Analyst Report: Breaking down barriers and reducing cycle times with devops and continuous delivery

Analysis

How is it that companies like Netflix, Amazon, Etsy, and Facebook regularly deliver new features to their users (in some cases, several times per day) while other companies must wait months or more to release software updates? The answer is that the companies listed here, like many others, have changed how they deliver software by dismantling the traditional silos that stifle collaboration and progress. Their
development and operations teams are working together and learning from each other through what is now know  as “devops,” an industry buzzword that arose to describe a philosophy that many progressive  companies and startups had long been practicing.

Some of these companies probably never called their “devops.” They were just working  collaboratively to meet business demand. As they did, they began considering leaner and more-­innovative approaches for releasing software more quickly and more often.

This report describes the nascent topics of devops and continuous delivery while enumerating the challenges IT organizations are seeking to remedy by adopting these approaches. Aimed at technology executives and directors and those responsible for delivering features and stable software systems to their users, the report covers the benefits of a devops mindset, which encourages communication and collaboration by obliterating the silos that impede projects. Additionally, it cites the value provided to the business itself, how the approach works, and some of the components and tools that are used on projects to deliver new features to users in a stable environment. Finally, it touches on the concept that the future will involve less friction and more value from tools and infrastructure that support this approach.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. What is devops? What is continuous delivery?
    1. Challenges for devops
    2. Misaligned organizations
  3. Collaboration between development and operations
    1. Holistic software systems
    2. Poly-­skilled team members
    3. Cross-­functional teams
  4. Benefits of the devops approach
    1. Learning about problems earlier
    2. Less-­complex problems
    3. Less time fixing problems
  5. Business value
    1. Deliver features more often
    2. More-­stable systems
    3. Software is always ready to release
  6. How devops and continuous delivery work
    1. Change organizational structure
    2. Make processes continuous
    3. Continually improve
  7. Tools and components
    1. Build
    2. Continuous integration
    3. Database
    4. Dependencies
    5. Deployment
    6. Hardware
    7. Infrastructure automation
    8. Monitoring
    9. Static analysis
    10. Testing
    11. Tool catalog
  8. The future of devops and continuous delivery
  9. Key takeaways
  10. About Paul Duvall
  11. About GigaOM Pro

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