How to drive impact and change via DevOps

Increased demand for digital services is making it harder than ever for businesses to architect solutions that consistently deliver outstanding experiences and adjust to new trends. These days, this can include anything from a productivity app to an AI-powered insurance claims chatbot or a multi-platform banking portal.

In order to keep producing quality software applications and services at speed and scale, organisations need to adopt a DevOps approach. DevOps combines the practise of software development and IT operations, allowing organisations to build, test and design high value applications and services. This helps businesses deliver new and innovative products to customers faster. By combining DevOps with improved data capabilities, businesses can also capitalise on real-time analytics such as app usage, popular features and bottlenecks.

The principles of DevOps

At its core, the DevOps approach provides three fundamental principles: speeding up time to market, simplifying development of new features and reducing costs associated with development. This approach enables technical staff to dedicate their time to the activity that truly matters to the business. As a result, developers can launch apps and features faster, while providing a higher quality of service to stakeholders, such as easier access to data for internal staff or a new digital service for customers.

By utilising a continuous feedback loop, it enables companies to test changes to applications, get faster feedback and ensure that the new development provides benefits to all stakeholders – whether staff using the app to increase productivity or customers who want improved access to services. It also means that developers can focus on adding new features as and when needed, and easily update the app or service to continue to offer a high quality of service to users.

This constant feedback loop also enables developers to detect issues early in the development cycle and fix them with fewer iterations compared to a more traditional approach to software development. This enables companies to reduce time and budget spent in fixing bugs once the app is launched, avoid service disruption and – in the worst-case scenario – reputational damage to the company. By making apps cheaper and more reliable to develop, a DevOps approach improves the overall quality of the development process. This enables businesses to deliver more with less – and offer experiences that exceed their audience’s expectations.

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This month, Information Age has been exploring DevOps: the practice that combines software development and IT operations to speed up the delivery lifecycle, while improving quality. Here, we provide the ultimate guide. Read here

Quality first

DevOps puts a focal point on digital transformation, enabling businesses to get on the front foot and rapidly implement technical change to meet evolving needs. Yet, this need for speed can often lead companies to jump straight into the implementation phase instead of planning their strategy efficiently. To avoid this pitfall, companies must ensure they put quality at the heart of any digital transformation project.

Finding the right partner to implement DevOps and develop new software is critical for any digital transformation project. Companies who want to adopt a DevOps approach to digital transformation need to ensure they choose a partner that has the technical expertise required to deliver a project that responds to the company’s objectives. In addition to this, a quality partner must be able to identify challenges ahead of time and understand how to comply with the industry and the government’s regulations – be it around data management, quality of service or cyber security risks associated with the project.

As the rate of innovation speeds up further, consumer and worker expectations for digital services will continue to increase. Adopting a quality engineering perspective to DevOps will allow businesses to ensure any project they embark on will not only be innovative and deliver the right results for the right audience. It also enables businesses to do more with less – and ultimately be ready to tackle any challenge before it arises, now and in the future.

Written by Stephen Magennis, managing director for Expleo Group (UK Technology)

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