Tough times call for tough decisions. 

Cliché as it may sound; the above line is not farther from the truth. 

COVID-19 has forced companies to mandate work from home for all the employees. This has hit product companies badly as deliveries have slowed down due to distancing and teams working in silos. 

However, there is a silver lining. Companies that were only considering digital transformation until a few months ago are scurrying around to transform themselves to meet customer needs. A case in point – DevOps.

 The pandemic has compelled companies to consider using DevOps practices and automation tools to ramp up their deliveries. 

 What is DevOps?

DevOps is a practice where the software development and IT operation teams collaborate to speed up the process of taking an idea from development to deployment by using automation tools. 

DevOps offers various benefits to companies.

  • It improves the delivery time. Automation, quick feedback, continuous delivery and integration make the development process faster and more efficient.
  • It enables companies to improve their products continuously. So, it could be fixing bugs or implementing new features demanded by end-users. The objective is to offer customers value continuously.
  • It saves the time and resources of the company as there is minimal scope for miscommunication or misinterpretation. It also safeguards the company from unnecessary capital expenditure by reducing wastage.

DevOps has dominated board room and conference discussions for a long time. 

Large and nimble-footed mid-sized enterprises have implemented it and benefitted from it. Now it’s time for other companies to follow suit.

Why Have Companies Fast-Tracked Their DevOps Adoption?

 Remote working

The most obvious reason is remote working.

No one knows for sure when companies will start normal operations again. Until then, people will continue to work remotely. In fact, companies are already seeing an opportunity to save costs and increase productivity in remote working. Many of them are seriously considering continuing it post-lockdown. 

Read: The Post COVID Era Will Be One Of Remote (Or Distributed) Talent

However, remote working comes with its own set of challenges. A report by McKinsey suggests that remote teams may develop a poor quality of software. This could be due to a lack of coordination and proper tools and processes in place. 

That’s where DevOps comes to rescue. 

DevOps is a perfect fit for remote teams. In fact, one can define it as a practice specifically designed for remote teams.

DevOps leverages automated tools and cloud services. So, irrespective of whether the teams work in an office or from home, the work can continue as usual. 

Impact on delivery

Another reason for its increased popularity is the impact on delivery.

Despite the growing popularity of agile methods and DevOps, several companies were still working on-premise and within the firewall.

With remote working extending for a longer period, companies have no choice but to transform quickly to avoid further impact on delivery. They have to shift from using a private on-premise network to using secure cloud services.

The CI/CD approach of DevOps has made it possible for companies to adhere to their delivery timelines and continue with the tasks despite different teams in a distributed manner. 

Pressure to innovate and stay ahead of the curve

The pandemic has intensified the pressure on product companies to constantly innovate and offer new solutions or improvements to existing solutions to address customer pain points. Companies are trying to stay a step ahead of their competitors by accelerating the speed of go-to-market. The only way to keep pace with the speed is by using DevOps. 

DevOps compels the various teams to automate processes and work together using collaborative tools. This makes it easier to launch products faster and make improvements to it continuously based on customer feedback. It not only helps the teams to fail fast, learn better, and improve; but also adds value to customer experience. In an uncertain condition, a happy customer is a major win for the business.

Of course, migrating from legacy tools and redundant practices of software development to DevOps is tough. In some cases, it might require a complete overhaul of systems, skills, and processes. However, it is doable. All that a company requires apart from the right tools and practices is the willingness to transform.  

How To Begin on the Journey of DevOps Implementation

Although transformation may not be immediate, taking the first step is important. Looking at the current situation of uncertainty, now seems to be the right time to transform. 

 Here’s how companies can begin on the journey of DevOps.

  • Strategize: Drawing up a strategy is the first step towards DevOps implementation. It is important because it involves significant decision-making. Being clear about the roadmap and understanding how DevOps will help in the larger scheme of things will help companies to transition seamlessly.
  • Align the people to the new culture: DevOps implementation calls for minor or major changes in processes, tools and technology, as well as company culture. Hence, companies must ensure that every employee is prepared for it. Training is essential to ensure the smooth completion of tasks.
  • Do a pilot project: Not confident if DevOps will work for the company? How about starting with small projects? This will help the teams to learn from mistakes and implement their learning on bigger projects.
  • Measure its impact: Measure the impact of DevOps to ensure that it benefits the teams and customers, and generates the desired ROI. 

At Benchmark, we have helped several global companies release hundreds of versions of their products using streamlined product development processes. Want to know more? Let’s connect.