Getting apps to market faster with DevOps
In a world where both business and personal lives are driven by apps, the ability to deliver applications faster than the competition has become a crucial differentiator.
Many businesses are now building their own apps to meet the specific needs of mobile users and customers, but simply having an app isn’t enough.
“Customers demand quick, intuitive experiences," says Rezelde Botha, business unit manager for Rocket at Axiz. "They won’t tolerate apps that are hard to navigate or are not user-friendly. Downtime, data loss, or slow apps will also see them moving on to the competition."
Getting this right, and getting it right quickly is critical, which is why many are adopting DevOps practices to automate the processes between software development and IT teams, to enable them to build, test, and release software more rapidly and reliably.
According to Botha, before DevOps, traditional techniques without the co-ordinated effort among development teams led to slow time to market, and user dissatisfaction. “DevOps has enabled faster delivery of features, improved collaboration and communication. The operating environments are more stable, freeing up more time to innovate instead of fixing and maintaining.”
However, she says DevOps isn’t a 'nine-to-five' job. “Often, to reduce disruption as much as possible, businesses will schedule software deployment over weekends. Even daily activities such as running and promoting builds can happen at odd hours, which is why users need tools that are available at any time, and from anywhere, as long as the users who need them have their mobile device with them.”
In addition, for successful DevOps, businesses need solutions that can track, manage, and adjust any part of the release process. This includes deployment set status, deployment target status, as well as point-and-click package rollback, says Botha.
“Any deployment activity that requires user intervention needs to be displayed in a way that the user can quickly see if anything isn't working or needs additional input. It’s every developer’s worst fear that a defect that was found and fixed during the quality assurance stage, somehow still worms its way into production.”
If that happens, the developer has to rush to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, and release a patch, and the business is left to deal with any possible damage to reputation caused by customer dissatisfaction.
“Today’s environments are complex and multi-platform, ergo developing and deploying applications requires managing multiple moving parts, ” concludes Botha.