The Benefits of DevOps: What’s in It for You?

Whether it’s faster delivery of features or more stable operating environments, the benefits of DevOps are well known by now. Yet many enterprise developers and IT managers still get pushback from their teams whenever the concept of DevOps comes up. This may be due to a number of factors, including a fear of change or simply an unfamiliarity with DevOps practices.

devops teamwork conceptIf you’re having trouble convincing your team to get on board with DevOps, try explaining exactly how it will benefit each of them individually. Because the truth of the matter is that DevOps has something for everyone in the software chain: developers, operations, and testing. DevOps even touches the business side of the house, from managers who monetize the software to executives who worry about the bottom line.

Read on for a brief summary of the benefits of DevOps for each group, as adapted from the New Relic eBook, “Navigating DevOps.” If you’re looking for a more detailed explanation of DevOps and all it has to offer, the eBook is definitely worth taking a look at.

What DevOps offers developers

The automated provisioning found in DevOps is a big win for programmers, because they can stand up a development environment themselves with no paperwork, no lengthy approval cycles, no waiting for IT to provision a server—no lost time. When developers can provision a working environment in 15 minutes, with all the right resources—compute power, storage, network, applications—it changes the way that they work. They can be far more creative and innovative. It’s much easier to try multiple options, run different scenarios, and test code more thoroughly.

What DevOps offers operations

There’s a widespread belief that system administrators constantly obsess about system stability—and, in fact, it’s true. Their nightmare scenario is a software release that takes down the system within seconds of production deployment, developers who shrug off responsibility (“It’s your code now!”), users in various degrees of outrage—and no clear path to a quick, effective resolution.

Early adopters of DevOps methods have found that the increased involvement by developers actually improves system stability. Automation also helps by eliminating human errors common in manual operations, and has the added benefit of reducing the amount of time spent on routine tasks. There’s a quality of life issue for system administrators as well, in the form of skill building, career opportunities, and a great deal more uninterrupted sleep and personal time.

What DevOps offers test engineers

The impact that DevOps has had on the testing side of the house can be summed up in two words: Chaos Monkey. (Netflix developed this remarkable, innovative tool to break its own software!) DevOps requires new ways to test software, which challenges test engineers to innovate on their side of the house—exactly the impetus that led to the creation of Chaos Monkey. With automated provisioning, test engineers can provision a test environment that is virtually identical to the production environment, resulting in more accurate testing and better ability to predict the performance of new releases. As with other groups, test-engineer productivity increases thanks to automation and collaboration.

What DevOps offers product managers

Technically, DevOps is just about the IT function of the enterprise. However, those who have made the transition will tell you that DevOps changes everything. In a DevOps environment, business stakeholders have greater influence on the development process. Thanks to the collaborative spirit of DevOps, developers actually care about business requirements and foster relationships with product managers. DevOps also gives product managers immediate feedback about the impact of new pricing, features, and product bundles, which allows them to test variations and gauge their effectiveness.

What DevOps offers executives

What do executives like about DevOps? For one thing, it helps the organization deliver high-quality products and get them to market much faster than competitors using traditional methods of software development—actions that impact the bottom line and build brand value. Another reason is the ability to attract and retain top talent: high-quality developers, system administrators, and test engineers want to work with the latest and greatest processes. Finally, when developers, operations, and QA work together, top executives rarely get pulled into inter-departmental disputes, leaving them more time to craft the focused business goals that everyone is now pulling together to reach successfully.

Download the eBook “Navigating DevOps: What it is and why it matters to you and your business” to get a crash course in DevOps 101.

Asami Novak is director of content strategy and development at New Relic. Prior to joining the New Relic team, she wrote marketing and ad copy for a variety of B2B and B2C companies. Her editorial writing has appeared in WIRED and Dwell, among other publications. View posts by .

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