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In today’s uncertain market, businesses focus on the agility to become more proactive and reactive towards market changes, new and innovative competitors, and demanding customer preferences. Due to these very challenging business conditions, software development is turning towards agile and Scrum methods for its survival and growth. However, IT operational processes are still unable to deliver similar results.
DevOps is a platform that emphasizes refining collaboration amongst the operations and development departments of an organization. DevOps uses several technologies to safeguard a dynamic set-up from a life cycle viewpoint. It is a response to sustain business agility when it comes to IT operations. With a focused ideology, organizations can enable continuous software delivery and join software management and creation together by removing silos. DevOps controls the end-to-end software development lifecycle (SDLC) and focuses on the delivery of software-driven innovation.
It aims to speed up time to market for new applications and helps enhance existing applications. Furthermore, it also serves three essential functions for businesses:
- It promotes communication and collaboration between developers, IT operational experts, and QA personnel.
- It automates software delivery and structural variations.
- It helps create an agile platform that is faster, smoother, and streamlined.
If we look back into the history of DevOps, we see that it surfaced as a response to Agile software expansion approaches. It was more of a late reply to cloud computing. On the other hand, if we investigate the progress of cloud CRM, we see that it has facilitated change and innovation over time. Cloud CRM has reduced rigid methodological constructs and fuelled innovation. An excellent example of this is the concept of a Scrum, which improves the performance frequency of incremental software releases.
In recent years, CRM software deliveries have increased. This has resulted in a direct impact on the release management process. The operational lifecycle is suffering from a bottleneck as it is not compatible with the increased load of deliveries.
DevOps and the Agile Software Development Process
For coders, DevOps is pretty much what QA and IT is to the company itself. Perhaps, it is safe to conclude that DevOps and Agile have a synergetic relationship. To explore this relationship, we will investigate the many similarities that Agile and DevOps share:
- Both agile and DevOps fuel teamwork amongst versatile and independent teams. The roles may differ, but the key ideology is the same.
- Both agile and DevOps promote reiterative and adaptive application approaches and focus on transparency, review, and adaptation. This allows these methodologies to be quality-focused, risk cautious outcomes-oriented.
- Agile endorses the continual delivery of progressive software releases. DevOps follows a similar approach when it comes to software operations.
With time, agile methods have created downstream challenges for companies. DevOps offers a solution to these very challenges by streamlining the software creation procedure and allowing for a much faster time to market rate than ever before. DevOps will enable customers to enjoy new software capabilities without process delays. Happy customers are the primary goal of every organization, so that is a big plus!
However, if an organization fails to implement a holistic software ops process to manage agile’s augmented pace, it will suffer much. Problems like a stubborn release method increased errors, and delayed software distribution will occur if an organization is unable to implement software ops properly.
Scrum and the DevOps Framework
To implement the principals of DevOps in an organization, one needs to follow a systematic approach. Unlike Agile, which has many mature frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc., DevOps does not have a similar design for implementation. Experts have even gone far enough to claim that DevOps can be looked at as a cohesive extension of the agile framework.
The most popular agile methodology of all time has been the Scrum. It has four basic components: roles, events, artifacts, and rules. There are a few simple procedures that allow these components to be naturally extended into the DevOps ideology. We will go over them one by one.
The Scrum has three roles that are divided amongst the scrum team: The Product Owner, the ScrumMaster, and the Development Team. DevOps roles can be handled similarly. The team will include QA experts, IT experts, and developers. In most cases, there will be an overlap in the responsibilities assigned to the roles. An essential goal of DevOps is to eliminate the siloes and create integrated software management and developing personnel. Like the Scrum method, the DevOps team should also be independent and goal-oriented. This means that they will have to work with people from different departments to achieve a common end result.
Scrum events or ceremonies are based on sprints. A sprint entails four different scrum ceremonies: sprint planning, daily Scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. The same event-based approach can be incorporated into DevOps to reap Scrum benefits such as higher productivity due to improved collaboration and communication, better-quality products, improved team dynamics, and reduced time to market.
There are three primary artifacts in the Scrum practices: The Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, and the Product Increment. These can be implemented in DevOps, for example, through studying the sprint backlog to plan upcoming releases or to evaluate increments to classify variations to the current software ops.
Unlike Agile tools, which are generally limited to apps like Jira and Rally, DevOps tools contain a more evolved toolbox known as the toolchain. The toolchain supports numerous operational requirements making it far more sophisticated than the Agile tools.
There are many ways of incorporating toolchains into grouped categories of release, configuration, and operations management. However, for companies that want to implement a toolchain hierarchy in line with ERP systems such as NetSuite or CRM software applications such as Dynamics 365, the following tools may be more beneficial:
- Code Tools aid in software development and integration and often assist in the transition towards DevOps. They consist of both integrated development environments and tools specific to applications such as xRM for Dynamics CRM.
- Build Tools are used to migrate solution builds between staged environments, for example, migrating Dev to QA. Build tools deal with the source code, code merging, version control, and automated builds. CRM software publishers often advance their own build tools. A good example of this is Lifecycle Services by Microsoft that helps with build management Dynamics 365.
- Test Tools are used to determine quality, test security, evaluate performance and scalability of the software.
- Release Tools allow continuous integration and deployment of the software. They are utilized for release approvals and automation. They also come in handy in change management scenarios.
On a conclusive note, I would like to add that DevOps integration is highly beneficial and quite necessary for CRM software innovation. A solution provider that can amalgamate DevOps into solutions that it offers, be it CRM or any other practice, will allow enterprises to have a competitive edge through efficient and streamlined internal operations.