Although DevOps practices are gaining widespread adoption across industries, many organizations struggle to implement those practices across all of their teams, applications, and environments. One of the goals of DevOps is to bring Development and Operations teams together, but many organizations experience growing pains as teams try to leave behind inefficient tools and delivery processes that have been holding them back.
At XebiaLabs, we’re seeing many of our large enterprise customers address these issues by adopting a “DevOps platform” or “DevOps as a service” approach to on-boarding teams to the DevOps toolchain and getting them started with DevOps practices. This type of approach is all about providing a technical platform that’s available for teams across the organization to use. A DevOps platform should include tools for best practices such as Continuous Integration, automated testing, and Continuous Delivery, along with guardrails that help teams continue to stay compliant with IT governance rules and audit requirements.
In a well-designed DevOps platform:
- Services are ready for use and available for all teams. The platform should be a collection of things that are ready for teams to pick up and start using out of the box: source control management, automated build and test setups, static code analysis tools, deployment automation and release orchestration capabilities, and so on.
- Predefined patterns provide expert knowledge. Software delivery patterns that are crafted by experts with the express purpose of sharing with other teams help eliminate rework, reduce learning curves, and spread best practices across the organization.
- Compliance and IT governance are enforced. A platform with built-in guardrails for compliance and audit helps teams be compliant by default and ensures audit reporting covers the end-to-end delivery process.
- DevOps adoption is accelerated across the enterprise. A shared DevOps platform promotes a shared culture; it gives people something to rally around and makes it easier for teams to learn from one another.
So, what can a DevOps platform do for you? Let’s take a look…
1 – Give teams the tools they need while empowering them to make decisions
A shared DevOps platform gives teams the tools, templates, and delivery patterns they need to deliver high-quality software, while also empowering them to make decisions within their project or department. Building a common DevOps platform is all about giving people the capabilities they need to deliver value to users faster and more reliably.
2 – Focus your digital transformation on the entire software delivery pipeline
A centralized DevOps platform allows leaders to focus their digital transformation efforts on the entire software delivery pipeline: from ideation, to planning, to development and testing, all the way to rollout in Production. It also enables leaders to evaluate DevOps analytics and ROI across applications, projects, teams, and departments.
3 – Increase visibility into the software delivery process for all stakeholders
It’s hard to ensure that business and technical stakeholders can see and understand what’s happening with every software release when the information they need is spread across many different tools and processes. The centralized nature of a DevOps platform makes it much easier to provide visibility into the software delivery lifecycle and to facilitate information sharing and collaboration among teams.
4 – Create a safe environment for all stakeholders to collaborate
Increased visibility and cross-team collaboration help build an environment where it’s safe for everyone to speak up and to solve problems without blame. A shared DevOps platform enables teams to work together to figure out what—not who—caused a problem, so everyone can work together to reduce the likelihood of the problem happening again.
Things to consider
If you’re considering building a DevOps platform, you must keep people and process first. Tools are important, but people are critical! The way you build your platform and deliver expert knowledge to teams must take their needs into account. And continually focus on the big picture: define your end goals, and constantly evaluate whether the changes you’re making are moving you and your teams toward those goals.