Challenges to DevOps Implementation

September 4, 2018

DevOps has grown in popularity over the last few years as companies continue to realize the advantages of unifying development and operations teams. The DevOps methodology aims at improving workflow and productivity by combining the efforts of operations people and developers. When both groups work together to solve problems, they’re able to deliver software features and updates more frequently and reliably. 

Although DevOps is becoming the norm in software development projects, it can be a challenge to implement. Here are some of the top challenges companies face when making the switch to DevOps, as well as some solutions to overcome these obstacles. 

Try out new tools

There are many tools available that can help you implement DevOps practices. These tools fall into categories such as planning, building, integration, deployment, monitoring, and feedback.

It might be overwhelming to sift through the tools in each category. Not every tool will be useful for your business, so it’s important to determine which options would be the most valuable for your processes.

If your workflows require continuous feedback loops, cross-team collaboration, and open communication, consider some planning tools that allow you to customize your Kanban and Scrum workflow. In addition to planning tools, build tools support build automation, which is a key technical aspect associated with DevOps. 

Continuous integration tools may be useful to help your teams automate builds and tests, and avoid bottlenecks. Automated testing helps to detect errors early and often, which improves the quality of the product your team is producing.

Deployment tools enable teams to automatically build and test code, manage changes, and keep everything in an environment for release. Monitoring and feedback tools can allow your team to frequently track and address problems as they occur. 

Try out a number of tools early on, to see which ones make the most sense for your team. Then you can begin training your team to ensure an easier transition.  

Don’t rely exclusively on automation

Automation and testing are integral to DevOps; best practices require testing to occur as early and often as possible. 

When teams run automated tests, the number of repetitive tasks that they need to focus on is significantly reduced, which means they are able to dedicate their time to deploying changes more frequently, or writing new tests. 

Although continuous automated testing can help maintain the quality of a product and lessen mundane tasks, a computer can never totally test for complete product quality. You’ll always need a set of human eyes to ensure everything is working the way product owners and stakeholders intend it to. 

Keep this in mind as your organization moves toward a DevOps workflow. Maintaining a human element in your process makes for an easier transition and results in a better product.  

Create a budget

Perhaps the biggest challenge to DevOps implementation is determining a budget – and not just a financial one.

DevOps success does not come from spending a ton of money on shiny new products and tools. Instead, it comes from building a solid business plan. This means that time, money, research, and other resources are all taken into account prior to implementing DevOps practices into your business. 

Remember that DevOps is also a shift in culture. Open communication is key to success and it’s important to invest in proper staff training to ensure everybody is on the same page. 

Don’t forget to budget for new software as well. Many DevOps projects use open source tools, but you still have to consider the costs of implementing and supporting these tools in your workplace. 

DevOps is an ideology rooted in cross-team collaboration. Implementing this new way of thinking into your organization will likely be tedious and time-consuming. However, with the right plan and approach, your team can successfully transition to a DevOps workflow.