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Top 5 Agile DevOps Benefits and Best Practices: Write Code From Day One

Agile methodologies have taken the DevOps world by storm in recent years, and it’s not surprising why. There are many DevOps benefits to be had from developers using agile methods.

Agile development has many DevOps benefits that increase business value, and this is backed by hard data. Research published in the book, Business Value of Agile Software Methods by Dr. David F. Rico, has shown that following this strategy has saved companies up to 30% in costs, improved delivery schedules by over 70%, and saw software developers and systems operatives yield a productivity rate nearly 10 times as high as other similar set-ups. 

How can this be possible? Is it realistic to expect a DevOps engineer to be writing code and developing cloud infrastructure at this rate? We find that it is possible as long as the methodology used is based on core agile principles.

One of the major struggles modern companies have is fragmented communication, which gets in the way of effective coding from day one. Companies often suffer from pain points that see DevOps, managers, and other project stakeholders butting heads about key decisions and drawing out the process of getting to market. The best way to overcome these common challenges is to adopt agile principles for DevOps and let the benefits manifest themselves. 

agile devops benefits

Top 5 DevOps Benefits For Growing Businesses

Agile methodologies in otherwise traditional processes can lead to multiple DevOps benefits that can be used from the first day, such as:

1. Faster App Deployment

One of the main principles of agile is continuous and iterative delivery. The 2020 State of DevOps report shows that DevOps teams working according to agile strategies deploy code at a higher rate than non-agile teams, deploying multiple times a day versus once a week or a few times a month. For managers and project stakeholders, this means maximum and consistent output that will improve profitability and growth as a result. How you may ask? By ensuring the speed to market is accelerated, that products are highly stable and that customer satisfaction is kept high.

2. Faster Recovery From Incidents

For any company worth their salt in the tech world, incidents like downtime are crucial issues that can affect profitability and customer loyalty. With agile developer teams, change failure rates and other incidents are significantly lower and products are decidedly more stable. Rather than them taking days or weeks to fix amid an impatient customer base, any incidents that do pop up are quickly identified, isolated, and fixed in a seamless and continuous manner thanks to automated monitoring 

3. Increased Innovation

The business technology world is highly competitive. For some companies, it’s all about being at the forefront of the next big thing. Agile methodologies resolve common bottlenecks and allow companies to focus their efforts on innovation and new releases instead of getting bogged down in long development cycles that tend to stifle creativity.

4. Lower Manual Costs Through Automation

Agile development teams can significantly reduce operational costs by implementing automation where possible. Top-performing DevOps teams are more likely to reuse deployment patterns when building services or applications, reducing the overall time spent on development, thus allowing more time to focus on improving the quality of the application or product. The same approach can often be applied to configuration management and testing, where almost a third of these processes can be automated.

5. Improved Customer Experience

Agile development methodologies have been especially good for the customer experience. Continuous delivery means there are constantly new technologies and features being brought to customers with minimized downtimes, creating strong reasons for new and existing users to stay instead of taking their business elsewhere. 

Best Practices To Reap DevOps Benefits

There are several ways to make sure that the full agile DevOps benefits are being realized. These best practices are what is necessary for most businesses if continued growth is to be achieved. 

Best Practice #1: Automate Release Management With CI/CD

The first best practice is to automate release management with CI/CD. CI and CD form the backbone of modern DevOps practices: continuous integration (CI) practices where DevOps engineers make multiple repository integrations per day, and continuous development (CD) where developers deliver software releases to production. CI/CD in harmony with automation techniques is the key to success here.

Best Practice #2: Collaborate and Communicate!

Then, there are the principles of collaboration and communication. This can be between DevOps themselves, DevOps and management, or management and stakeholders. For the company to get those full DevOps benefits, there has to be a culture of working together and clear ways to discuss new ideas and potential issues.

Best Practice #3: Automate Provisioning And Configuring With Infrastructure As Code

Third on the list is taking the time to automate provisioning and configuring with Infrastructure as Code (IaC). IaC is the process of provisioning and configuring development environments by code instead of doing them manually. 

Enabling teams to benefit from automatic IT setups, using IaC helps them quickly and effectively handle testing and create any infrastructure component they need. This makes setting up IT environments less expensive and maintaining code easier. 

Effectively, IaC changes how servers, databases, and network structures are approached — more like software rather than hard entities. This means that by quickly and consistently configuring and deploying these infrastructures, IaC deployments are repeatable which holds many other advantages.

Best Practice #4: Standardized Containers To Isolate Runtime Environments And Drive Microservices

Then there is the process of standardizing containers to isolate runtime environments and drive microservices. Also sometimes described as the ‘microservice revolution’, containerization helps DevOps teams create and deploy applications both quickly and securely. This makes software more portable, operating systems more lightweight, and ensures that faults remain isolated from each other. 

Best Practice #5: Monitoring DevOps Pipelines And Applications

Lastly, there is the practice of monitoring DevOps pipelines and applications. Being able to monitor different aspects of the product and having increased awareness throughout every stage of the pipeline cannot be underestimated. Monitoring can be a tricky subject: deciding what needs to be monitored and how can be a challenge, but this exercise holds a lot of business value. 

For developers to draw from these DevOps benefits and write code from day one, it’s essential to have agile methodologies in place. Agile DevOps has many distinct advantages for companies looking to improve their team collaboration, reduce operational costs, and move towards continuous development, integration, and delivery. 

Data has shown that agile DevOps teams are able to create more code with fewer errors and downtime. This is not only good for the company but also beneficial for their customers. 
Looking to take your DevOps project to the next level? Take a look at our professional DevOps services and site reliability engineering options.

December 10, 2020

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