Why your business needs to master DevOps

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DevOps is short for software development and operations. So why would a business leader be interested in that? The name hides the fact that the business is a key player in the DevOps approach, enabling business leaders to quickly take advantage of market opportunities and rapidly respond to customers’ needs.

In a world rewarding engagement, businesses that can deliver a compelling customer experience while adapting to trends and customer feedback are best positioned to attract and retain customers.

New ways of engaging with customers, including social media and mobile applications, mean businesses must deliver innovative solutions to win in the marketplace. They must also continue to deliver enhancements by listening to customer feedback, analyzing data and anticipating market shifts. These continuous enhancements must be designed, built and shipped out in record time.

DevOps is a business process that helps organizations deliver a compelling customer experience, increase innovation and reduce time-to-market. All of this involves close collaboration between the business, IT and operations.

See the benefits that IBM has gained from adopting DevOps in this video:

What is different about DevOps

Have you experienced a situation where a new system performed well in user-acceptance testing but poorly going live? The DevOps approach advocates development and testing in an environment similar to the live environment as early in the lifecycle as possible. This allows the operations team to see early on how the new application will affect the overall environment and respond accordingly

In today’s always-on user activity, no company can afford system downtime when moving code to production. The DevOps approach automates processes to enable deployment to production with minimal or no downtime.

We all dream our new service will be an instant hit. In reality, it may require some adjustment and fine-tuning before it really takes off. In order to respond quickly, each area of your business needs access to customer feedback, including sales, delivery, development and operations.

Most organizations already monitor operational performance of the production environment. But the DevOps approach advocates automated testing of the application’s behavior and performance before it goes live, providing the opportunity to anticipate operational issues and deal with them when the cost of change is lower.

Monitoring application performance is critical

Customers expect constant availability and instantaneous response. If they don’t get it, they will quickly complain using social media or switch to a competitor’s service. It is essential to avoid outages and slowdowns that could affect your users. This is where application performance management (APM) can help.

The operations team needs to know how the application is performing in real time, which users are experiencing problems and what the root causes are. In order to fix the problem, development needs tools that quickly identify which section of code is at fault. This frees time that developers can spend working on enhancements. Lines of business need to know who is using the service, which features they use the most and what their experience is like. All of this is facilitated by APM.

Companies can gain even more value by incorporating APM into the DevOps approach. This includes simulating performance for different user scenarios, like location and time of day, before the application is live. Development and operations teams can then make changes to resolve performance problems before users are affected. Watch why testing the performance of apps before they go to market is crucial, in this short video:

This close collaboration between business, IT and operations using a DevOps approach with APM can help your business create innovative services for your customers, continuously deliver enhancements and minimize downtime to provide optimal performance.

Learn more about using DevOps with APM and watch the “Shift APM Left” webcast.

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