Top 8 Mistakes to Avoid when Adopting DevOps
By Raghav K.
A CIO has to decide if it’s time for an enterprise to take the leap and shift to DevOps. Adopting DevOps is far from straightforward as it requires a skillful team, a proper strategy, and an array of cutting-edge DevOps tools. Any new idea or project will require your teams to phase out the outdated cultural practices, processes, and infrastructure. Putting up a strategy and new operational models that incorporate new technological practices have to be introduced. Any organization will require an agile model to release software with the agility and velocity to innovate and evolve.
DevOps can only be successful if there are well-defined and described roles set and assigned for different teams to enroll a perfect structure and sync. It is not possible for an individual or a single team to handle all of the roles, responsibilities, and functions. You must include proper tools, processes, and culture to distribute between teams and individuals. Upgrade the skills of your existing team so they can adapt and embrace the DevOps tools and processes across the organization. It is never a good idea to isolate DevOps to a specific team.
In my previous article “DevOps Best Practices: 6 Tips to a Successful DevOps Adoption”, I’ve discussed the best practices in DevOps adoption that I’ve learned along the way in my career. In this blog, I’ll be focusing on the do’s and don’t’s of DevOps adoption. While you are adopting the new DevOps model in 2020, make sure that you don’t make the following common mistakes:
1. Overlooking the Culture
DevOps adoption is highly cultural and should always be treated first. While advanced tools and processes may accelerate CI-CD practices, these are backed by cultural practices that have worked for the organization over the years. These practices are generally considered to be the driving force of any organization and are performance-oriented.
These cultural practices need to be adopted and included when you make the shift to DevOps. These can be characterized as team-building with high levels of cooperation and dependability. Some cultural practices are rule-oriented and are characterized by traditional roles and responsibilities. These can be modernized and planted where a hint of tradition and generation is needed. Cultural transformation is a necessary precursor if you wish to adopt the new and improved agile-oriented development to deployment product lifecycle with thesuccessful adoption of DevOps tools and practices.
2. Not Including the Necessary Stakeholders
DevOps demands comprehensive changes throughout an organization. A considerable change is imposed on the organization while the changes are being implemented. Resource relocation, major changes to already established tools, and discontinuing old processes may take a toll on business productivity.
To ensure that doesn’t happen, you need to include the necessary stakeholder so your practice can flourish to achieve a proper DevOps pipeline. You should never leave out stakeholders that hold the key to your finances and infrastructure. Briefing and including these stakeholders to make them understand DevOps and its necessity is important. Resistance to adopting new practices can arise from any organizational team, but you must never overlook it. If you do, it can be one of the biggest mistakes while adopting DevOps.
3. Not Choosing a Technology Stack That Aligns With Your DevOps Practice
Organizations sometimes make the mistake of choosing a technology stack that is common and offers more popular tools. Every organization has to assess and formulate their practices before choosing their tools. You should check the use-cases of other organizations, but never make the mistake of choosing a plug-and-play adoption model.
A solution should be designed to work specifically with your business and business model. Formulating your pipeline will introduce business intelligence into the methodologies, allowing your solution to address your specific business needs. The technology stack should revolve around your organizational culture and processes, not the other way around.
4. Adopting DevOps without Knowing Why
DevOps is all about knowing what you hope to accomplish; the end result you want to achieve after adopting DevOps. Streamline the processes on your DevOps journey to reduce costs by increasing efficiency and by improving security with DevSecOps. DevOps could help your business in different ways, but make sure to align your business needs to achieve excellence.
5. Not Staying True to Agile
You cannot deliver end-to-end business value if your organization isn’t making a move towards agility with DevOps. Make sure your teams have the freedom to pivot quickly whenever needed by allowing them to be self-organized and autonomous. Use Infrastructure-as-Code to achieve the velocity needed for DevOps to succeed.
6. Not Working on Team-Communication
Not choosing tools based on the need and resource feedback is another mistake. Alibaba Cloud has integrated DevOps tools and support for open-source tools for a successful DevOps adoption. Make sure to choose tools that suit the business requirements and have long-term technical viability. Do not make the mistake of not collecting feedback and strategizing accordingly to allow DevOps cycles to evolve along with business objectives.
7. Not Considering a Roadmap and Dependencies
Alibaba Cloud products feature the strength of open-source software. Any platform or service that is backed by the open-source community can sustain the long-term growth and innovation required to build reliable, resilient, cost-effective, and secure cloud services. Open-source projects, such as Kubernetes and Docker, are likely to survive and evolve over the coming years.
However, if not implemented properly, any tool can prove to be complex to build, test, manage, or upgrade. Your evolution model must indicate a change in practices for the next five to ten years. New tools and practices will be introduced, but the end result that you need to achieve will always remain the same. Not designing a roadmap that doesn’t evolve with evolution is another big mistake.
Large organizations have the operational structure where they outsource basic IT functions. Not implementing an API-driven model is another mistake. While you transition without an API-driven model, third-party tools and services may not be available for you to incorporate into your DevOps pipeline. It is imperative for you to make the transition to cloud-native architectures since they reduce dependencies and cut costs.
8. Not Comprehending the Architectural Change
DevOps introduces a new application platform layer that changes the entirety of the SDLC. It adds a layer of responsibility that needs to be executed between the infrastructure and the application. Medium to large enterprises that are used to following a certain type of SDLC structure might find this change a bit challenging. It will be more challenging if they have to work around outdated and not-so-perfect practices. That is why indulging in developing an application platform while considering changes that will impact the existing structure should be comprehended.
In the End
As we get closer to 2021, DevOps is more of a necessity and is not something that could be considered another five years down the line. Shifting to DevOps and adopting practices to implement enhanced software delivery practices is almost compulsory. While you initiate your organization’s DevOps adoption, make sure that you don’t make any of the mistakes listed above.
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