Over the past decade, DevOps, which combines software development and IT operations, has dramatically changed from a developer-led trend to a top strategic priority. Faster releases are no longer the only goal; agility, resilience, and optimum business performance are equally important
While there’s talk of DevOps losing relevance, the signs are there that it's still going strong. Both DevOps software development and DevOps consulting services are evolving to provide benefits beyond their original purpose.
An introduction to DevOps – Past, present and future
Lachlan Gepp, Senior Cloud Engineer at Idea 11 is confident that DevOps services are still in high demand but will look very different within the next decade. He says, “Based on what I’ve seen in the IT businesses I’ve worked with, DevOps is thriving, and DevOps tools, platforms and services are being adopted with lots of enthusiasm.”
“Actually, as DevOps is integrated into an organisation and becomes part of its culture, it might seem to be obsolete when in reality it's just becoming a natural part of the workflow."
Lachlan believes that by enabling a DevOps culture and building the tools to support it, it can be incorporated into the software development practices of the future.
“The logical successors of DevOps are the new platforms, services, and automations it creates, and these will be what eventually take the lead,” he adds
DevOps has evolved beyond a buzzword
The DevOps delivery model guides Idea 11’s basic methodology as a service provider. IT and operations teams are guided to work together as one unit, to push through the traditional challenges of siloed teams and become more agile and innovative within the business.
Lachlan explains that, traditionally, software development was structured around month-to-month release cycles and solutions getting pushed to production in a big chunk. When things went wrong, revisions were rolled back until the next cycle
DevOps was introduced to overcome the inflexibility of this approach. And it has continued to evolve since then, he says.
“The difference between traditional DevOps and the DevOps of 2023 is mainly in the availability of “plug and play” solutions,” he says. “We still have to set something up for the first time, but once we’ve done that, the automations kick in and we’re off and running. We don’t have to keep building things.”
“The new DevOps culture is based on being way less risk averse. It’s about working in smaller chunks and adopting a fail-fast approach. If something goes wrong with one piece, it’s removed and redeveloped instead of the entire process coming to a halt."
How DevOps consulting services solve key IT challenges
Idea 11 helps SMEs and large businesses use DevOps as part of their software development lifecycle.
“Many of them are used to working with traditional development methods, writing scripts, and pushing code. In this case, the major challenge is going from manual processes to being fully automated with minimal need for intervention. Being able to just click a button and have a solution deployed,” Lachlan says.
As well, there’s the issue of access management, when organisations require an access request to go through multiple parties to be approved.
“Then there are the businesses that are further along the road with DevOps and want to be better at it. An example is a larger, enterprise business that comes to us and asks us to look at its development lifecycle from start to finish. Their IT and operations teams may want to know how to deploy solutions more effectively, quickly, and safely, or eliminate certain risks.”
Advantages of DevOps software development
As well as being an important way of boosting communication and collaboration between IT and operations teams, the many other advantages of DevOps include:
- greater innovation
- faster product delivery
- a stable and secure environment
- increased scalability and availability.
According to Lachlan, innovation is a big plus because you're spending less time worrying about the risk of pushing everything to production all at once. “It allows you to innovate on a smaller scale, which in turn allows for faster and more agile product delivery,” he says.
The process of working in increments can also provide teams with better stability as part of their DevOps workflow because “you're not pushing those big, risk-heavy changes all at the same time.”
“Scalability and availability are talked about in specific DevOps and IT environments where network topologies and constructs like containerisation, Kubernetes and Docker are used,” Lachlan adds, “But, in reality, it’s the functionality of working in the cloud that enables you to offer greater scalability to the customer.”
Why outsource to DevOps companies?
If you’re sold on the benefits of DevOps and curious about finding a DevOps provider to help you, the good news is that outsourcing can give you access to a range of specialised skills that may not be available to you in-house.
As a leading DevOps consultancy, Idea 11 has extensive experience helping clients achieve the following benefits:
- Cost savings: Outsourcing can help you avoid the cost of hiring, training, and retaining skilled DevOps personnel and allows you to focus on your core business operations, rather than on IT infrastructure and support.
- Increased flexibility: Outsourced DevOps teams can offer greater flexibility and scalability than in-house teams, allowing you to quickly scale resources up or down as needed.
- Improved efficiency: Ability to apply a whole-process framework as part of a comprehensive DevOps review with streamlined processes and best practices which can immediately help improve efficiency, productivity and faster time-to-market.
- Better risk management: Outsourced solutions can help better manage risk by providing expertise in areas such as security, compliance, and disaster recovery.
Benefit from Idea 11’s DevOps Review
Our DevOps Review is the perfect place for both beginners and businesses with mature environments to start when implementing DevOps principles.
We work with you on a single application lifecycle, workshop the issues, recommend improvements, and provide an actionable plan that you can immediately implement.
In addition to our reviews, Idea 11’s DevOps team can help in the following ways:
CI/CD pipeline setup & management
One of the key features of DevOps is CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous development). “Every time you develop something, it gets integrated into the project, and you keep adding on top of it,” Lachlan explains
“From the inception of an idea to writing the piece of code into your Git, it automatically gets pushed to your codebase and through the build process into a testing or review phase. Your code goes from a line of text to a feature on the website in a matter of minutes. And then the cycle starts again.”
Containerisation and architecture
We can assist you to integrate containers and serverless technologies into your architecture.
Infrastructure as code transitions
Do you have existing cloud infrastructure that's been built manually? We can convert it to IaC.
Automations are the foundation of DevOps. We can help automate your cloud infrastructure - whatever the need is.
How Idea 11 is using DevOps to overcome customer challenges
Recent projects with clients G8 Education and the City of Gold Coast are great examples of how Idea 11 is putting innovative approaches to DevOps into practice to reduce development roadblocks and drive growth
G8 Education is a leading provider of quality early learning education and care with thousands of staff across over 500 locations. The business needed an effective way to automate the complex and labour-intensive task of synchronising vast volumes of contact data without manual intervention. Using AWS services and the SaaS application API, Idea 11 worked with the business to achieve its objective within one DevOps sprint
As a result, the client improved internal communication, eliminated a significant amount of manual effort and reduced over 1000 man-hours per year of effort
The City of Gold Coast wanted to establish itself as an "active digital city" by using data to provide real-time, personalised goods and services. It engaged Idea 11 to create a cloud-based platform that would underpin some innovative new initiatives and deliver on its broader goals
Using a DevOps framework and agile culture, Idea 11 worked on two digital city projects: a Flood Emergency Decision Support System to analyse rainfall and assist with emergency response, and Parking Technology Intelligence that accurately identifies parking demand and availability and allows for smarter resource deployment and productivity gains.
DevOps culture and practice development
Lachlan suggests that the number one reason people fail at DevOps is that they don’t adopt the culture to its full potential
“When you embrace DevOps fully, your unit testing, build process testing, user testing scenarios, and approval steps are all automated. The code can be provided, and the process can run without intervention. This requires getting past IT teams' traditional, risk-averse culture – it’s tough but absolutely crucial to success,” he says
Another common DevOps failure is choosing the wrong tools. In Lachlan’s view, this can constrain your workflow process and make it less likely that the ideas on your roadmap will actually be implemented
He explains, “You need to look ahead and find tools that are the right fit for you, now and in the future. DevOps models thrive in a cloud-based environment, and a solutions provider like Idea 11 can come in and help with setting you up or migrating you to the best cloud solution – it’s something we do day in and day out.”
Deliver more, faster with Idea 11’s DevOps services
Idea 11 has years of experience guiding businesses along their DevOps journey. As AWS DevOps and Azure specialists, they go beyond implementing DevOps to identify how their clients can use it to improve, automate, and scale their operations
Get in touch to learn more about Idea 11’s DevOps services or to schedule a DevOps Review.