Firstly, let's discover what DevOps is and how it can help your company. DevOps is the acronym which comes from «development» and «operation». It is a set of practices that combines software development and IT operations. DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, tools, and practices that can influence the delivery of applications and vastly increase the productivity of IT teams. This methodology works well into Agile teams and particularly originates from Agile methodology. The usage of DevOps provides the opportunity to decrease the production cycle, strengthen the security, and establish a new level of stability inside your infrastructure.
DevOps methodology unites teams and engineers involved during the whole process of development: from development and tests to production. DevOps specialists use technologies and practices that can automate manual processes which always were slow. This technological stack helps DevOps teams operate quickly and reliably. Also, engineers can do some operations independently, while in the classic approach these operations would have required help from other teams. Generally, the DevOps methodology has these advantages:
- speed – high velocity makes it possible to adopt changes, innovation, and approaches faster than before. For example, continuous delivery makes it possible to deliver updates for customers faster.
- security – DevOps methodology provides the opportunity to adopt new security changes without any issues. With infrastructure as a code and policy as code, your team can define policies and scale it.
- rapid delivery – increase the speed of the release process, which lets your team respond to customers needs quicker
- reliability – DevOps services provide the opportunity to control the quality of applications. Continuous development and continuous integration help test changes and monitoring and logging help to control the reliability of the whole infrastructure.
Major challenges in DevOps methodology
Despite all advantages of DevOps methodology, there are some issues when something goes wrong. There are a lot of reasons why something cannot happen as planned, from lack of experience to the use of wrong technologies. However, if you think that DevOps doesn’t work, it is not the reason for rejecting it, it is the reason for a deep and thorough inspection of the processes in the company.
Lack of experienceOne of the reasons why DevOps does not do what it has to is a lack of experience. Unqualified specialists cannot create a smooth and reliable process. Also, if an inexperienced person comes to administrate a working environment it will be difficult for them to solve new issues. That is why the DevOps approach required skilled staff. But DevOps engineers have to have not only an understanding of tools and software but also a special mindset and a deep understanding of infrastructure. This person has to have not only a developer-oriented mind but also has to be a good system administrator. DevOps methodology allows increasing the productivity of the whole team, but it requires appropriate experience. Besides the proficiency of the staff, it is important to consider the quantity of the DevOps team.
Lack of peopleIt is another problem that can lead to malfunctions in the DevOps process. It depends on the scale but not always one person can cover all spectrum of DevOps tasks. Lack of personnel can lead to serious malfunctions and when something goes wrong, a small team cannot always manage all tasks in time. From time to time this team can manage problems, but when it comes to installing new services or expanding infrastructure, delays can appear. In particular cases, it is possible one person can support large and complex infrastructures. For architects and chief managers, it is crucial to estimate the number of tasks and hire appropriate personnel. For example, for a significant amount of small tasks, it would be better to hire two middle specialists rather than one senior engineer.
Fast technological progressWhen the DevOps approach formed as a full-fledged methodology there were several technologies for basic operations like logging, monitoring, and alerting. But when it became more popular a lot of companies started to add their products with new functions. They were simpler, faster, and functionally more advanced. Modern DevOps technological stack uses a lot of products both open source and proprietary code.
Specialists who do not follow trends and new approaches can lose productivity and security. Good DevOps specialists have to always discover new approaches and technologies. This will lead to the use of actual and productive tools, which can increase the productivity of the whole company.
My old approach is working, why should I change it?There can be a situation when an old approach is working and senior management does not want to change it. This type of project management can lead to productivity and financial loss. Because when the old approach was implemented it was actual and good, but technologies became more advanced and when old software can do one thing at a time, new software can do several things at a time. If the company does not like to change old methodology, it will lose the opportunity for increasing productivity. Meanwhile, competitors will use this as the point of growth. They will implement an actual approach and receive a more productive pipeline or stable infrastructure.
Inaccurate tasks from managers or team membersManagement can influence on the DevOps team and their productivity. If a manager does not plan what he is going to assign, do not tell the details of the task, the specialist will have a lot of questions. as a result the productivity will decrease, missed deadlines can appear, or unacceptable downtime of the services. To prevent this, managers have to make some adjustments before assigning a task. We create an article with advice on how to set tasks more effectively.
Problem with interactions between teams or departmentsIn big companies, where departments can be autonomous, can appear problems and misunderstandings. The problem can appear when one team or department wants to accomplish its goals despite the fact, that another team still do not ready. Or this type of situation can appear when two project managers cannot find common ground. If this happens the work of the two departments will be disrupted. To prevent this, managers have to plan actions, communicate with other teams, and support each other in case of emergency.
Unidentified release/deployment processesUnidentified release and deployment processes influence the whole IT team. This factor leads to increasing the number of mistakes, and their frequency. As a result team works less productive and customers are less satisfied. Reasons for unidentified release/deployment processes are in people, technologies, or communication. Communication inside teams and within departments play a critical role in the development of an application. Established processes inside a team will decrease the time to market, and, as a result, customer satisfaction. To fix this problem, a project manager has to communicate with a team, control every stage of the development process and solve emerged issues.
To conclude, DevOps is the type of methodology, set of practices, and approaches that aim at the optimization of the software development cycle and increasing the productivity of IT teams. DevOps methodology unites teams and creates a stable workflow: from the development of an app to deployment and support. This approach has several advantages such as speed, security, reliability, and others. But DevOps requires a thorough and qualified approach or it would not work. As a result, the company will spend money but will not receive results. The reasons why DevOps does not do what it has to do is lack of experience, lack of people, fast technological progress, unwillingness to change old approaches, or misunderstanding of managers. These problems can lead to spending a significant sum of money without receiving any positive outcome. To solve these problems senior management has to thoroughly develop a working plan, distribute efforts, and hire qualified staff. DevOps specialists can rapidly increase the productivity of the team, but they cannot do it alone; they require the efforts of the whole team.
If you have problems with your DevOps department, or you think that this approach is not to work in your company, you can contact us and we will try to solve the issue or even schedule the call to take your case.