

How To Adopt DevOps?

Below are five steps that you can take to implement the DevOps framework:

1. Initiate the DevOps model

In the first stage, convert each team into separate units. As this is an early stage of adoption, the work of these units remains reactive, and there may not be many adjustments in the DevOps model. The results these individual units deliver may also be minimal, and they can focus on following the DevOps model for their daily processes.

2. Define DevOps methodology

The aim of the definition stage is to implement a pilot project to define the DevOps methodology coherently. Here, you can introduce some essential tools to familiarise team members with the DevOps process. This stage focuses on trials and errors, where developers find unique ways to comprehend the organisation's DevOps environment.

Related: 16 In-Demand Tech Skills To Have For Technology Careers

3. Increase DevOps adoption rate

The aim of this stage is to improve the adoption rate for DevOps by analysing the lessons that development teams learn from the initial implementation. Focus on the positive results of the pilot project to modify the DevOps phases and align them with the specific requirements of all the teams. The senior project management team can adopt these results based on the scope and expertise of different projects.

4. Measure the efficacy of the DevOps process

The measurement stage is an in-depth analysis of the success of the tools and DevOps processes. During this stage, teams submit their feedback and share the knowledge they have gained while following the principles of DevOps. You can then utilise this information to outline the best DevOps practices and implement them in all teams.

Related: What Is Organisational Development? (Goals And Benefits)

5. Optimise the DevOps methodology

By this stage, you can fully incorporate the DevOps environment into the development and operations process. The project management and development teams can collaborate to streamline the method and further improve the efficiency of the tools and techniques to ensure that DevOps meets their specific requirements. This stage also includes routine maintenance of applications and frequent feedback to address issues and concerns.

Benefits Of DevOps

Here are some key benefits of DevOps for professionals, teams and companies:

  • Communication: An organisation can promote excellent communication between development and IT teams when implementing DevOps. This helps the teams to remain updated with recent developments, collaborate smoothly, exchange ideas and share constructive criticism professionally.

  • Deliverables: DevOps can enhance the performance of teams and help them deliver products to the market quickly. With faster deliverables, teams may also become adept at responding to market trends and customer expectations.

  • Feedback: With faster feedback from clients and customers, teams can promptly make the necessary adjustments to a product before its launch. The improved feedback speed can also help teams to fix the code in a timely manner and incorporate specific client demands.

  • Accountability: Improved backlog management shows the productivity of teams and how accountable they remain towards their responsibilities. With DevOps, an organisation may ensure that the teams accomplish their tasks on time.

  • Efficiency: With DevOps, team members have a better understanding of their tasks, which can improve efficiency and reduce the wastage of resources. DevOps can also help reduce stress by promoting open communication and clarifying expectations.

  • Uptime: With improved team productivity and regular feedback, teams can solve issues with code. As the teams are accomplishing their tasks and fulfilling responsibilities consistently, the code is more likely to have fewer errors, and systems are less likely to experience downtime.

  • Cost: DevOps offers an optimised software development cycle, which may result in a reduction in development costs and improvement in the quality of the final product. With an efficient development cycle, teams can conserve critical resources and allocate them for high-priority tasks.

  • Automation: One of the principal features of DevOps is the automation of tasks, which helps development teams save time, as repetitive jobs get automated. With automation, team members can also direct their efforts towards completing complex tasks requiring specialised skills and incorporating client feedback.

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