DevOps or Die

Are you managing IT or Fire Station 23?

We’ve all been there, the 12 AM phone call that keeps you up all night putting out fires so that your company can open for business at 7 AM. Put another way, that midnight deployment failed and the team is trying to decide if they push on and try to fix in the next 6 hours or if they initiate rollback procedures. That’s why they call you the “boss”, the “head honcho” the “big cheese”. You make the tough decisions and some days that makes you the hero and other days, the days when 600 users show up for work with no system, well then you’re the zero.

Many companies implement less frequent deployment schedules to mitigate these risks. These heavy deployment processes are complex, error prone, have low success rates and are largely a manual effort. Typically involving the coordination of multiple department resources, Development or Application Teams, Quality Assurance, Database Administration, Operations. This is the exact reason why most companies experiencing these problems only deploy a couple times a year or once a quarter.

Theres a new breed of next generation companies movies a ton faster, releasing software sometimes as much as 100 times a day. This may make you’re stomach feel queazy, just the thought of botching a deployment 100 times in a single day. However, the managers at these companies aren’t sweating. They have a much higher success rate and way less errors and rollbacks initiated.

If you’re only releasing software or updating purchased apps once a quarter or twice a year then there is a good chance you won’t be around in the next wave. So how do they do it?

This new method is called “DevOps” and has emerged as a new culture for a modern era of companies moving at a faster pace than ever before. It’s really a culture where the “devs” stop blaming “ops” and vice-a-versa, one in which all these resources blend together like a symphony.

It’s not quite that simple though. In order to achieve deployment utopia you need to implement almost complete automation of the whole SDLC.

However, once completed, every time a developer checks in code the process is run from start to finish and can even be automatically deployed to production. Now you are ready to join the ranks of companies like GitHub, who in 2012 averaged more that 100 deployments a day! Now that’s speed and agility- and freedom!

Dev/Ops is a huge competitive advantage for your organization when done correctly. If you’re ready to join the ranks of companies like Amazon, Netflix, GitHub, Walmart, Target, Nordstrom, Facebook and Easy then you may consider bringing in a partner that specializes in helping with these transformations. The implementation of DevOps is a fundamental change of process. With any change in process it will either be embraced by those making the change and it will succeed or it will be rejected and fail. It is just as important to make sure that your partner understands what both success AND failure look like, and leverage their real world experiences in helping organizations make this giant leap forward.

At IGNW, we have real world experience helping organizations and teams adopt a true Dev/Ops culture- and we are happy to share how we approach these transformations. Reach out today and schedule an initial meeting to discuss your DevOps assessment, where we will help you to both define and improve your KPI’s and metrics such as deployment frequency, speed of deployment, deployment success rate, time to recovery and culture. Transforming to a DevOps culture can be both extremely challenging and extremely rewarding. This dynamic is why we’ve put together a successful practice helping companies navigate the waters from deploying once a quarter to multiple times a day…and most importantly, to sleep soundly at night by keeping those 12AM phone calls from coming in!!