The hype around DevOps and its potential to drive greater ROI across a wide range of enterprise operations increased substantially in the last decade. However, as these expectations carry into 2020, organizations will start to take a more sober approach to DevOps implementations. While DevOps was initially seen as a widespread solution to all sorts of enterprise IT issues, the implementation of DevOps approaches is now shaping up to become more strategic and focused, with much of the emphasis on how to maximize the ultimate return on investment.

This can be a difficult task for organizations as return on investment (ROI) is not always clear when it comes to DevOps. This is due to the lack of usable data, making feedback difficult to assess. For organizations looking to drive greater ROI of DevOps implementations, the focus should be on efficient, high-quality, and secure delivery, which is largely enabled through the implementation of automated testing. Through automated testing, organizations can obtain actionable data to analyze and derive insights that will ultimately be used to improve their DevOps implementation.

DELIVERING RESULTS QUICKLY

As systems become more complex, the number of tasks that require testing is only going to continue to grow. Speedy and reliable delivery is too often hampered by manual testing, which can be time-consuming and, in some cases, susceptible to mistakes. Although manual testing is inevitable, automation offers a way to alleviate some of the problems that arise with it. Once a test has been automated, it can be run quickly and consistently every time a code change is made, increasing returns and improving the end product.

Although automation has vast benefits, this alone doesn’t mean you can take a hands-off approach to testing. There are several issues that still need to be considered to ensure the best outcome. These include how much time the testing systems are idle, reducing the time it takes to provision testing environments how long it takes to recover from a failure, and what needs to be done to reduce the downtime lost while fixing that failure.

Because updates are—by the nature of DevOps—continuously introduced into production, businesses can track the impact a given update is having on their customers and point to the specific reasons affecting any given production chain. These insights can prove highly valuable and should be incorporated into future business strategies. In order to maximize ROI, executives need to look closely at this data and incorporate the insights gleaned from it into long-term
business operations.

MEASURING SUCCESS

Just because DevOps has been adopted for software delivery, it doesn’t mean that the value it generates is ultimately worth the cost. In order to make DevOps worthy of the cost and to avoid wasting countless hours of development, organizations should keep end users involved throughout the process. It’s important for organizations to not simply get something up and running and then forget about it, but to continuously monitor the results, push for feedback, and seek out areas of improvement. Staying in tune with the needs of end users will ensure that no features go unnoticed, and the potential for maximum ROI is recognized.

Measuring success comes down to looking at a few critical aspects of the testing process. One valuable approach is to focus testing efforts on the areas of software that see the heaviest usage. Ensuring consistency and quality can go a long way to improving results. Another consideration is how many defects are going unnoticed throughout production and how those are affecting the end result. By utilizing this sort of information, developers can begin to identify problems earlier in the production process and stop them before any serious damage is done.

A NEW APPROACH TO DEVOPS

As enterprises get deeper into 2020, leaders will continue to look to DevOps as a means to improve operations and increase overall return on investment. And, as the hype around DevOps continues, the focus will shift toward the most important aspects of the technology—specifically, the adoption of automated testing as a means to improve not only speed of delivery but also the quality of outcomes. This kind of testing will not only improve operations but will give businesses a tangible method of measuring their success with quantifiable data and metrics.