Agile delivery has had a far-reaching impact on multifunctional processes across the organization. Here’s a look at the evolution of software development and the need to take on an agile + DevOps approach.

Agile and DevOps are more like two sides of the same coin.

Agile is more of an iterative approach (a development methodology, if you may call it) that focuses on making the developers and development processes more efficient, whereas DevOps is a full lifecycle approach that is purely based on the concept of fostering a collaborative culture!

While they are both modern practices that are aimed at the development of software, DevOps and agile each have entirely unique approaches involving different departments and groups altogether.

Which brings us to this quote by Pearl Zhu, a digital visionary and author of ‘Digital Master’ —

“Agile and DevOps are for harnessing integration, interaction, and innovation.”

Together, agile and DevOps promote a mindset that powers a radical shift in the work culture — a mindset that is crucial to surviving in a world where technology continues its torrid pace of advancement toward greater heights!

In a bid to enhance business outcomes, the software development industry has been primarily agile. The numbers are a testament to this fact — nearly 95% of organizations are now practicing agile development methods mostly in the areas of software development, IT, and operations according to Digital.ai.

Source: Digital.ai

DevOps on other hand has been a hit with innovative startup firms that are looking to go to market faster and keep up with the ever-changing customer demands. Take the likes of Amazon, who after moving to AWS cloud, is now exemplifying the possibilities of DevOps by deploying new code features every 11.7 seconds, on average. Netflix too has implemented the DevOps approach to deploy code nearly 1000s of times every single day. 

These rapid app release cycles have found a commonplace in today’s world of digital businesses.

First came agile, then came DevOps

Looking back at the early years of software development, I’m talking about the primitive days of implementing the ‘waterfall approach’ — it was a time when the entire development lifecycle took place in siloes cut off from the customer-facing teams or even the end-users. It certainly seems like a stark contrast to the way we run things now. Plagued with long development cycles and suffering the lack of customer feedback, not to mention disparate teams — the end product often fell short of user expectations.

The need to develop better software led to the rise of the agile methodology. Agile was initially introduced with the motive of improving effectiveness by breaking down software projects into smaller, bite-sized deliverables. With significant benefits, the ‘agile way of work’ soon rose to fame, dramatically speeding up the software development process and involving customer interactions throughout the development lifecycle. The agile methodology lagged in the testing and deployment department, considering how it failed to produce the desired results owing to a lack of collaboration.

Along came the DevOps approach which is much like the extension of the agile methodology. DevOps introduced the popular agile methods into software-defined infrastructure. The main reason why DevOps became popular is that it uses communication as a key tool to fill the gaps within an organization and pull everything together into a fully functional unit. With the sole purpose of connecting the development and operation teams, the DevOps approach has been successful in fostering communication and creating better collaboration between every team member.

The adoption of agile thinking and a DevOps culture

While agile seeks speed, DevOps is all about efficiency and accuracy. Deploying agile and DevOps approaches can help organizations scale up and deliver products faster, at regular intervals.

There are a few factors that will aid in ensuring agile delivery by taking on a DevOps approach.

  1. Product-oriented teams, as they are in for the long run compared to projected-oriented teams. They have a broader vision and are committed to the continued success of the product
  2. Building microservices architecture will surely enable an agile delivery and power a DevOps culture
  3. For the successful implementation of agile and DevOps, automated governance is crucial across multiple points throughout the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)
  4. Optimize the SDLC by regularly measuring the success of a DevOps plus agile approach

The DevOps and Continuous Delivery imperative

While DevOps brings about a balance between teams, it is the implementation of the Continuous Delivery approach that improves the value delivery stream speed, right from code-check in all the way to production.

With an underlying goal to automate the entire SDLC process, Continuous Delivery promises a myriad of benefits to organizations today such as ensuring that your software is always production-ready and your workflows are streamlined.

DevOps is more of a ‘rinse and repeat’ process of regular iterations. This is why DevOps coupled with Continuous Development enables cost optimization, faster time to market, and better risk mitigation.

Leading the pack with the software development paradigm

While the software industry has evolved and moved from Agile, DevOps to Continuous Delivery — it is their coexistence that helps the business achieve growth, increase operational efficiency and win over market share and mindshare of customers.

Businesses today, hear me out — you simply cannot afford to hang on to outdated software delivery processes. It’s time to look at ways of implementing agile thinking into DevOps and Continuous Delivery. A combination of these approaches can redefine the organization’s digital transformation initiatives.

Want to stay updated with the latest happenings in the world of payments technology? Follow me on LinkedIn today!

T M Praveen is a highly accomplished global payments leader with over 20 years of experience. A veteran in the payments industry, Praveen has immense wealth of insights to share in payments innovations, emerging technologies, FinTech, and financial services.

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