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Getting Started with DevOps

Author: Tom Moore | | September 16, 2021


The fundamental premise of the DevOps strategy is to streamline software development processes while ensuring application stability and speeding development cycles. By pursuing the strategy, organizational departments share app design and development responsibilities to build better workflows, improve operations, and reduce costs.

In 2018, Microsoft designed its Azure DevOps suite of crowd-hosted services to facilitate application and software development on any platform, using any language, using both public and private artifacts, and offering unlimited private Git repositories. As an extra enticement, Azure’s testing features include planned and exploratory options, allowing you to capture data as you discover errors, test across desktop and web-based environments, and trace quality and execution from end-to-end.

Why DevOps?

The DevOps application development strategy continues to grow in importance, especially as the world evaluates its contribution to keeping corporate doors open during and after the COVID-19 crisis. That pandemic revealed how DevOps investments facilitated the swift transition to a new way of doing business. In many cases, the programming developed through DevOps strategies enabled the pivot from on-site to online operations almost overnight, speeding the delivery cycles in response to higher demand and with significantly more efficiency due to lower software failure rates.

Looking ahead, DevOps gains even more importance as a contributor to corporate success. Forbes recently remarked on just a few of the benefits the DevOps strategy offers for 2021 and beyond:

  • The DevOps attention to the software development lifecycle has the potential to prevent up to 80 percent of production outages due to incorrectly planned IT changes. That alone can save millions of dollars a year in unnecessary downtime costs.
  • Workflow orchestration facilitates application and service cycle times by as much as three times, hastening speed to market, lowering operating costs, and improving customer service.
  • Enhanced collaboration across sales, development, IT, operations, and finance improves corporate communications, averts unnecessary errors, and assists with meeting compliance obligations.

In short, the business case for DevOps gets stronger every year, underscoring the role it will play in successful enterprise endeavors in the future.

Why Azure DevOps?

Short answer: Because Microsoft. The global leader in technology innovation continues to issue cutting-edge, high-quality, well-thought-out solutions to virtually all corporate concerns as they arise in the workplace and around the world.

Long answer: As a strategy, DevOps facilitates flexible, innovative app development practices that are customizable by every organization depending on its unique needs and specifications. As a tool kit, the Azure DevOps suite offers the best tools available to complete DevOps projects because they can be used on any platform and provide access to the broadest possible range of assets. Using Azure DevOps tools, corporate DevOps teams can clarify the concern, identify how it impacts the enterprise, and develop/test/deploy a solution that reduces the issue while improving productivity.

Getting Started with Azure DevOps

Fundamentally, pursuing a DevOps strategy embraces a new way of thinking about how to use technology. Rather than designing apps around ‘functions,’ DevOps organizes digital resources around ‘services’ so that each element of every service is carefully integrated seamlessly into the whole. That thought process also requires a re-thinking of the existing structure of the enterprise and how it might need revamping before the DevOps migration can occur. Ergo, adopting the Azure DevOps tools requires an initial assessment of your organization’s structure to determine what needs to be changed before an actual adoption can begin.

A few preliminary considerations on your part will jump-start the conversation with your Azure DevOps provider:

Is the organization culturally prepared for the DevOps experience?

By definition, ‘DevOps’ is a team exercise. Team members should be embedded in departments across the company to ensure that every aspect of the app build encompasses all relevant business elements. Each member should also bring a flexible attitude to the work. The constant evolution of business and market demands impact the development process, and members must pivot as those demands change. Not least significant is leadership’s attitude. Organizations with strict top-down decision flows will be challenged by the collaborative nature of the DevOps process.

Is there a development mindset or process already in place?

One sign that your company is moving in the right direction is that it already has a team approach to identifying and resolving issues. Whatever process that team follows should be a good foundation for building a standardized set of app development procedures. From the DevOps perspective, you’re looking for a ‘continuous everything’ thought process, meaning that each element of the app design and build system – integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, etc. – is considered continuously as the build evolves.

Does the organization’s technology need upgrading to ensure full engagement with DevOps tools?

Speed to delivery of functional, error-free apps is the fundamental purpose of the DevOps system. Many legacy software programs and tools aren’t designed to mesh with the cutting-edge programming of DevOps tools. An optimized tech configuration includes container-based delivery capacities, immutable infrastructure blocks, and a dynamic environment configuration to reduce testing bottlenecks.

A considered culture, honed processes, and optimized tools lay the foundation for the Azure DevOps adventure to begin. Once your system is fully engaged, your enterprise will quickly reap the benefits of its focus:

  • Incremental value delivery ensures that specific aspects of each workflow are efficient and integrated before building on the next iteration.
  • Incremental iterations also enhance flow optimization, so the function of the overarching app flows seamlessly from end to end.
  • DevOps automated testing also improves both the speed of delivery and efficiency. Delegating rote and routine tasks to the software ensures accuracy with each transaction while freeing human assets to focus on more critical corporate concerns.
  • Built-in measuring capacities capture data as it is generated, facilitating continuous measurement of function, efficiency, outputs, and outcomes. The emerging data set provides a foundation for decision-making, corporate investments, market development, and other critical company goals.
  • Adopting the Azure DevOps strategy as a corporate cultural foundation also ensures that the organization will enjoy continuous improvement over time. The process facilitates speedy pivots in new directions based on incoming data, market fluctuations, environmental developments, and more.

Additional DevOps Considerations

Microsoft released Azure DevOps Server in 2019 and continues to innovate the Azure DevOps suite of products.

Datavail’s Azure consultants can help you engage all the magic of Azure DevOps to improve your apps, workflows, functions, and productivity. For more information, download our white paper, “Are We There Yet? Your Guide to Modern Application Development.” Also, contact our experts today to learn how we can help you with your DevOps initiatives.

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