DevOps is important because it has the potential to help an organisation differentiate itself from competitors by responding more rapidly to business demands. DevOps is a new and better way of building software with improved collaboration end-to-end, not only between development and operations teams, but also collaboration with disciplines such as security (sometimes referred to as DevSecOps), testing (quality assurance or QA), version control and cross-team collaboration capabilities such as ChatOps. DevOps results in a better software product and more successful implementations.
At its core, DevOps is a best practice. It was conceived on the premise that application and service delivery organisations work best when software development teams are really collaborating and doing continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). That means that at the end of every iteration, no matter how short, the software is production-ready—even if it isn’t always deployed in production each time.
Large organisations undergo DevOps transformations to solve a common and fundamental problem with enterprise software creation. When developers create new software, they are coding and testing it in a developer environment, which is offline and lets them troubleshoot bugs, tweak code, and refine requirements without endangering their business, government agency or medical or educational institution.
However, when it's time to deploy the new software or code into the real-world environment, issues arise because the developer environment is not exactly the same as the ever-evolving production environment. This can cause some real heartburn or even heartbreak. Deployment failures can lead to problems that cost a lot of time and money to fix. Historically this issue was made worse by large numbers of changes being rolled up into infrequent releases.
The operations teams are responsible for ensuring that products run reliably in production with the right checks and balances in place to ensure reliable deployment. Friction can arise between operations and the development teams trying to iterate and get their code changes into production as fast as possible.
A DevOps-based delivery pipeline is all about getting developers and operations staff to:
Work together better
Think and act on the same wavelength
Remove barriers and siloed structures
Focus on QA, version control, configuration management and release management as a connected, continuous delivery activity, often referred to as a value stream
By integrating development and operations teams and adding automation, organisations can improve collaboration, work culture and ultimately productivity. DevOps integration is based on automating infrastructure and workflows, allowing for the continuous delivery of applications into production, and constantly measuring application performance.