Does Continuous Delivery Make Sense for Service Delivery Organizations?

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As DevOps becomes more and more popular across the business world, continuous delivery helps in automating the software delivery process and enabling easy and assured deployments into production. By producing software in short cycles, teams can ensure frequent releases of bug-free applications and release new changes to customers quickly and in a sustainable way. But does continuous delivery make sense for service delivery organizations? Let’s find out!

How the DevOps mindset has changed the development lifecycle

In a world where speed takes precedence over everything else, DevOps helps build, test, and release software faster and more reliably through improved collaboration and communication between software developers and IT operations staff. And it’s not just the speed that DevOps helps achieve; it focuses just as much on quality as it does on speed through many of its inherent characteristics. Here’s how the DevOps mindset has changed the development lifecycle:

• Design thinking: One of the biggest and most significant benefits that DevOps brings to the development lifecycle is via Design Thinking. This iterative process allows teams to better understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems via a solution-based approach. By enabling teams to take a deeper interest in understanding users and their needs, Design Thinking allows for the conceptualization, prototyping, development, and testing of features that best meet their expectations.

• Shared goals: Another major change that DevOps has brought to the application development process is shared goals. In contrast to different teams working in silos to achieve team or department-specific goals, DevOps integrates all teams from across the lifecycle into one single team – and empowers them to meet collective goals.

• Fast feedback: DevOps also brings in the benefit of faster feedback through frequent and continuous communication between siloed teams. Since every member is working in close collaboration with others and changes are released iteratively, the feedback cycle is shortened. Such fast feedback allows teams to incorporate changes more easily into the product while better achieving time-to-market goals.

• Automated testing and deployment: Although automated testing is not new to application development, when used in conjunction with DevOps, the outcomes can be extremely valuable. Since DevOps supports continuous development, deployment, and delivery throughout the development lifecycle, it completely changes how changes are built, deployed, tested, and released for consumption. Instead of performing testing at the end of the development phase, DevOps integrates testing within each phase – via a high level of coordination between different teams.

• Shift left security: Although traditionally, security was not a component of DevOps, the emergence of DevSecOps has completely changed how security is looked at. By shifting security to the left, DevSecOps allows teams to flag issues early and often – improving not just the quality of the product or the customer experience but also reducing the cost of rectifying those errors before they become a major issue.

Why continuous delivery matters

Service Delivery organizations are always on their toes, driving efforts in providing efficient and high-quality IT services to users. But the lack of communication between different teams, alignment between IT processes and business needs, and continuous improvement and delivery often make it difficult for organizations to meet the needs of their users.

For such organizations, shorter development cycles via DevOps and continuous delivery pave the way for better and more efficient management of end-user services. Using continuous delivery, such organizations can deliver updates faster, with fewer problems, and with greater efficiency. It allows service delivery organizations to take a more iterative approach to change management and allows users to enjoy the benefits of quicker updates – all while keeping processes and technology up to date.

Since continuous delivery allows for several changes to be made in a single update, it helps in simplifying the service delivery process and reduces the risk of errors, and allows organizations to respond to changes with agility and resilience. Here are some reasons why DevOps and continuous delivery matter for Service Delivery organizations:

• Makes the release processes repeatable, allowing teams to easily determine where problems are occurring and take steps to address them

• Streamlines workflows, so teams can more easily release changes and updates to meet unique requirements

• Helps respond to changing demands with agility, through increased communication and collaboration and frictionless handoffs between Dev and Ops teams

• Paves the way for low-risk releases via automated testing and deployment that accelerates error detection – thus lowering costs

• Helps integrate new features and changes more quickly, which helps in meeting user demands with greater speed and efficiency

• Improves time-to-market via fast and frequent feedback, allowing teams to iterate and implement changes as required

• Enhances quality of changes through improved operational efficiency, quicker service delivery, and better compliance

In an era where users expect updates and changes to be released quickly and frequently, continuous delivery via DevOps allows service delivery teams to release changes that are in line with business requirements. Since releases are more often, the feedback loop is shorter – making iterations faster and easier. In addition, optimized resource management paves the way for faster product or service releases. It allows businesses to be more responsive to emerging business needs and with fewer errors, thus eliminating unnecessary expenses.