New products emerge on the market almost every day. People are constantly replacing obsolete devices with more technologically advanced and feature-rich ones, prompting companies to create more and more new products.
But competition is intense, which is why release speed has become one of the key principles for start-ups. It’s important to get ahead of your competitors by giving your users a product that will save them time and money.
Software is an integral part of technologically advanced products and the reason it is now in such high demand. But development is a long process with months required to write source code. Is it possible to speed up the product launch by optimizing development without sacrificing quality? In this article, we’ll tell you about a tool that helps with just that.
Software development stages
Creating high-quality software is a complex and multi-level process. The development lifecycle contains several essential stages:
- Planning and actual development. The product creator describes his or her vision of the future software, makes a list of requirements, and plans the work of every specialist. Programmers actively write source code at this stage.
- Testing. A successful product must match its manufacturer’s idea, appeal to users, and, most importantly, be of use to them. That’s why user feedback is required at the testing stage to make necessary adjustments to the software.
- Deployment. When the product is ready, the source code is transferred to the production environment.
- Maintenance. After the release, a team of specialists helps users with the problems they face and provides updates.
All these processes are strongly connected and intertwined. Development involves many different specialists who work with various programs and organizers. Any miscommunication between them—and workflow is often poorly organized—makes software development more complicated and time-consuming.
DevOps is a relatively young field that can solve all of that. It’s a methodology for flexible communication and cooperation between the development and operation departments that helps accelerate software creation, implementation, and product release.
A team that uses this methodology consists of IT professionals who are already well-coordinated and familiar with each other. They can develop and deliver software much faster, owing to the automation of repeated processes – rather than wasting time on routine tasks that a program can perform, the specialists undertake more important and creative work. The second important DevOps principle is effective and timely management of all the processes and communication between project participants.
Can DevOps be outsourced?
Manufacturers can assemble their own team of developers and technicians or outsource the project to an existing team. Both of these approaches have pros and cons.
|Controlling every aspect and stage of product development.||An in-house team should be provided with everything necessary for work, e.g., an office and equipped workplaces.|
|The entrepreneur decides on the salaries specialists get.||The manufacturer has to build all the business processes from scratch.|
|Choosing tools and programs for development and team communication.||In-house teams are usually focused on the company’s internal projects, and specialists may not follow the trends if they aren’t given that specific task.|
|The manufacturer is responsible for recruiting the team and can hire the most experienced and professional specialists. Individual specialists can be replaced if necessary. That’s unlikely to be an option in a well-established outsourced team.||Hired specialists often get used to repeated tasks and stable working conditions. They can have a hard time with tasks that require creativity.|
|If specialists lack certain skills or experience with certain programs or technology, the employer will have to fund their training.|
|These specialists are highly qualified, experienced, and familiar with the most effective and relevant tools. They’re better at handling non-standard situations and force majeure.||
Not suitable for short-term projects.
|Outsourced teams are interested in delivering excellent results so that employers hire them again and recommend them to others.||
The services of DevOps teams tend to be more expensive.
|Specialists don’t require workplaces or servers to store the data as DevOps teams work with cloud servers.||
The manufacturer will have to establish relationships and communication with every team member at once.
|It’s up to manufacturers how much control and involvement they have in the project: they can actively monitor the workflow or leave it to the specialists and focus on other things while waiting for the result.|
|Well-established teams already have every professional the project requires. It can be extremely difficult for manufacturers to find a specialist with rare expertise on their own.|
|The members of outsourced teams work with different projects and use various software and technology. Therefore, they tend to have more combined experience and knowledge than employees hired on a permanent basis.|
DevOps as a service
We discussed the benefits of outsourced DevOps teams above. In essence, they’re designed specifically to develop and deploy applications as fast as possible. Such teams have all the required professionals and software needed. Their main goal is to automate and accelerate development as much as possible through the cooperation of everyone involved. This approach is called DevOps as a service. They are focused on meeting business goals and adjusting their tools and workflow to each specific project.
DevOps as a service can be hired both for individual projects and on a regular basis. Their services are more expensive than hiring regular specialists, but the result will be better since the employer gets a finished and tested application in a shorter time and can launch their project much sooner.
So, what are the benefits of using DevOps for start-ups?
- Automation. Start-ups usually have small budgets. Thanks to DevOps, start-ups can automate repeated processes and tasks, which lets them cut costs.
- Continuous integration and deployment. Developers can integrate code into the shared repository as many times as they need to perfect the software. Upon successful testing, code is continuously deployed in a working environment. It allows troubleshooting at every development stage and gives users access to the software throughout the entire development time till the release.
- Continuous monitoring. Developers fix most errors while writing code. Automatic notifications help track and fix possible errors in code.
- Being able to focus on the important matters. By automating many processes, the team can minimize the time required for manual data entry and focus on creative aspects and business processes.
- Convenient data storage. All data is stored in the cloud, so customers don’t have to worry about losing it due to server malfunction. They’re automatically backed up to prevent data loss.
- Understanding the product comprehensively. In regular teams, every specialist usually has either a good knowledge of one or several aspects of the product, or a general understanding of it. Some opportunities can be missed in development because of limited knowledge. Professionals in DevOps as a service teams work on the same tasks, exchange information, and brainstorm. That’s how they come up with creative ideas and unconventional solutions that work for every specific product.
- Higher user satisfaction. DevOps as a service allows engaging end users in the development process. While working on the application, the team will receive feedback and learn about the application’s disadvantages and flaws, which can then be promptly fixed to deliver a product that meets user needs. And if users are happy, they’ll recommend the product to their friends and associates, bringing more profit to the manufacturer.
- Improving the product post-release without compromising the project. After the application is launched, it usually needs certain tweaks and improvements. In the final development stage, tweaks can create problems for businesses: the project may need to be paused to modify the application by changing its source code and testing it. Thanks to its flexible development method, DevOps as a service allows modifying code without pausing the project.
- Better communication. Well-established communication is key to the success of any business, especially if the project involves many people and several teams. The key principle of DevOps as a service is effective cooperation between different professionals and the use of a wide range of resources. This approach boosts the teams’ productivity and makes communication easy and effective.
DevOps is a modern, effective approach to running businesses and creating products. Faster development, close cooperation with users, and automation of numerous processes give the manufacturer an edge over competitors that don’t use DevOps. For those manufacturers who want the best quality and the shortest development time, DevOps as a service is the go-to option: a friendly team of professionals, a flexible approach to development, and effective communication help roll out the product faster.