Applying DevOps in Product Development – Benefits and Best Practices

Rapidly changing market conditions often force businesses to think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions. Today, this innovation is mostly centered around digital transformation initiatives wherein businesses leverage technology to stay competitive in the market. Irrespective of the domain, every business now needs to think and act like a tech company to fulfill the desires of customers in a thriving digital economy. Businesses are not new to software. But the reality today is that enterprises need to ideate, build, and deploy digital applications faster into the market and with zero scopes for quality compromise. 

Every enterprise software today needs to be treated as a product that is continuously upgraded or evolved to suit the dynamic needs of the business. While moving into continuous product development or engineering paradigm of technology use, enterprises primarily must synchronize activities between development teams and the operations team who manage the technology ecosystem including infrastructure. The best methodology that promotes a seamless blend of product development and IT operations is DevOps. In fact, DevOps may be perceived less as a methodology and more as a cultural change that empowers collaboration and unification of objectives between different teams engaged in building software and taking it to the market. It is predicted that the global DevOps market size will witness a growth of over 21% between 2021 and 2026 signaling the importance DevOps will play in the success of digital across businesses. 

What are the benefits of DevOps in Product Development? 

DevOps is a game-changing factor in modern-day product development initiatives for enterprise software. In addition to being the core unification strategy that encourages cross-functional collaboration between IT operations and the application development teams, here are a few key benefits that businesses leveraging DevOps in their software product development journey can realize: 

  • Feedback Propagation: DevOps actively encourages the channeling of customer feedback and expectations into various stages of the continuous product development lifecycle. It bridges the gap between developers and business users and eliminates wasted effort which would have otherwise been created due to customers waiting for the final product to be launched and then tried. DevOps promotes incremental feedback integration and product improvement which is a key factor for increased customer satisfaction as the product journey progresses. 
  • Proactively Respond to Market Dynamics: Consumer demands fluctuate rather unpredictably in the digital age. To keep pace, businesses need to bring in new features and capabilities for their digital channels and ensure the best experience for their consumers. In simple terms, the faster a software product can launch new features, the faster will be the value realized by customers from it. DevOps can bring in this need for speed in application development thereby allowing businesses to respond quickly to market dynamics with new features. By bringing onboard automated testing, integration, and tight oversight on quality, DevOps considerably reduces the time it takes for a software product to be designed, built, tested, and deployed. DevOps empowers organizations to prepare Value Stream Mappings to quickly prioritize deployments and fix production bottlenecks thereby guaranteeing the faster release of software for the market. 
  • Improve Cost Efficiency: DevOps brings with it a series of automation paradigms for various components of the software development lifecycle. This entails development and operations teams to optimize the utilization of resources and create more value with less effort. This helps in rationalizing costs by eliminating duplicate efforts, delays due to dependencies, and much more. 
  • Foster Innovation: DevOps brings unparalleled speed to the product development phase as illustrated earlier. With the growing pace, developers get more time to focus on R&D as well as experimenting with innovations. Through Proof-of-Concept models, they can evaluate the effectiveness of new innovations without impacting outcomes and quality of the existing product. By channeling feedback and expectations from different stakeholders in different stages, DevOps helps developers create a strategic roadmap for incorporating new innovations for the right audience. As teams collaborate, ideas can be shared for greater visibility and match with potential use cases that may not be identified within a team but noticed at a different one. 

What are the best practices for DevOps implementation in a product development scenario? 

DevOps, as we know, is a philosophy that promotes faster software development without compromise in quality. To ensure success it is important for enterprises to take the right roadmap to bring DevOps into their technology landscape. Here are some best practices: 

  • Identify the target audience, their requirements, desired channels, and stakeholders in your team for which the product is bound to have an impact. 
  • Formulate a product development roadmap incorporating recommendations from the folks identified above. 
  • Strictly adhere to a timely development and deployment schedule that is aligned with customer and market dynamics. 
  • Document every initiative and process to ensure better compliance to requirements. 
  • Encourage agile software development to empower incremental value realization from the development initiative. 
  • Pick the right resources such as tools, platforms, technologies, etc. to ensure that your DevOps investment is on the right path and can return results. 

DevOps is at the heart of modern product innovations and software-defined business operations. Enterprises that thrive to leverage the several benefits that DevOps offers can stay ahead of the competition.  

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