Enterprises can use the Cloud to create simulation environments for the initial phases - Development, Functional Testing and System Testing. The DevOps process will ensure that these environments on Cloud are created from scratch for each deployment, eliminating environment residue side-effects. Technologies like Service Virtualization can help address the dependency on legacy systems - which is a major bottleneck while executing parallel projects. Though these parallel projects will eventually get serialized during User Acceptance Testing (UAT), this approach can significantly increase the number of releases for the organization annually.
Further, within each project, DevOps enables the Development and Testing teams to execute their tasks without waiting on the Operations team to make the environments available. As the developer checks in the code changes, the development builds are triggered. Each build automatically creates the artifacts and deploys it into the target development environment. Periodically, builds can be scheduled to deploy artifacts into the Test environments, where automated tests can be executed to test the sanity of the environment and application. Testers can be assured that environments are ready for them to execute their test cases. Through DevOps automation, most of the time consuming manual steps in the release lifecycle gets automated, which significantly accelerates the application lifecycle. To quote an example, for a large global bank, automation through DevOps brought down the provisioning time from 21 days to 2 hours.
Organizations must have dedicated teams who own the 'DevOps' responsibility. They should not only put the tools in place to automate the release management process, but they also take ownership of running this process providing a single touch point to the Development, Test and Operations teams.. This centralized DevOps approach works particularly well for large organizations where there are multiple projects being deployed in parallel.
The Development, Test and Operations teams must collaborate extensively throughout the application lifecycle. Since DevOps is an extension of the Agile Manifesto, it mandates shared ownership, building a culture of innovation, and encouraging collaboration across teams. Further, the success of each group must be measured with respect to the success of the entire development-to-operations life cycle. This represents a true shift from a siloed to a collaborative approach, and will drive the individual and the respective groups appreciate their role in the larger business context.
Once DevOps is in place, enterprises can focus on improving their customer experience and building their market share, while their IT is ready to respond to the changing needs rapidly. By adopting this transformational model, enterprises can embrace the digital business
Hemanth Kumar heads Cloud Solution Development at Wipro, with strong professional experience in Cloud Computing and excellent understanding of the business and technology driving the cloud services market. He is the author of a patent in the area of SaaS enablement and delivery awarded by USPTO. He is a cloud evangelist and has been actively involved in promoting the cloud computing at a group level and the company level.
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