In this competitive world, big giants like Amazon, Netflix, Google, Walmart, and Alibaba have marked their footprints by implementing unique strategies and methodologies. Many of renowned organizations, too, have tried following their steps but failed to achieve their stature. However, following their path is not enough, but implementing their digital strategy can surely give high competition to big companies.
So, now you must be wondering what is the common factor that sets them apart? Well, the big organizations (as mentioned above) follow a common methodology known as DevOps.
In the last few years, DevOps has gained a huge appreciation from the IT industry. Professional experts have moved forward to implement it within their organization, leaving behind traditional methods and working towards an automated synced world.
Albeit, any organization may encounter many questions like, “Where and how do we start with DevOps adoption?”, “What challenges we might face?” and “How do we resolve those challenges?
One of the primary elements of this movement may easily be identified as automation. So now, the question arises, why is DevOps implementation still a challenging task for some organizations, despite its growing popularity?
Now is the time to look at some of the challenges organizations face during DevOps implementation, along with solutions that just might help shape your own DevOps methodology.
Table of Contents
How to Reach the DevOps Pinnacle?
DevOps is the pinnacle that every team member has been trying hard to reach as organizations shift their paradigm from traditional approaches (waterfall model) to iterative development, agile, and DevOps. Besides, the comparison between DevOps vs. Agile is a never-ending debate.
DevOps shifts the focus from development to delivery, which is a minor but crucial distinction.
When the codebase moves within the team for the software development lifecycle, it is a time-consuming process as all the various environments utilized in the process are configured differently. Therefore, it’s quite tough for the software to perform consistently across platforms because of the different wiring in various environments.
As a result, every team member wastes their time trying to resolve issues without realizing that the problem is not with the code but with the environment. Hence, an inconsistent environment could be the reason to kill the agility.
To overcome this challenge, we have to ensure that all environments are identical by developing infrastructure blueprints and implementing Continuous Delivery (CD). However, the involved team should draw a common blueprint for executing the DevOps process and introduce continuous delivery to sail through the same boat.
Manual Testing and Deployment
When we talk about the development process, manual intervention is not advisable for testing and deployment phases. It significantly affects efficiency, consumes time, and reduces accuracy. Human errors and non-repeatable procedures are the results of manual intervention. If we perform manual testing, it’s not possible to implement CI/CD in an agile way. Furthermore, manual testing increases the chance of product defects, resulting in unplanned efforts.
When the deployment is done manually, the probability of failure increases significantly, lowering quality and reliability while increasing unplanned efforts.
The entire process and strategy are improved by automating the framework and deployment processes. Organizations should think about including testing procedures in the deployment process. As a result, they will be able to reduce deployment failures.
Maturity in DevOps and SDLC
The SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) creates a direct impact on the software delivery and deployment. By implementing SDLC, an organization should be able to deliver high-quality and reliable software in a given time. For decades, the software development industry has struggled with SDLC maturity.
In the era of DevOps, where software is provided in shorter increments with a high degree of reliability and quality, having a mature process is even more crucial for a team. However, some organizations are not able to move further with the agility of DevOps. In fact, most of these organizations are either immature in the process or wrongly assume that they already know everything.
Organizations should follow the path to implement DevOps tools and technologies. In addition, they also should help their teams to learn the technologies and imbibe them with proper training.
Teams should continuously seek feedback on a regular basis, and they should strive to improve it. Investing all of your time and money into all-in-one solutions can make it easier for teams to deploy DevOps, allowing them to deliver features faster and with fewer failures.
Changing the Management of Organization
Many organizations have been using the management methods for years and are comfortable with them. The majority of their process was developed at a time when change management meant employing and deploying extra resources.
Now, coming back to the recent scenario – nowadays, applications consist of many small components or microservices that can be easily modified and deployed. Now, suddenly, the process gets in the way.
In this ever-changing environment, you have to be proactive for immediate changes and deployment. Sometimes, teams must go through several security reviews, operations, and code reviews. But what sets you back is that there is often a huge line to wait for reviews, which causes review processes to be pushed back another week.
Organizations should become more agile and try to shift their paradigm from the traditional approach.
Tool Integration from Different Domains
In the DevOps integration, all the required processes, such as development, testing, and deployment, must be in a continuous and iterative loop. Well, it’s not easy to tie all the team members in one place as they are from different departments. This will affect productivity when one department has to transfer work to another with an entirely different set of tools and technologies.
The automation process will surely reduce all those time-consuming, repetitive tasks such as analytical, data entry, and product research. This way, an organization can enhance its outreach and efficiency.
This brings up two major benefits, such as:
- It will help Dev (development) and Ops (operations) teams to enhance communication and have transparency.
- It streamlines the entire development life cycle by combining various departmental processes into one.
Poor Access Controls and Secrets Management
For the higher quality development process and product deployment, tight access controls and secrets management are essential factors. Secrets may consist of API tokens, account sensitive information and credentials, SSH Keys, etc. So, many entities like employees, services, and containers use these.
Henceforth, these passwords and keys are poorly managed and become easy targets for hackers. Furthermore, DevOps teams often allow unrestricted access to privileged accounts such as admin, root and others to guarantee a smooth and speedy workflow.
The passwords, keys, and other account information must be carefully controlled. Therefore, DevOps teams have resorted to inadequate secrets management, such as storing passwords in containers with the adoption of automated deployment.
With the rapid growth of automated deployments, teams often choose the path that may lead to leaving their passwords and keys exposed.
Hence, you should remove sensitive information like credentials, services, accounts, files, etc., for successful DevOps secrets management. In addition, while not using it, passwords from the code should be removed and stored in a centralized container.
To implement this data storing method, you can use different products like Azure key vault, AWS secrets manager, CyberArk, Thycotic Secret Server, and many more.
In most of organizations, teams dedicatedly perform specific operations like testing the applications. These teams are not active or involved with other departments. So, the only one way of having a collaboration between them is a never-ending cycle of code sent out for testing and then returned. The QA team finds bugs and issues during this process and sends them back to developers. Then, the team of developers works to resolve and redeploy the code.
Since it’s an endless process, the teams come to the same table to agree on what bugs they can tolerate and promote to production. They add more technical debt into the system with every release, reducing its quality and stability and increasing unplanned work.
It’s preferable to prevent bugs from progressing through the development process. This is accomplished by developing automated test harnesses and automatically failing the build if any of the tests fail. This procedure has been developed with continuous integration in mind. So, testing should be done as part of the development process.
Developers’ teams work towards enhancing time to market, whereas, operations team ensures security, reliability, availability, and governance. Although this barrier appears to be unrelated to the topic, it significantly impacts DevOps procedures. The most common organizational approach is for every team to focus on its own benefits rather than having a shared goal of customer satisfaction.
There will be an endless debate between priorities and resources if every team doesn’t follow the same goal. If this trend continues, every DevOps process will be an unresolved mystery for the rest of time.
With the organization’s best approach in mind, management should consider rearranging employee incentives. Everyone should measure achievement in such a way that those incentives are reinforced. Then, here, the customer wins the crown.
DevOps has become a great methodology by offering efficient solutions that aid in quick delivery, team collaboration, and foster an Agile development. Therefore, DevOps implementation is a long-term commitment. With its implementation, you can ensure that security is integrated at the very core of the system and runs throughout the product development lifecycle. It will protect the code from data leaks and cybersecurity threats.
Many organizations have implemented DevOps to some extent, but only a few of them use DevOps company-wide. If your organization plans to implement and scale DevOps successfully, resolving these challenges is crucial.
If your organization is facing such challenges of DevOps implementation, make sure to reach out to our experts for DevOps consulting services.