Moving to DevOps: differences between Enterprise Businesses and Startups
To be competitive, both dynamic startups and established complex corporations must apply the most effective ways of delivering services to customers. Today, DevOps methodology enables you to optimally allocate resources and provide the customer with flawless service quality with a continuous stream of improvements.
Want to know the difference in the transition to DevOps between startups and corporate businesses?
In practice, today’s startups embrace the DevOps model of software development and maintenance by default, as it helps them achieve success by delivering services through native cloud applications. Everything is not so simple for corporate business because there is an established structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities of specialists, allowing you to get a given result promptly. However, the main disadvantage of such systems is resistance to change, both structural and behavioral. “If it works, don’t change it” is a favorite corporate business motto that has been relevant for decades. But that’s not the option anymore.
Annual or semi-annual software updates are no longer enough. If a user requests some functionality and does not receive it within a month, they can easily change the service provider who has this functionality. Thus, corporate businesses will need to develop faster products and respond more quickly to user feedback if they want to remain competitive. But how to do that? How to reform a structure that favors stability over innovation?
How to help the corporate business master DevOps?
There are three main areas of effort that can help corporate professionals get up to speed with DevOps methodology:
Establishment of Centers of Excellence. The Center of Excellence (COE) is a group of professionals working separately from the traditional tasks of Dev, Ops, and Quality Assurance (QA). It is required to include both employees of these departments and invited specialists who can work according to the DevOps model in such a center’s composition. This allows corporate specialists to move away from settled practices of role separation in the development process and master the DevOps model of work. All team members have good comprehension and skills in working with utilities at all stages of the software development process and can work interchangeably.
From evaluating an idea, and throughout the process of coding, testing and building an application, publishing a product, maintaining and updating it, collecting and applying customer feedback, until the end of support for this software, all this time the crucial idea of DevOps is the paradigm “you built — you serve.” This idea suggests that any DevOps engineer can write code, test an application, launch infrastructure, and resolve product consumers’ issues, being a universal specialist. After participating in the COE and gaining experience with the DevOps model and the associated benefits, the corporate business employees become supporters and assistants in further promoting this methodology in their departments and throughout the corporation.
Distributing the software structure into microservices. When instead of complex products requiring large teams’ efforts for development and further maintenance, you use a set of small microservices that communicate through an API, the development speed increases significantly. At the same time, you get clean and understandable high-quality code.
When a relatively small DevOps team is responsible for a single microservice, there are far fewer software development problems. Anyone on the team can make an effort to solve current issues, be it writing code, testing a new version of an application, performing an upgrade, or solving users’ requests. This goes against IT departments’ usual practice where overloading one of the departments can cause all departments’ downtime that depends on it.
Building the infrastructure as code. Rather than piling up separate tools, responsibilities, and technologies across the Dev and Ops departments, working with the DevOps model helps combine these processes. This means that the developers do not consider their work completed after the new version of the code successfully passes the tests and goes to the servers for operation by end users. On the other hand, Ops engineers do not set up servers individually, instead of working with the entire infrastructure. All processes involving work with the infrastructure can and should be automated using tools like Terraform, Ansible, Helm, and others to manage configurations and quickly allocate the necessary resources.
When all processes are automated, each person on the DevOps team can write code, run tests, build a new version of the application, send it to production with just a few lines of code, or click a few buttons in the corresponding DevOps tool.
Getting started with DevOps is challenging for startups and large businesses alike. However, this choice undoubtedly pays off handsomely. For a startup, it is preferable to work directly on the DevOps model to avoid the accumulation of delayed technical debt and high labor costs when the need to switch to automated testing and application of updates to the application becomes obvious.
For large businesses, this choice is even more comfortable.
The transition to the DevOps model of work is the key to their survival in the competition, and no one wants to lose. So you will have to either evolve or lag behind the crowd of competitors.