The Wider Implications of DevOps for Operational Effectiveness in Startups
Learning DevOps is essential for startups just entering the market. See why the benefits of DevOps are especially important for new businesses.
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In today’s digital-first world, a startup’s operations, including procurement, marketing, production, and selling, is strongly based on big data and digital communication.
That being said, failure to adjust with the times is a surefire way to be left in the dust. DevOps can be an influential factor in streamlining technology-dependent processes from A to Z. This refers to the cross-disciplinary practice of constructing, growing, and managing a plethora of rapidly-evolving systems.
DevOps offers startups and small organizations the benefit of a fully automated delivery pipeline. This translates to pushing products and features to the market quickly and reduce feedback times – something Eric Ries terms the “Build-Measure-Learn” in his book Lean Startup.
Studies have found that DevOps-led projects can result in a 15-20% acceleration in the time taken to deliver capabilities to customers. At the end of the day, this kind of efficiency doesn’t just acquire new business, it keeps customers coming back.
Here are several reasons why your operational strategy needs DevOps.
Quick Identification of Systemic Problems
One of the greatest aspects of DevOps is the ability to pinpoint underlying issues before they turn into full-blown disasters. DevOps works to the reveal potential systemic problems before they even see the light of day.
If you sell something online, DevOps can be instrumental in identifying certain snags within your inventory management, payment processing, or shipping processes. For instance, a lot of e-commerce startups use Shopify to manage every aspect of retail themselves, from managing inventory, to order tracking to refunds, by gathering, using and integrating data from POS systems. You can use historical data on buyer behavior, customer profiles, and staff activity to predict your ability to meet seasonal uptrends in sales and shore up your readiness.
For B2B businesses facing problems related to lead qualification, CRM, onboarding, or anything that might be slowing down the efficiency of the product lifecycle, a reliable DevOps methodology can be instrumental to ensuring a healthy bottom line. The DevOps approach gives the development team the ability to seamlessly receive feedback from the operations or IT teams throughout the entire development and implementation process.
Many problems in making the sale are a result of underlying pain points within the system. Implementing a DevOps procedure is one of the best ways for businesses to consistently adapt their strategy and operations to the evolving market.
As many will attest, client communication is a multi-faceted entity – to say the least. It involves capitalizing on opportunities presented through both inbound and outbound marketing, sales, big data analytics, and more. In many cases, the entire process involves a great deal of interdepartmental collaboration, especially given the growing number of globally-distributed teams.
Business, in general, can be thought of as a constant game of working to improve operational efficiencies. These days, this concept involves many different factors from system development, testing, business analysis, etc. in relation to the ever-present goal of reducing overheads.
The concept of DevOps was formulated with an emphasis on collaboration and reducing gaps between development and IT. Incorporating a DevOps setup in your operational strategy can be a game changer for ensuring precious opportunities do not slip away. For this reason, all teams involved must collaborate on an agile, day-to-day workflow.
Fortunately, task management tools like Asana make this easy. By way of a single and central dashboard, all teams involved in product development or campaign execution can be on the same page throughout the entirety of the project.
Each miscalculation or lapse in communication can be detrimental to your business goals. Project management and collaboration tools ensure an incredibly reliable process that will keep everyone in sync when it comes to timelines, real-time progress reports, and appropriately balancing workloads across departments. Asana is designed to be overly-simple to adopt in organizations of any size.
When it comes to operational effectiveness leading to profits, your results are closely tied to the internal system you have in place.
One of the foundational aspects of DevOps is it strongly encourages businesses to track operational metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) of their objectives. Given that the world is becoming increasingly reliant on data-driven insights, a DevOps function is more than just a flashy component of business; it’s quickly becoming a full-on requirement.
For a DevOps setup to deliver to the fullest of its capability, scaling metrics such as user growth rates, conversions, cost of customer acquisition, transaction frequency, and total time spent in the application need to be accurately measured.
Metrics are essential to the software development process and help guide its direction and make the necessary adjustments to ensure seamless team collaboration across the board.
For business owners, more than likely, this process is directly tied to your vision. Big data, AI, automation, Agile, and DevOps are by no means entry-level concepts. On the surface level, knowing how certain metrics apply to application development can be tough to understand.
For owners operating in the current tech-dominated business landscape, a firm foundation in the basics of DevOps is just a few clicks (and hours) away. Online learning platform Zeolearn offers a hands-on certification course with training sessions guided by DOI-certified trainers, which might be useful to professionals in multiple roles in the tech sector, including project managers, testers, and software architects.
Product managers, especially need to learn how to how to cut through the clutter of process complexity, and get a hands-on understanding of how first-party metrics can be used to streamline operations with a myriad of useful tools. This will help them implement a good DevOps setup, as well as how to administer the proper fixes as needed.
In order to stay competitive today’s marketplace, incorporating sales and revenue metrics into DevOps is essential for continuous growth.
It’s no secret that cybersecurity is one of the biggest concerns looming over modern-day businesses. It seems like there are new sets of threats that present themselves every day.
When handling customer data, businesses need to base their approach on safety. Hackers are constantly working to find loopholes and workarounds that give them access to valuable information on both companies and their customers.
Keeping this in mind, one of the best things business owners can do is integrate cybersecurity and DevOps as a unified system. This process requires a great deal of technical matchmaking expertise.
On a basic level, DevOps is all about creating new, innovative opportunities. On the other hand, cybersecurity is all about restricting access to ensure safety. While these two concepts may seem contradictory to each other, both work to build metrics that meet a certain threshold of quality with regard to UX and reliability. In turn, the end result is to keep customers happy.
While cyber danger keeps coming at us at light speed, integrating DevOps and security to work as a single unit is vital to improving operational efficiency while keeping them safe.
DevOps-related security strategies are far from black and white. Start by assessing your needs in both areas and formulate a sustainable plan that can be realistically executed.
Proper assimilation of DevOps and operations can significantly contribute to business success. Agile and efficient processes driven by data are becoming the gold standard in running and growing startups. If done correctly, the results can deliver solutions much quicker with far fewer defects.
Nearly every business across all industries stand to benefit from this concept. If you haven’t already, don’t waste any more time in researching a strategy that works harmoniously with your short-term operations as well as long-term goals.
Published at DZone with permission of Tracy Vides. See the original article here.
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