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Why So Many Businesses Are Failing With DevOps

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Although the DevOps concept is just a decade old, the philosophy has found its way into the offices of corporations around the world—and especially among newer businesses and startups. DevOps isn’t just a singular notion; it’s a philosophy and culture movement built upon the foundation that companies should have processes in place to integrate communication between development and operations team. 

The overarching goal is to deliver quicker, and in a more secure way. DevOps tools are designed to automate many of the processes involved in development work. Today, there are even platforms like JFrog that help businesses run a fully automated DevOps pipeline from code to production. Overall, you’ll benefit from better company culture, a higher level of transparency, and quicker deliverables. 

Since DevOps hit the scene, many companies have attempted to nix their traditional, siloed approach to development in favor of this trending, integrated approach. And while big businesses like Amazon and Netflix are succeeding with DevOps, other companies are still strongly to bring it into their organizations. Here’s why: 

Fear of Change

The development world is experiencing a major culture shift, but for many organizations and developers, this level of change is scary. This is especially true for software businesses that have been around for quite some time. They trust their processes, and are accustomed to running the business a certain way. However, it’s important to understand that businesses that don’t adopt and embrace new technology will quickly find themselves left behind in the dust of their tech-savvy competitors. 

Fear of change is normal, but it’s important to address those fears head on—particularly when the future of the company depends upon it. This might mean you have to do some restructuring and hire leaders who understand DevOps and can facilitate its integration. Businesses should be careful not to move too quickly, which can cause further unrest as employees across different departments struggle to learn and catch up. 

Not Focusing on Building DevOps Architecture 

One of the biggest reasons companies fail with DevOps is because they don’t set up the technology and processes that fuel it correctly. DevOps is about much more than a mindset centered around conjoining business operations. You’ll also need the tools in place to carry your goals through. Many companies believe that if they start investing in technology that aligns with DevOps, they can simply push code quicker right away. This isn’t the case. Like anything else, you have to build your foundation before it can hold anything at all. 

While the goal of DevOps is to shorten development lifecycles, spearheading DevOps for the first time requires you to take a step back and slow down. Analyze areas of your workflow and identify bottlenecks and communication gaps. From here, you can decide which tools contribute to solutions. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” The same concept can be applied to DevOps. Even the strongest man would have trouble chopping a tree with a dull ax. Similarly, put in the necessary steps to ensure you have the proper workflows in place to progress. 

Not Treating It Like a Product

As previously mentioned, a foundation is necessary to propel with DevOps successfully. It helps to treat DevOps implementation just as you would a product build. First thing’s first: you need a road map. A big bang approach can quickly spiral out of control. With a detailed pipeline and micro steps, you’re less likely to run into issues or overburden your team. 

For example, you might break down your DevOps goals by quarter. In one quarter, you might focus on shifting company culture and preparing the organization for what’s to come. In the next, you might integrate database administrators into the DevOps process. After that, you’ll focus on the technology necessary to automate your deployments. 

Failing to Measure

Any time you start a new project or goal, there needs to be a method in place for measuring progress. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you should measure your starting weight and come back to compare new results. But it’s not just about the starting and ending numbers: everything in between matters, too. Creating SMART goals is crucial here. Do you want to push applications to the frontline quicker? Improve code quality? Reduce the amount of bug fixes? These are all metrics you should be able to come back to later on to determine how DevOps played a role in those goals. Understanding where your successes are also motivates you to continue on.