The Business Case for Cloud-Based Continuous Delivery Environments
In a 2011 column, New York Times columnist David Brooks profoundly wrote:
“The roots of great innovation are never just in the technology itself. They are always in the wider historical context. They require new ways of seeing. As Einstein put it, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
This couldn’t be more apropos in our current DevOps revolution. When we look at solving today’s IT and business problems, we can’t use the same technology; we have to change our thinking; we have to be innovators, seeing new and improved ways to solve them.
Innovators like Kent Beck and Martin Fowler have lead the way in pioneering the principles and practices that form the cornerstone of Continuous Delivery to solve the very difficult problem of frequently and reliably delivering software to where it has value: to our customers.
The Culture of DevOps
According to a “2014 State of DevOps Report” (*please accredit Puppet Labs) from the largest and most comprehensive study of DevOps to date, organizations with high IT performance have three things in common:
- A real competitive advantage
- DevOps practices in place
- A high-trust organizational culture
Firms with high-performing IT organizations were twice as likely to exceed their profitability, market share and productivity goals. Once more, high-performing IT organizations were also found to adopt DevOps practices, such as the use of version control and continuous delivery, to achieve improved IT performance.
These results stand true over time; the longer an organization implements and continuously improves DevOps practices, the better it performs. This isn’t a total surprise, as most organizations that implement DevOps practices have a high-trust culture that values good information flow, cross-functional collaboration, shared responsibilities and innovation.
These cultural practices and norms parallel that of DevOps, which iterates why DevOps practices correlate so strongly with high organizational performance. In sum, DevOps practices combined with a continuous delivery culture brings better IT systems and more supportive environments that result in proven business value.
Business is Better with Continuous Delivery
Efficiency and productivity are critical to today’s organizations’ success, which is why smart organizations are adopting a Continuous Delivery Environment.
A Continuous Delivery Environment automates the build, test and deployment processes to fully support agile software practices. This allows software teams to:
- Routinely merge code into version control, and trigger automatic builds and tests to receive instant notification if the build breaks; and
- Automate unit tests and acceptance tests to allow detection of problems introduced by changes.
This vastly improves quality by building testing into the development process. Fixing issues throughout the development process is more efficient and significantly less costly.
The automated nature of the environment allows your extremely skilled developers to focus on higher-level tasks, leaving the technology environment to handle the mundane. It also allows organizations to scale its development teams more effectively. In a software-driven world, rapid, high quality software delivery transitions the IT team from a cost center to a productive revenue generator.
Cloud-Based Continuous Delivery
The main business advantage of a Continuous Delivery Environment is automation. The environment should be automated in every aspect:
- It should be accessible from anywhere in the world
- It should be lean with hardware, not requiring expensive upgrades
- It should be safe and secure
The Agile Competitive Advantage
Continuous Delivery creates the perfect environment for the agile process to thrive. In an agile process, every aspect of development, from requirements to design, etc., is continually revisited.
The team constantly re-evaluates the direction of a project so it is able to quickly adjust along the way.
This approach drastically reduces development costs and time to market. The team can be more productive because it can develop software and gather requirements simultaneously, and with shorter work cycles there are many opportunities to test releases for real world success.
Agile development, supported by the best continuous delivery environment, helps companies get their products right the first time, ensuring timely market relevance. The software can continuously be tweaked to optimize market value throughout development.
Ultimately, this equates to enhanced speed of the product cycle, a better end product, and a product that is more reliable for end users.
The Bottom Line
The DevOps revolution has changed the way smart businesses are looking at their development teams and IT infrastructure. Those who want to innovate, to solve business solutions with new ways of thinking and doing, are moving to a development process that supports the agile paradigm in a Cloud Continuous Delivery Environment.
Automating deployment not only saves significant time, it also reduces risk and downtime. Compared to manual deployments, Continuous Delivery can help you avoid costly problems associated with mismatched code, configuration issues, database incompatibilities and other conflicts and free up your development team’s time to work on what really matters: bringing you a product that results in solid business value.
Third Wave is a boutique software development company located in Boca Raton, Florida. Our business acumen, agile development solutions, and perfected continuous development process offer unmatched levels of expert crafted software and development services. Our team is dedicated to helping companies break into the new era of rapidly changing business trends with adaptive technology that provides sophisticated business solutions.
Third Wave also offers Cloud CDE, a fully automated cloud based Continuous Delivery Environment “in a box”. Cloud CDE and our consulting services provide a jump start to organizations that are ready to start transforming their culture to a high performing IT organization.