3 DevOps Strategies to Accelerate SaaS Performance

DevOps will transform the way you view and handle the process of software production within your company.

This isn’t just a prediction; it’s a promise. What makes us so confident? Well, according to a 2013 survey of 4,000 developers and operations specialists, 63% have already adopted DevOps strategies. This is a 26% increase in the adoption of the practice since 2011. Whether you want it or not, DevOps is coming for you, but don’t panic just yet—this is actually great news!

What is DevOps exactly?

DevOps is the strategic merger of business objectives with online invoicing technology to create a cohesive, efficient, and streamlined process of innovation and implementation.

Consider the path that an application has to follow from conception, to creation, to delivery. It’s a long and complicated road that all too often results in damage to your precious cargo (your application or SaaS) along the way.

As you bulldoze over obstacles, muddle through floodwaters, navigate detour after detour, your cargo takes a beating. By the time you arrive at your destination, it’s not what you envisioned it would be in the beginning; it’s buggy and defective. Not only that, but the duration of your journey was twice or triple as long as you’d anticipated.

But at this point you’ll have to make do. You’ve already invested too much time and money into the journey so far that you have no choice but to get that product, such as it is, onto the shelf to start recouping your costs as quickly as possible.

The Alternative

Inject some technology into this scenario—put your cargo in an armored van, pave the roads, hook up a GPS, and put your pedal to the metal. This is DevOps.

3 DevOps Accelerators

Here are three terms you should become familiar with as you begin incorporating DevOps into your processes.

1.    Continuous Integration

The philosophy of DevOps is rooted in collaboration. If we blend two formerly disparate factions of our companies—development and operations—the benefits from the resulting synchronicity will be greater efficiency, better products, and more profitable outcomes.

Continuous integration is the practice of developing, especially in the earliest stages of development, within an integrated environment. Team members build and collaborate in a shared locality. This way, working through integration and conflict issues becomes an ongoing, fluid process of development, as opposed to an after-the-fact scramble to fix problems that surface only at the end of a sprint or multi-month iteration.

Testing your application after cycles of continuous integration is less about crossing your fingers and more about confirming what you already know—that your application is on track for release.

2.    Configuration Management

Continuing the theme of uniformity, configuration management is the practice of standardizing processes, scripts, and other resource configurations across an infrastructure in an agile, automated fashion.

This unifies and ensures across-the-board compliance and security, as well as enables efficient patch, release, and change management.

Without a configuration management initiative, the door is opened for human error, oversight, and other failures to threaten your operation. As a component of DevOps, its implementation is considered best practice.

3.    Version Control

No great process of development neglects the importance of tracking. Version control is just that. In a team environment that consists of multiple developers working on the same projects and files simultaneously, a protocol that documents their activities is tremendously critical.

Like configuration management, version control is best practice in the culture of DevOps. It tracks when a change is made to a file, who made the change, why it was made, and what the change consisted of—all stored in an instantly reviewable and recoverable format.

With Our Powers Combined…

With these three powerful components of DevOps, application creation, deployment, and management becomes a structured, like-clockwork process that leaves the traditional methods of yesteryear in the dust.

In the same study that recorded the rapid adoption of DevOp practices, those surveyed reported improved software quality and more frequent software releases, with the highest performing organizations having 50% fewer failures and a turnaround for code deployment that was 30 times faster than their peers.

Interested in how a DevOps strategy could transform the productivity of your company?