The Value of Continuous Delivery
Executives agree: it's the ability to minimize your time to market with a stable and reliable product.
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To gather insights for DZone's Continuous Delivery Research Guide, scheduled for release on January 26, 2016, we spoke to 24 executives who are implementing continuous delivery in their own company or helping clients do so.
Specifically, we spoke to:
Casey Kindiger, CEO, Avik Partners | Ez Natarajan, Vice President Cloud, Beyondsoft | Tom Cabanski, Director of Software Development, Blinds.com | Kurt Collins, Director of Technology Evangleism and Partnerships, Built.io | Chris Madsen, CEO, Circonus | Steven Anderson, CEO, Clutch | Yaniv Yehuda, Co-Founder and CTO, DBmaestro | Andreas Grabner, Technology Strategist, Dynatrace | Elaina Shekhter, CMO, EPAM Systems | Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect, Isomorphic Software| Baruch Sadogursky, Developer Advocate, JFrog | Topher Marie, CTO, JumpCloud | Edith Harbaugh, CEO and Co-Founder, Launch Darkly | Jessica Rusin, Senior Director of Development, MobileDay | Stevan Arychuk, Strategic Marketing, New Relic | Arvind Mehrotra, President and Global Business Head, NIIT Technologies | Zeev Avidan, Vice President Product Management, OpenLegacy | Richard Dominguez, DevOps Engineer, Prep Sportswear | Prashanth Chandrasekar, General Manager of DevOps and Head of Operations, Rackspace | Steven Hazel, CTO, Sauce Labs | Bob Brodie, CTO, Sumo Heavy | Dr. Chenxi Wang, Chief Strategy Officer, Twistlock | Scott Ferguson, Vice President of Engineering, Vokal Interactive | Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations, xMatters
When we asked, "What problems are solved by DevOps/Continuous Delivery, and where is the greatest value seen?" here's what they said:
Speed to market backed by stability and reliability. It's the only way to develop a product and ensure it goes through review and testing. Get binary code is spit out quickly, confident that it’s ready for production. You're also able to send out updates while the site is live.
Time to market. If you look at deployment times in the enterprise it still takes months. We’ve gotten DevOps down to just adding functionality to different portions of the site. We enable different APIs to integrate with a drag and drop interface. If we had to take down the site every time we add an API, that would be unacceptable since we’re adding three to five per week. There's no downtime and we're able to stay nimble.
Improved communication between you and your customers.
Lowering costs while increasing market responsiveness. The customer is telling you want they need and want, and you need to respond before your competition does.
Agility and efficiency. You can’t predict application load and threats, but you can be ready to respond. Once you are doing continuous delivery and continuous analysis, you can easily respond. Efficiency comes in when you want to change a small part of an app — just update the one component and push it out. You don’t have to take everything down.
Solves the problem of human error and inefficiency. Fixes vulnerabilities. If a problem is identified in an automated way, it can be fixed in an automated way.
Everyone involved internally and externally is able to deliver features faster, learn faster, minimize wasted effort exploring paths that may or may not be right. You're able to identify the path quickly by learning iteratively.
Improve as rapidly as possible before the competition does.
The biggest change is in the processes the organization uses to quickly deliver software. There's now a close, confident relationship with stakeholders. There’s less finger pointing at IT. Business looks at IT as a partner.
Depends on the organizational structure. The goal is to get apps out to customers faster. This is easier with smaller companies like Etsy and Airbnb. Larger companies that are interested in building quality software use DevOps to be data driven for shared conversations. Being able to change quickly is a competitive advantage.
Developers are more productive and happier, and consumers receive the benefits.
Ability to deploy new features to customers in near real-time. Ability to rapidly fix things when they fail.
Transformation of the business itself. Banking transactions that used to have to take place by a certain time of day can now take place 24/7 worldwide.
Organizational teams are aligned. Remove the problem of people being able to see problems. Visibility is more unified and integrated, and that transparency benefits all parties.
Ability to bring in new functionality in real time to the market to remain competitive in an application economy.
Mostly by small companies who can be nimble and respond to customers more quickly. Big companies feel more and more pressure to innovate and be like a small company — a bi-modal approach.
Resource maximization. Organizations operate under a certain framework of infrastructure and operations. Now they're completely variable and more efficient for technology in the cloud. People and processes have shifted, to process change in working with developers with shared objectives, no blame, respond to customer feedback.
As we start to automate you increase predictability and deployment which increases speed to market and saves money. Think about the deployability of the software. There are no lengthy projects when you are deploying frequently.
Continuous delivery enable users to release the platform on any level from developer or production. It’s all about shipping faster. DevOps promotes collaboration to deliver faster by improving the flow between the source and production server much faster with no conflict between the two.
Find and troubleshoot problems faster and quicker than when you’re deploying more slowly. With continuous deployment and automated testing, we push code daily. This enables us to identify and correct problems more quickly and results in a higher quality product.
For DevOps, it's ensuring that feedback from customers and real-world deployments makes it back to the product development team. Without this, product development can easily end up tackling problems that customers don't care about. For Continuous Delivery, it's delivering fixes and enhancements as fast as possible, so customers never feel that they are blocked by us.
The most important aspect of DevOps is the reduction of emphasis on individual motivations. Developers are no longer incentivized to “just get it done” and throw it over the wall, because development shortcuts will continue to impact them. Operations personnel are no longer incentivized to resist change, because they’ve been given influence earlier in the process.
Quicker time to market. Increase productivity 15 to 20%. A constructive feedback loop leads to better quality. Smaller releases in shorter cyles are less risky. All of this provides a better opportunity for providing customers what they want.
What do you think the greatest value of DevOps or continuous delivery is?
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.