Are you ready to speed up the time it takes to go from an idea to a delivered system? How about being able to automate more of your development processes? Or increase quality while reducing risk? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you and your agency are ready for DevOps.
But what exactly is DevOps? In short, it’s everyone working together, treating everything as code, iteratively developing and automating everything—continuously. The hallmarks of DevOps are:
- Projects are broken into small chunks and implemented iteratively, allowing agencies to re-prioritize and make changes at any point in the process as end-user or mission needs change.
- Stakeholders are involved throughout the process and user metrics are continuously evaluated, accounting for the needs of every group.
- The process is automated, so frequent changes can reach users quickly—sometimes within minutes.
- All the disciplines are working together, significantly reducing risk and increasing quality.
DevOps relies heavily upon close collaboration between IT and the app development teams. However, some agencies have pursued DevOps hoping it will allow the app team to work completely independent of the IT team in order to avoid any obstacles. This is the perfect scenario of how NOT to employ DevOps. Approaching DevOps in this way not only won’t accomplish that goal, it completely ignores what makes DevOps so valuable.
DevOps provides much higher quality, as well as lower risk in the development and deployment of your systems and digital services. There’s a substantial time savings, as well.
Instead of months, you can roll something out as quickly as a matter of minutes. You also have insights from incredibly robust and actionable metrics, which help you stay on top of the behaviors and demands of your stakeholders and constituents. And when you apply those insights through the nimble processes of DevOps, you’re more adaptable and responsive to the needs of citizens and constituents, thereby keeping them the primary focus of your systems.
The process of moving to DevOps requires some initial investment in order to put the tools in place and manage them, but it’s greatly outweighed by the long-term cost savings, flexibility, and invaluable insights it provides. Once implemented, your developers will also be happier with the ability to respond to changing needs quickly with no traditional constraints. The whole process ensures an incredibly high-quality product.
If your agency is ready to move forward with DevOps, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do it for the right reasons—not to avoid collaboration, but to enhance it.
- Be prepared to leverage all the wonderful data and metrics you’ll gain from this new environment. The actionable data it provides will make your entire service more valuable.
- Consider how you build your DevOps team. Partner with federal experts who know how to help agencies move from more traditional software development lifecycles into DevOps. A great partner can help with culture and change management, bridging teams and putting the necessary governance in place.
- Realize that it’s okay to move in stages—from Agile, to Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery and Deployment (CI/CD), and eventually to DevOps. They’re all building blocks and great improvements over traditional waterfall development.
With Aquilent’s considerable experience and position as a leader in both Cloud and digital services in the federal government space, we can help you explore how to make DevOps work for you.