April 11, 2023

7 steps to implement DevOps into an organisation

7 steps to implement DevOps into an organisation

Since its emergence, DevOps has been strongly debated as an ephemeral marketing trend or a revolutionary methodology for IT operations. However, in 2022, Global Market Insights estimated the DevOps European market size exceeded £5 billion in 2021 and they predicted an over 20% increase from 2022 to 2028.

The main contributing factors for this increase is:

  • Rising need for reducing software development cycle and accelerating delivery 
  • Increasing demand for streamlining collaboration between IT and operation teams, often achieved by agile transformations
  • Growing adoption of automation in software development and testing such as automation stacks
  • Increasing focus of enterprises on reducing IT capital expenditure
  • Surging adoption of microservices and service virtualisation

Senior DevOps consultant, Luke Ashe-Browne also explores the significance of DevOps culture in his workshop, here.

Despite all these factors, many organisations struggle to effectively implement DevOps due to scarce standardised DevOps solutions and tools in addition to the complexity of DevOps approaches. For example, whilst Capital One is an early adoption of new technologies to transform customer experiences, in 2010 they initially struggled due to lack of automation and collaboration between developers and operations teams. To find out more about digital transformations in the financial services, click here

Therefore, in correlation to the increase of DevOps adoption, organisations are increasingly searching for the best ways to implement DevOps.

1. Evaluate current situation

DevOps’s implementation can be difficult as each journey is individualistic to the organisation. In order to establish an effective roadmap, thoroughly evaluating the organisation’s current pre-DevOps state enables you to understand what type and how much progress is required. Although with any organisational shifts, this is understandable given, many organisations underestimate the significance of this step such as timings. 

One example is Netflix’s migration from historical cloud to AWS in 2016 which took seven years. This process was initiated due to a major database corruption in 2008 which halted their operations for three days. As a result, they recognised a shift from “vertically-scaled single points of failure towards horizontally-scalable, highly reliable, distributed cloud systems” was necessary to expand as a business. In turn, this updated their methodology and service deployment for their monolith system handling a mass increase of subscribers and customising user experiences. By gaining a proper understanding of their current situation, Netflix became fully aware of the solutions required. One inevitable event of cloud migration is downtime, which is increasingly expensive. To find out more about downtime and calculate your own organisation’s downtime cost, click here.

2. Prepare for a cultural shift

Gartner estimated for 2022, 75% of DevOps initiatives will be unable to meet expectations due to issues of organisational learning and culture. DevOps transformations encompass processes, people and tools which requires a mindset and cultural shift. However, if people are not prepared or willing to make the shift, this increases the risk of failure. Therefore, motivating and equipping different departments and teams to shift to DevOps (in addition to maintaining the transformation) is the bigger challenge in comparison utilising different tools and processes. To find out more about DevOps culture and principles, click here.

3. Identify and measure DevOps metrics

According to Google’s DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment), there are four key metrics in DevOps to measure:

  • Deployment frequency- 75% of organisations consider this a core metric for insight into the effectiveness of their DevOps practices
  • Lead time for changes
  • Mean time to recovery (MTTR) - typically under an hour for mature DevOps teams
  • Change failure rate

Deployment frequencies and lead times measure the delivery speed whereas mean time to recovery and change failure rates reflect overall stability. These metrics provide an objective method for performance review and progress tracking. Creating these metrics as a foundation at the beginning of the DevOps process ensures they can be used from the outset to demonstrate and measure the progress and benefits of adopting DevOps.

4. Establish a DevOps process

Defining a DevOps process at the start ensures there is shared understanding to move towards goals and aims. This also means you can continuously monitor to improve testing processes, infrastructure and development cycles to bridge gaps between traditionally siloed teams.

Strategies should focus on two goals: enabling teams to optimise their performance and supporting the continuous release of production-ready processes. One significant way to do this is continuous integration which is a core DevOps competency and sits within development cycles.

Continuous integration and Continuous delivery (CI/ CD)

In DevOps, continuous integration is a primary practice that developers use to consistently merge changes in code into the central repository. According to Director of Engineering at Braze, Francisco Trindade, in order for software developers to take more accountability and produce more predictable results, they should establish better quality through automated regression testing, continuous integration and deployment, alerting. These are all ways to safeguard development and ease identifying problems, thus reducing the complexity of delivering new code. 

Continuous delivery is a software development methodology which focuses on automating release processes. It takes automation to production all the way from source control enabled through the deployment pipeline.

5. Create a DevOps tech stack

As there is a wide variety of DevOps tool combinations available, it can be confusing to understand which tools achieve the most compatibility and efficiency across different stages of the DevOps process such as cloud confusion. The wrong combinations can negatively affect functionality, integration, workflows and infrastructure builds. 

6.Guarantee security and compliance

DevSecOps is the practice and discipline of constantly integrating security across the DevOps environment. Companies now owe their stakeholders a greater duty of care to protect this environment so a consistent barrier of security is essential for organisations from inception. One form of ensuring compliance is an IS02001 certification which WeShape gained in 2022.

Although tech security and compliance has a reputation for being monotonous and laborious, this is an essential practice that protects the entire environment and organisation. Additionally, increasingly technologies are emerging to automate authentication certificates and authorisation processes. One example is Venafi which integrates with:

  • GitLab
  • Anisble
  • Kuberentes
  • Hashicorp
  • AWS
  • F5
  • Teleport

To see a live demo of automating through Venafi, click here or to sign up for similar events, click here. Embed video

7. Construct teams

In order for a DevOps development team to optimise product delivery and value, teams should consist of a wide variety of skills in software engineering and operations. This reduces silos, project delays and expenses as there is a constant stream of communication between everyone involved in the delivery and maintenance.

Despite the demand for skilled DevOps engineers and an accelerated digital transformation culture, 64% of leaders across IT functions struggle to find skilled DevOps practitioners.

In order to reduce the confusion and recruitment resources with DevOps implementation, WeShape provides specialist services in GCP, AWS and Azure DevOps. The benefits of using WeShape consulting services include:

  • AWS certified- we are officially an AWS consulting partner which means we are experts in the AWS DevOps market. In addition, some of our internal core team such as project manager of the Tech Pathway, Steven Moore and Head of Talent Acquisition, Matthew Smith, hold AWS Partner technical accreditations
  • Networking events- we co-host monthly networking events in the DevOps industry space to keep updated. One of our events, London DevOps, now has over 9,000 members and was previously hosted at Microsoft Reactor, KPMG and Facebook. Another event is Tech Talks, which is usually led by one of our senior consultants around the latest DevOps trends
  • Our operating model consists of skilled ex-tech recruiters which enables us to source the best in the associate network at speed. These skills and regular cadence calls compliment our consultants to alleviate and identify customers' pain points effectively in the DevOps process. 

In summary

Before beginning a shift to DevOps, ensure there is a solid foundation of shared understanding and co-operation amongst the organisation to commit to the DevOps culture in order optimise the benefits.

If you're interested in building out your DevOps teams, reach out to WeShape for more information from experts by booking a meeting here.


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About the Author
Charlotte Hamilton
Charlotte Hamilton

Charlotte is the social media assistant at WeShape. She has a 2:1 BA in English Literature and enjoys reading and writing in her free time. The Life at WeShape blogs are a fun way to get to know us once a month!

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