Part I – DevOps and the Deployment Pipeline: Scaled Agile Framework That Meets Customer Demand

In the business world, keeping up with the demands of your customers is paramount to your long-term profitability and success.

If you aren’t meeting your customers’ needs, there’s a very good chance you aren’t meeting your bottom line expectations either – and possibly the expectations of your investors and other stakeholders.

Automating a deployment pipeline is often the best way to keep up with demand in real-time while minimizing costs through the use of the cloud and environment automation.

The value in DevOps and cloud automation occurs not in YOUR environment, but in the environments of your USERS – where they operate and rely on your solution on a regular basis.

Sometimes, they even rely on it on a constant basis which makes your approach to DevOps even more important.

No pressure, here. Just the complex deployment of a solution that a lot of people have paid for and are counting on.

So what do you do to make sure your product is spending less time in development and more time in the hands of your users?

DevOps is the answer. And if you’ve not yet integrated DevOps and the cloud into your business, this two-part article is going to show you why you should.

There’s something to be said for rapid deployment of a solution on a higher frequency and with more reliability as well as for the resulting sustainability for businesses who choose to go this route.

This “lean” development process (DevOps) removes development speed barriers, while simultaneously increasing the focus on quality and reliability both from a tech standpoint – and also from the standpoint of a mindset which can be used throughout an organization to accomplish goals in other areas as well.

So, let’s jump right in and talk about the deployment pipeline and how DevOps, and the cloud, can make it more effective.

1. Employ a staging environment equivalent to the production environment.

Development environments are notoriously-well barricaded from the production side by firewalls, load balancers, etc.

As a solution moves from development to production, it’s almost certain that something adverse will happen. New bugs will be found, the deployment may fail and any resolution to the problems will take way longer than anyone anticipated.

However, when a company employs a staging environment that mimics the production side, with similar support systems and hardware, development teams can continue to validate and tweak as they prepare for the solution’s ultimate destination: deployment.

The cloud can really help make this task economically feasible to ensure functionality and a load balanced environment.

2. Make more frequent deployments to the production side.

Readiness for deployment is a good thing, but the real positive impact from a shorter lead time can be found in the increasing the frequency with which your deploy.

Increasing this frequency allows for greater security scrutiny, and other important ethical and legal requirements: government regulatory mandates, product quality, etc.

It also gives a company the chance to consider extraneous audiences and stakeholders as well: customers, partners in the channel, and even the marketing team.

In the second part of this two part series on DevOps and the deployment pipeline, we’ll talk more about meeting customer demand and how the cloud can play an integral role to that end.

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