DevOps (a combination of development and operations) has become mainstream in the last few years. Most major companies have adopted or are now adopting DevOps for their projects. There are plenty of reasons for implementing a DevOps strategy but one stands out: according to a Serverside report, DevOps oriented teams spend 60% less time on support than traditional teams.
But adopting DevOps is challenging. Since it’s an integration of two domains, it has its own set of cultural and developmental concerns. You need to create a roadmap for DevOps, keeping in mind your infrastructure, resources, and priorities and consider all the potential challenges if you’re to succeed. It’s not easy, but you’ll be better prepared if you take the following DevOps challenges into account.
1. Attachment to Traditional Approaches
To apply the DevOps strategy in any organization, you first have to change the organization’s thinking regarding DevOps. Most developers, support staff, and admins are used to a particular type of work culture. They don’t see the importance of changing their processes and techniques. That doesn’t happen with developers alone – sometimes even executives and managers are reluctant to change.
The solution is to focus on shared goals. For instance, you have to make all teams understand what exactly you are working for. You have to use communication techniques to facilitate the flow of information and make them understand your overall objective.
DevOps is a synergy of different teams working together. You have to change their way of thinking. You also have to change your developers’ mentality of making and committing changes as fast as possible. Similarly, you also have to change your support team mentality of 100% service at all times.
2. No Plan for DevOps
DevOps is a relatively new concept. Many companies are still struggling with the notion. They still have doubts about how to adopt it, its limitations, the infrastructure requirements, and many other things. What’s more – it’s difficult to integrate different teams through DevOps, especially if you don’t have a clear plan or strategy for execution. You might also have process-oriented challenges.
The solution is to create a solid plan for DevOps within an overall regulation strategy. The plan implementation has to be gradual. You might have to hire a software engineer with a specialization in DevOps. And you have to understand that DevOps won’t reduce the project cost drastically. Instead, it will help to reduce overheads and make development easier and scalable.
3. Replacing Tools
There are so many different tools a company uses for testing and deployment. And developers, support staff, executives are accustomed to those. Introducing new tools can be difficult. Your team might be reluctant to use them. Even if they do, they might not pick them up efficiently. And since many teams have to work with a single tool, it might create productivity and bottleneck issues.
To solve this, you can use automation to pipeline your work. You can automate all the time-consuming and repetitive tasks. And you can automate your pipeline for tools that affect different domains. Integrating tools can be tough, but not if you streamline the workload and communicate between teams.
4. Legacy Systems
Many companies are still using legacy systems that have performance and complexity issues. They have higher loading times and stability problems. One other problem is a lack of support both in terms of tools and talent.
To tackle this, you can use DevOps microservices. This approach is called infrastructure as a code. Through this, you can use cost-effective solutions, the latest hardware and software, and microservices to easily build and deploy applications. It also helps you adapt to the market changes.
5. Security Requirements
DevOps means you have to deal with new tools and services with their security standards. Also, DevOps works by automating different parts of the pipelines, which means that you might have problems with the exposure of secret keys or infrastructure misconfiguration if you’re not careful. You also have to deal with private information and who it is shared to.
To counter this problem, you can hire dedicated security experts who understand DevOps development strategies. They will set up security for your team members, based on their credentials and type of security clearance. You can also invest in secure infrastructure and adopt best practices. Some companies use the DevSecOps model and automate their security process and tools to remove human interaction. They also conduct regular tests such as vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, etc.
6. DevOps Metrics Adoption
Many times, you won’t know if your DevOps strategy is working or not. There may be many reasons why you aren’t able to achieve your DevOps goals. You may have collaboration challenges, integration challenges, or unrealistic expectations. Or you might also have problems with gauging the success of DevOps.
To fully understand if your strategy is working or not, it’s better to focus on a few specific metrics that define your DevOps success. These metrics are speed, work in progress, efficiency, resource allocation, and throughput. Having set goals is a good starting point for any manager who wishes to understand how a project progresses.
Changing your current software development approach to DevOps can be difficult. You might face some pushback from people in your department as well as from those in management. Also, DevOps implementations may have collaboration and efficiency challenges if not executed properly.
But when done right, DevOps adaptation can be one of the best decisions you can take as an IT business manager. It improves the overall speed and efficiency of the project and enhances communication. Also, DevOps is now adapting itself to market needs. These days you can handle cloud and IoT applications through DevOps.
So it’s better to start focusing your resources and time on DevOps techniques as soon as possible. You may have a few challenges in the beginning, but the overall result is excellent.
Interesting related article: “Metrics to improve your marketing strategies.”