This strategy accelerates time-to-market when it matters most

The COVID-19 digital rush 

The pandemic has forced almost everybody to go digital. Businesses are hustling to launch their latest and greatest innovative products and features. Innovation is not just about ideation, but also about proper execution. A faulty release of a great idea can drive a business down a dark road, but a successful launch can crush the market!

Promises have been made 

Your marketing team has already started campaigning and announcing the launch date. The new app version includes several features that customers have been asking for, improvements on UX, and a couple of bug fixes. Customer response and anticipation has been positive. It’s a race against the clock to meet critical deadlines.

Releasing software features is no walk in the park

Launch day comes and deployment procedures begin, but it’s taking more hours than planned because all steps are done manually. Dev teams begin to find bugs along the way due to environment differences, unfinished testing in QA environments, unplanned scenarios, you name it. The only way out is to fix the bugs directly in production, which presumably doesn’t involve a full set of tests (unit tests, integration tests, regression tests, penetration tests). The Dev team needs to push the hotfix because they have a launch date to meet, but operations wants a stable environment and doesn’t want to force the release.

Customer support is flying blind

Customers start flooding your support team calling in errors, and operations is in the dark because the new features don’t log enough information to understand where the errors are coming from, thus they resort to relying on customers explaining step by step what they did to try and reproduce the error. Should you rollback? How long is that going to take? Is there even a rollback plan? A quick glance around the IT room and the ambiance is heavy.

Technical debt

The team is tired and unmotivated, wishing they had some time to tackle some of the technical debt they have accumulated, but there is no time to go back and fix the past. Competition is fierce and business needs to keep moving forward.

What does technical debt even mean?

The best analogy I’ve seen for tech debt, and I hope your old enough to understand the reference, is Tetris.

Photo: Pajitnov, Alexey Leonidovich ©The Tetris Company

Photo: Pajitnov, Alexey Leonidovich ©The Tetris Company

Tetris is a game that keeps going as long as you don’t accumulate so many faulty lines that you run out of space on the screen. This is just like your business, which will probably keep going until you make so many mistakes you just can’t keep up with the market pace or your customers give up on you. Tech debt are those gaps you were unwilling or unable to fill because you had to sacrifice for something you thought was a juicier option. Quick wins can come back and haunt you. You can read the full Tetris analogy here.

If you’ve ever heard of The Project Triangle (time, money, scope), and you’ve had a project manager that won’t sacrifice time, ask for more money, or limit the scope, you understand that the fourth hidden factor that is typically sacrificed, is quality. And thus tech debt was born.

Trade in your old software delivery cycle, adopt DevOps

Launch days don’t have to be so stressful. Your software pipeline and infrastructure can be automated and easily replicated across environments using a variety of tools, including cloud computing. Copy & paste anyone?

This means freeing up about 29% of your teams’ time. That’s like getting three and a half more months of the year to work on… say technical debt, or letting the team take a few courses to learn AI, machine learning, migrating monoliths to microservices, or whatever it is your business needs. Not to mention, happier employees that aren’t burnt out from a doomed and outdated Software Delivery Cycle (SDC).

So what is DevOps?

DevOps is a movement started in 2009 that is focused on work culture, processes, and tools which help accomplish business needs in terms of speed and stability. It’s a complement to Agile that allows teams to respond to changes quicker and complete a full SDC in less time. Ever wondered how Faangs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Spotify) are able to deploy multiple times per day so seamlessly?

The word itself is a combination of “development” and “operations,” which reflects the idea of unifying departments and aligning objectives within a company. After all, if a crew rows the boat in the same direction, they will glide with momentum towards the finish line.

How do I start with DevOps?

You can get an assessment with a Softtek certified SAFe DevOps Practitioner to see where DevOps can benefit your business most. Visit our page at: https://www.softtek.com/digital/devops

 

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